Naila and the Uprising: Screening & Discussion

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and Rula Salameh
July 19th, 2021, 19:00

Naila and the Uprising tells the story of the Palestinian women who led the First Intifada, only to be cut out of the peace process by their own leaders. Producer and activist in the First Intifada, Rula Salameh, joins us to discuss the feminist revolution that flourished in that protest. Joining her in conversation is Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, internationally-known scholar and a distinguished professor and researcher who continuously supports community development and student engagement alongside her extensive academic work. The discussion will center around the acclaimed film and discuss how the women’s movement in Palestine has evolved.

When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in Palestine, Naila, a young woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh and a fierce community of women at the frontlines, whose stories weave through the most vibrant, non-violent mobilization in Palestinian history – the First Intifada in the late 1980s.

Rabab Abdulhadi was born and raised in Nablus, Palestine, Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi is the founding Director and Senior scholar of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies Program, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and affiliated faculty in Sexualities Studies at San Francisco State University. She served as the first director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and has taught at the Institute for Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, Hunter College, New York University, Yale University and the American University in Cairo where she received teaching excellence and mentoring distinction awards. She is also the recipient of many academic and community honors, including Sterling Fellowship, New Century Scholarship, Evelyn Shakir National Arab American Book Award, Alex Odeh Memorial Award; Lucius Walker for Community Organizing; Courage awards by Al-Awda and American Muslims for Palestine; and appreciation award by the Arab Feminist Union, Nablus, Palestine. She was named Bay Area Visionary by the National Women’s Studies Association, where she co-chairs Feminists for Justice in/for Palestine and has co-led NWSA historic vote to affirm Palestine as a feminist issue and support the international call for BDS. More recently, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) with 40,000 members, awarded her the Georgina Smith Award for Outstanding Faculty Activists. She is a long-time feminist activist and scholar who has made significant contributions to the struggle for Palestinian self-determination, Palestinian women and gender and sexual justice in Palestine and internationally. She is currently compiling critical oral histories of Palestinian activism and editing a volume on Teaching Palestine, a project that challenges colonial narratives on Palestine and calls for decolonizing of the curriculum and ending the erasure of Palestine through education.

Rula Salameh is a producer, veteran journalist and community organizer. She is the Education and Outreach Director in Palestine of Just Vision, an organization that fills a media gap on Israel-Palestine through independent storytelling and strategic audience engagement. She produced three of Just Vision’s films - Budrus (2009), My Neighbourhood (2012) and Naila and the Uprising (2017) - and has led the team’s public engagement efforts across Palestinian society for over 13 years. In addition to her work with Just Vision, Rula is the host of Falasteen al-Khair (“Philanthropy in Palestine”), one of the most popular TV shows in Palestine. She was one of the founders of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in 1993 and is a member of the International Federation of Journalists. Rula has an international diploma in Computers and in Business Management from Cambridge International College, and studied Sociology at Birzeit University.

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