Café Palestine Twenty took place on Sat 6 February 2021
Conversation with Prof Samah Saleh and Victoria Brittain
“Narratives of Palestinian Women Political Prisoners”
There is a minor copyright issue with the clips of 3000 Nights (not caused by Mai) so these have been removed from the Cafe Palestine recording. The links will appear separately on this page when they are available.]
In her presentation for the first half of Cafe Palestine, Samah Sameh shared her extensive research into the particular issues for Palestinian women prisoners, from arrest and interogation to incarceration and their experiences after release. She has conducted interviews with women who were imprisoned at different periods from the 1970’s onwards which provide rich insights into the changes in women’s lives as well as within the political environment.
In the second half, Victoria Brittain, who has written extensively on women and children in conflict zones as well as on the films of Mai Masri introduced brief extracts from 3,000 Nights, a film by Mai Masri about women’s imprisonment. Victoria discussed the making of the film and the significance of Mai Masri’s work. Following this she and Samah reflected on and discussed the issues arising from the film.
Samah Saleh is Assistant Professor at An-Najah National University, Nablus in the department of Social Work, and the coordinator for the Masters of Women’s Studies. She finished her PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her doctoral research focused on The Politics of Sumud: Former Palestinian Women prisoners’ experience of Incarceration under Israeli Occupation. Her current research interest is in Palestinian Women’s everyday lives under Israeli occupation. She is part of three research groups which are based on three areas:
1) The experience of giving birth from sperm liberated from Palestinian prisoners: wives’ narratives
2) Researching disabilities in Palestine,
3) Mitigating violence and social exclusion: Designing a innovative social programme inTulkarem in the West Bank.
Short papers by Samah:
Victoria Brittain is a British writer and journalist who has written widely on Human Rights and Politics in the Middle East and beyond. She has visited the West Bank and Gaza many times over the past thirty years. She is a founder member of the annual Palestine Festival of Literature and is trustee of the Palestinian Book awards. She has been closely associated with the UK Palestine Mental Health Network. Her most recent book is Love and Resistance in the films of Mai Masri published by Palgrave Macmillan New York