Jewel of Jerusalem Myriam Jabsheh crowned as “The Distinguished Woman of Jerusalem"
The Jabsheh family proudly display their good 'sister' Myriam Jabsheh's "Distinguished Woman of Jerusalem" plaque. (image courtesy of the Al Mortaqa Foundation for Women)
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In the spirit of a month that embraces womanhood, a Jerusalem forum made a point of honoring its chosen women of Palestine on International Women’s Day.
The month of March marks at least two women-centric calendar dates in the Middle East -- International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day – which make the Palestinian Al-Mortaqa foundation’s annual celebration of women a perfect time to select their worthiest pickings for the title of Jerusalem’s Woman of the Year.
From a rich draw of nominees and distinguished female-folk, emerged one winning Jerusalemite -- The “Distinguished Woman of Jerusalem”, Mrs. Myriam Jabsheh.
The Al-Mortaqa Foundation for Women, who “highlight Palestinian women in Jerusalem and its surroundings as more vulnerable than those country kin in any other place”, marked International Women’s Day for the fifth year in a row through its annual March 8th Gala. Mrs. Jabsheh collected the capital prize that bestowed upon her the holy city inspired title.
Women nominated by the municipality stand to get elected for this coveted lady’s accolade and this year’s short-list included Jerusalem’s crème de la crème of the charity set. Al-Mortaqa has forged this event in order to promote female Palestinian participation in community projects-- encouraging women to continue making communal inroads through a multi-pronged campaign between educational, cultural, and social initiatives to promote gender equality.
Many of Jerusalem’s finest and feistiest female (not to mention male) figures were rubbing shoulders at the illustrious occasion of the international celebration of the fairer sex, including the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs no less, Dr. Adnan Husseini - the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem and of the Quds Governorate, Waqf supervisor and also a member of the Palestinian Authority Higher Council of Tourism.
Other venerable faces alongside Adnan Husseini were Archbishop Atallah Hanna and Professor Mustafa Abu Soy, in addition to a number of activists .The nominees for this year were:
Amani Abu Asab
Zahra Al Khalidi
Awatef Al Nashashibi
Myriam Al Jabsheh
Najwa Al Alami
Nema Al Jaouni
The winning formula
Mrs. Jabseh was dubbed "The Distinguished Woman of Jerusalem 2014” by a select committee, headed up by Dr. Adnan Husseini. Noora Qart, Lamis Al Alami, Hend Khoury, and Samir Halileh.
Mrs. Jabsheh bagged the prestigious prize for “leaving her charitable fingerprints on every corner of Palestine”. Renowned for her generosity, Mrs. Jabsheh was cited as being the first to help anyone in need with her contributions of rich work and support to the Dar Al Zahra Orphanage, Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi, the Family Regeneration Foundation, the Nibras Association for the Disabled, the Edward Said Institute, and the Gaza refugee camps.
In addition to these worthy causes, Mrs. Jabsheh also dedicated her time to sponsoring university students and providing financial support to needy families. In what might be a Guinness World Record, Mrs. Jabsheh also supported the construction of 45 homes – in two hours – after they were destroyed by the IDF.
As the event fell within the celebration of International Women’s Day, Shireen Owaidah, head of Al-Mortaqa foundation, congratulated all women in attendance and spoke about the challenging chapter of Jerusalem’s history that is currently unfolding. She called on women across Palestine to unite and bring Palestine back to life.
Dr. Adnan Husseini professed to being sympathetic to the daily struggles faced by Jerusalem’s women. For his part, Archbishop Hanna stressed the importance of celebrating this day and working on spotlighting the role of women, and working alongside them for the sake of working on a unified struggle.
During the event, a tribute was paid to all the women nominated and to those who passed away - including Hend al Husseini (whose character stars in the Hollywood blockbuster film Miral - a chronicle of Hind Husseini's effort to establish an orphanage in Jerusalem after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War (the Deir Yassin Massacre), and Sanaa Anabtawi - in addition to paying a tribute to the talented Dana Ashti for her scientific project “Safe Gas,” which won the Palestinian Science and Technology Entrepreneurship National Competition.
The ceremony also included folklore dances (dabkeh) and modern dances by Douban dance group.
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