Maha Nassar: “You will always remain among us…”

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees on the passing of Maha Nassar, an important leader of Palestinian women and a member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Maha Nassar was a political friend of this newspaper and a personal friend to many of us who work on it. She toured the United States in 2003. You can read an interview she did with Fight Back! at: www.fightbacknews.org/2003-4-fall/mahanassar.htm.

Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees: Farewell to Comrade Leader Maha Nassar

photo from pflp.ps/english

photo from pflp.ps/english

With pride and honor, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees announces the demise of its president, the irreplaceable progressive activist, our Comrade Maha Nassar (Um Wadee’), who has passed away today, Friday Oct. 10th 2008, at the age of 54 years.

With the death of Comrade Leader Maha Nassar, the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Women’s Movement, in Palestine and in exile, has lost a courageous, fearless and revolutionary leftist struggler, who has always combined words with action, and who has always been in the front lines. Comrade Nassar has always been known for her complete dedication to the poor and her absolute conviction in women’s rights to full equality. She never surrendered even in the most difficult missions, nor has she ever hesitated, not for a second, even during the hardest and most gloomy situations.

Her actions have always preceded her words, like those of Shadia Abu Ghazaleh and Dalal Al Moghrabi and all Palestinian women martyrs. She has always been a stubborn fighter in the dungeons of interrogation, and remained steadfast and fighting…in the different struggling fields…inside and outside Palestine, calling for intifada, awareness and rebellion wherever she was.

Comrade Maha’s visible role in the first and second Intifada is well known to the Palestinian people. She has always stood in the first ranks of strugglers against the Israeli occupation. She is also well-known as an exceptional leader in the ranks of Palestinian women, and remained until her last minute, during her struggle with cancer, loyal to the blood of the martyrs and their sacrifices, and to our people’s just goals of freedom, return and self determination.

The shining star in the sky of Palestine has departed at a time when our people, and we in the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees are so much in need of her creative energy and her revolutionary soul. However, our solace comes from the fact that “Um Wadee'” will always stay alive among us, through the great values that she has incorporated throughout her life, her deep belief in the justice of our national cause, her dedication to her work as President of this Union, and her courage, prowess, leftist convictions and upholding of national unity.

  • Comrade Maha was born in the Old City of Jerusalem, on June 10th 1954, after her parents were displaced from Qatmoun Neighborhood in West Jerusalem as a result of Al Nakba in the year 1948.
  • She studied in “Khawla Bint Al Azwar” school in Jerusalem, then in “Al Ummah” College, then “Al Ma’mouniyah”, and finally in Ramallah Secondary School for Girls, and served in the Orthodox charity shelter in Al Eizariyeh as a volunteer.
  • She studied in Birzeit University, where her major was in Physics, and was one of the first people who founded the Popular Front Organization in this dignified university, which contributed to the foundation of the first volunteer work committee in the university, and was finally elected as the Secretary of the students’ council in 1974.
  • She worked as a physics teacher in the Evangelical Lutheran School of Hope until she resigned and dedicated her time to women’s struggle. She got her masters degree in Women’s Studies.
  • She was arrested by the Israeli occupation authorities more than once when she studied in university, after she graduated, and throughout her national activity. She has also been subjected to house arrest and home confinement.
  • She contributed to the foundation of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees in 1980, elected as its president in 1994, and was reelected twice afterwards.
  • She contributed to the formation of the Higher Women’s Council as a leading arm of the intifada in 1987.
  • Comrade Maha also contributed to raising the voice of Palestine high through her wide and distinguished relations with the progressive forces around the world. She also received the prize of the Progressive Woman Struggler (Pasionaria) from the Unified Leftist Spanish Organization.
  • Comrade Maha was known for her steadfastness, intiative, her advanced leadership and her dedication and readiness for struggle. She was also known for her humbleness and caring for a direct relationship with the masses of women.
  • A member in the Administrative Assembly of the General Union of Palestinian Woman and a member in the Assembly of the Woman’s Affairs Technical Committee.
  • She was married with four children.

Glory and loyalty to you, our Comrade Leader
You will always remain among us as a never ending revolution

Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees
Occupied Palestine
10/10/2008

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