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At the same time, she says “I experience racism in Israeli society in all sorts of ways, especially if they don’t realize that I’m an Arab.” . . . Early on, when they didn’t know yet who Mira Awad was, I would show up to sign a rental contract for an apartment. I looked fine, I spoke fine, but as soon as I would say ‘Mira Awad’ and take out my identity card, then they said ‘Um… um…’ And suddenly there were all kinds of delays.
It isn’t simple today, either [she says]. In Israel, no matter how successful you are – if you’re an Arab, the moment there is security tension, you don’t know if you’ll have work in the foreseeable future. . . .
She also reports that, “Today, the situation of women is amazing compared to when I left home and began to sing. But there are still challenges. It is not just a matter of wage gaps. At all companies, there is contempt for women. Even the most senior female CEO will be less respected than a male CEO in the same role.
[She also says that] in a conservative society like the Arab one, it is even more complex and complicated, because there is patriarchal silencing of women.. .
“An Arab woman can have a fulfilling career, but she is expected to preserve the family honor. She does not have sexual freedom, her body is ‘on loan’ until her parents transfer the kushan [an Ottoman land deed] to the husband. The moment a woman says, ‘No, I’m deciding what to do with my body,’ it’s a problem. ”
It’s “complicated” being a female Christian-Arab-Israeli-Palestinian.
This article has been excerpted from an interview Awad recently gave to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Click here to read it.
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