Did You Eat Yet? March 2024

ID: Pink monochrome header with images of Palestinian protesters. Maisa, founding member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective, is pictured in more color on the left side. She's wearing glasses and her hand is up, one finger pointed up. Text reads: Did you eat yet? With Maisa Morrar from Palestinian Feminist Collective.

Feminism Upholds Radical Love as Liberation

Maisa Morrar: I’m a founding member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective, a body of Palestinian and Arab feminists committed to Palestinian social and political liberation by confronting systemic gendered, sexual, and colonial violence, oppression, and dispossession. I’m a long-time organizer and activist in the Palestinian Community in the Bay Area, California. Outside of organizing, I’m a Physician Assistant serving the Oakland community. My work has been focused on addressing health disparities, dismantling stereotypes, and amplifying the Palestinian narrative, embodying a fusion of healthcare, feminism, and community organizing in the pursuit of justice and liberation.

The Palestinian Feminist Collective was created in 2020 after the call to action from Tal3aat, an anti-colonial women’s and feminist movement in Palestine. We responded to our sisters in Palestine who were fighting against Zionist settler colonialism and standing up against femicide and patriarchy. Our movement history is rich with over a 100 years of Palestinian women’s organizing and our commitment to Palestinian liberation is synonymous to a feminist praxis in which we declare that Palestine is a feminist issue.

ID: Green monochrome header with "No Genocide" posters in the background. There is a photo of two Arab femme people wearing keffiyeh on their heads as they hold up linked hands. Text reads: What is Decolonial Feminism? Feminists of color rise up. Free Palestine.

WHAT IS DECOLONIAL FEMINISM?

As the Palestinian Feminist Collective, we collectively reject Zionism. We have chosen a campaign to Shut Down Colonial Feminism because we are refusing the weaponization of feminism and the racism toward our men and our people. This weaponization  has been used by those who call themselves feminists and advocates for women’s rights to justify the genocide of our people, the killing of our women, men, and children, and the racist and Islamophobic villainizing of our brothers, our fathers, and our boys.

We stand on the shoulders of more than a century of Palestinian women and feminist organizing, which teaches us that social and political liberation are inseparable. They teach us that an intersectional practice is necessary for creating safe spaces for survivors of gendered and sexual violence, and for safeguarding the integrity and revolutionary ethos of our movement. Our feminism asserts that all of us make an ecosystem defined by anti-colonial consciousness, independence, and communal connections. Our feminist practice upholds radical love as an act of liberation that grounds our collective resistance.

Our feminism celebrates and builds upon the long legacies of everyday solidarity and joint struggle between Palestinian, Black, Indigenous, Third World, working class, queer, and oppressed peoples of the world. Our communities have long organized side by side. We pledge our devotion to Palestinian liberation just as we struggle for liberation for all peoples of the world.

ID: Green monochrome header with images of protests from International Working Women's Day. Text reads How are you observing Ramadan? There is red Arabic text that overlaps with the word Ramadan.

HOW ARE YOU OBSERVING RAMADAN?

Every year, for the past 10+ years, the Zionist entity launches attacks on Palestinian society during the holy month of Ramadan. Starting from 2014 the Zionist state, so-called Israel, launched Operation Protective Edge in which 2,000 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during Ramadan. These targeted attacks are used to try to weaken the Palestinian essence and faith. In an attempt to break our spirits and our existence these massacres, land thefts, imprisonment and so much more have done nothing except to strengthen the Palestinian will to exist.

This year, as every year, we practice Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset, devoting ourselves to prayers and reading the Quran and taraweeh (special nightly prayers). Though we will celebrate and devote ourselves to Ramadan this year, as we always do, our society will especially be more thoughtful in how we have iftar or even suhoor. Perhaps not indulging in larger feast type festivities as much and always keeping du’a (invocation) for the people of Gaza and Palestine.

ID: Pink monochrome header with images of pro-Palestinian protesters at a rally. They're wearing matching t-shirts, an image of a women wearing a hijab and keffiyeh pattern. The original photo is by Jen Rocha. On the right is a poster of the same t-shirt image, with text that says: We are not the enemy. Background text in a repeating pattern reads "Palestine is a queer issue." Header text reads "Pinkwashing."

PINKWASHING

We know the power of narrative and storytelling, which is why we continue to push back against propaganda that reinforces orientalist and racist tropes – like pinkwashing. The Zionist state claims to be “pro-queer,” yet over 160 days later, over 30,000 Palestinians have been murdered – including queer Palestinians. It’s frustrating to know that there are people eating up these lies, which is why we must call out pinkwashing. Here’s how to identify pinkwashing.

ID: Brown monochrome image of protesters. This image is by Jen Rocha. On the right, one women wearing a hijab and a mask holds a sign that reads: Colonial feminists have killed my people for 7100 years. Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Western Sahara, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. On the right, there are propaganda posters of Palestinian women taking arms. One sign reads "Rest in Power Heba Zagout." Header text reads: "Campaigns."

CAMPAIGNS

March 8th marks International Working Women’s Day, a day specifically to honor and celebrate the working class women who have built the foundation for our movements towards liberation. Earlier this March, we marched in unity with working women, gender-expansive folks, and grassroots women’s organizations for Palestinian resistance and liberation. 

Yet, as our movements grow, we also see a rise in surveillance and censorship. We joined 65 organizations to tell Congress: stop scapegoating protesters to expand mass surveillance! And  bad internet bills like KOSA, which would censor and restrict access to life-saving resources are heading towards the House. Meanwhile, a bill demanding TikTok owner ByteDance to relinquish ownership or risk being banned just passed the House of Representatives. That’s why we’re hosting our next Digital Security 101 – to make sure our communities have the tools we need to keep ourselves safe.

ID: Mostly green monochrome header with images of protesters and the Palestinian flag. On the right is a cut out image of of 5 faceless women from different backgrounds: Black, Asian, Arab, Latine, Indigenous. They're collectively holding signs that read: "Palestine is a Feminist Issue." The header text reads: Rad Resources.

RAD RESOURCES

Ramadan began on March 10 and will end on April 9. During this sacred time, we’re celebrating resistance and care for each other. The last 160+ days and 76 years of occupation have been devastating for our Palestinian communities. Yet, many are taking the time to gather together. Queer Muslim organizations like Muslim Alliance for Sexual & Gender Diversity (MASGD) and HEART are centering and honoring the tradition of Ramadan as resistance. Join them. 

In this time of grief and mourning, we’re taking the words of poet Brionne Janae to heart: keep my heart with my people / and the coal glowing beneath my feet / let me run and run and run and run / and let the flame of my torch never go out.

This Ramadan, make sure families in Gaza have food, clothes,and the medical supplies they need. And as the number of cities calling for a ceasefire grows, here’s a reminder why Ceasefire Resolutions are a local issue, too. Free Palestine today and on.

In solidarity,

  • Maisa, Palestinian Feminist Collective + Brenda, Irma, Sharmin, Turner, Kari, and Leyen – the 18MR Team

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed reading our monthly newsletter, would you chip in $5 so we can keep inviting rad guest editors? 

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