FiSahara 2020 is honored to have this year the participation of Naila Ayesh, former general director of the Women’s Affairs Center in Gaza. This tireless activist in defense of Human Rights played a leading role during the First Intifada in the 1980s, creating a peaceful movement o women. Her story, masterfully told by director Julia Bacha, will be screened at the award-winning Naila and the Uprising

The story of Naila Ayesh is the story of a brave, committed woman, whose activism took her to prison, suffering torture from the Israeli authorities. All the infringed suffering has not diminished their commitment to feminism and equality and over the course of 15 years, she and her team have trained thousands of women as human rights defenders, and advocated for women as change agents.

As a role model and a source of support to the next generation of young women who are working to end the occupation and build a rights-respecting future, Naila worked as the Field Coordinator for an European Union (EU) project funded by the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation, called “Advancing the Rights of Vulnerable Palestinian Women and Children in East Jerusalem”. Through this project she developed the capacities of small NGOs and community-based organizations and supported projects on women and youth empowerment, addressing gender-based violence and improving vulnerable women’s and children’s rights.

Naila and the Uprising follows Ayesh’s life as a nonviolent community organizer, and documents her critical role within the women’s movement during the First Intifada for the Palestinian right to self determination. She has continued to be an active voice in the Palestinian nonviolent women’s movement, and remains at the head of Palestine’s struggle for freedom.