21 January 2019

The Difficult Realities Facing Arab Palestinian Women in Israel

21 January 2019 - Written by PhMuseum

Focusing on a group of four young Arab Palestinian women in Tel Aviv, Iris Hassid Segal offers a window into their everyday student lives and the conflict of culture they are continuously facing in Israel’s second largest city.

First started 4 years ago, Kana-Tel Aviv-Nazareth is an ongoing project in which I have been following the lives of four young women. They are Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel, a portion of society which is usually either ignored or observed with hostility.

These young women are representing a bigger phenomenon that has risen in recent years, one where young Arab women, both Christians and Muslims, religious and non-religious, are leaving their home to move to Tel Aviv. Although they proudly conserve their Palestinian identity, they decided to leave the protection of family and a more conservative society for the dense and fairly modern Jewish city of Tel Aviv. Here they study and live in my neighbourhood, Ramat Aviv, where the University of Tel Aviv is located.

Even though there is a sense of freedom in this neighbourhood, to be an Arab minority in a Jewish city it is not always easy. Their identity as Arabs is in the foreground of every daily encounter, and their own national identification, as Palestinians, is something not regularly accepted by most Israelis and the right-wing population.

These women make up each another’s support system; theirs is a world in-between honouring the past and being positive towards the future - they are on a journey to figure out who they are and who they can become. What does it mean to identify somebody as belonging to a specific community, ethnicity, or culture? As a resident of Ramat Aviv, and as a photographer working on long-term projects with women, I observed this new phenomenon with curiosity and fascination.

Words and Pictures by


Iris Hassid Segal is an Israeli artist and photographer based in Tel Aviv focusing on long-term projects. Her photographs feature women in Israel in different stages of life, usually as part of a group, with full collaboration, and explores themes of femininity and cultural identity and belonging. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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