Amneh: My Grandmother and My Feminist Inspiration


  • Rola (Hamed) Abu Zeid-O'Neill University College Cork


I dedicate this article to the memory of my grandmother, Amneh ‘Awad Taha-Hamed. Throughout the history of the Palestinian people, women have been involved with wars and upheavals, personal losses, and exile, as well as with social, educational, and economic changes. The Nakba’s (Palestinian catastrophe of 1948) memories and stories are combined with fear, loss, violence, humiliation, and insecure feelings. Palestinian mothers and grandmothers, citizens of Israel play an active role in keeping the Palestinian identity and the traditional structures alive by passing their memories to the next generations. As a result of the Nakba, and the confiscation of lands, women started to stay at home and take on domestic roles to preserve Palestinian cultural and religious values. This was my experience with my grandmother, Amneh, who had many personal and diverse experiences within the context of the social and political changes that took place in her life, especially when my grandfather was detained. During that time, she remained with her four children and gave birth to her fifth child without the presence of my grandfather who was in Israeli prison. Amneh put
it upon herself to pass her memories and reflections to her grandchildren, to keep her story, and her people’s history and narrative alive.

Author Biography

Rola (Hamed) Abu Zeid-O'Neill, University College Cork

Zeid-O'Neill is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. She is a  coordinator of diploma in Women’s Studies as well as the diploma in Development and Global Human Rights Studies at ACE-UCC. Rola is a political and feminist sociologist with interests in memory, ethnicity, gender, conflict, and immigrant communities. Rola has presented and taught several courses and lectures within these fields, including the Middle East, Modern Asia, and Islam.


How to Cite

Zeid-O’Neill, R. (Hamed) A. (2018). Amneh: My Grandmother and My Feminist Inspiration. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, 9(1). Retrieved from