• Ammar Awad/Reuters

    Ready to Mingle

    Palestinian Council OK's Online Dating

    Calls it “unavoidable.”

    Counteracting numerous religious fatwas, the Palestinian Authority’s Supreme Fatwa Council ruled on Tuesday that it is acceptable for men and women to date online, but only for the purpose of meeting potential spouses. To justify the decision, the council stated that the online dating scene is “unavoidable and impossible to prohibit completely,” according to The Jerusalem Post. Palestinian women are still prohibited from showing photos of themselves to a male suitor, providing too much detail about themselves online, and meeting men in person without a family member as chaperone.

  • Ahmad Gharabli/AFP


    Charged for ‘Peaceful’ Demonstration

    Two Palestinian women charged with participating in a nonviolent protest.

    An Israeli military court charged two women from Palestine for involvement in a West Bank demonstration. The women, Nariman Tamimi and Rana Hamadah, were charged with “entering a closed military zone” in a place where people have been demonstrating since 2009. Protesters disagree because the land has been seized by a nearby settlement, according to Fox News. Both of the women, one of which has Canadian nationality, pleaded not guilty. Hamadah and Tamimi were part of a 25-person group that demonstrated on June 28 and was stopped by soldiers and border police as they crossed a field.

  • Palestinian students attend their graduation ceremony in Birzeit University near the West Bank town of Ramallah, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (Majdi Mohammed/AP)

    Higher Ed

    Palestine’s Women Head to College

    More women are earning degrees from Palestinian universities and outperforming their male counterparts—but what comes after graduation?

    "You will be the builders of Palestine," Vera Baboun said last week in her address to Bethlehem University's graduating class of 2013. The majority of her listeners were women—three out of four of the students sitting in the colosseum-style stadium were female, and Baboun herself was in the process of completing a Ph.D. when she was elected as Bethlehem's first female mayor last year.

    Bethlehem University is hardly alone in its demographics—as part of a wider trend in the Arab world, Palestinian women are increasingly attending universities and earning diplomas in higher education. In the West Bank and Gaza, women are now graduating from universities at a higher rate than men and are outperforming their male peers at the high-school level.



    Palestinian Women Take the Wheel

    Movie to document first all-female racing team in the Middle East.

    A group of Palestinian women has found a way to assert its independence (and satisfy its need for speed) by forming the first all-female motor-racing team in the Middle East. A documentary expected to be released early next year, called Speed Sisters, details the lives of the women on the team. Driving is more than a thrill for these women—it’s a way for them to open up better opportunities for themselves, both as women and Palestinians. Filmmaker Amber Fares called this story “the coolest topic in the world.”