Demanding Justice, Delegate Nadya Tannous' Journey from Questions to Action
Within her close-knit, mixed Palestinian family, Nadya Tannous’ childhood was infused with Palestinian culture and traditions, and also with stories of the historical Palestinian struggle for justice. Those stories were brought sharply into the present for Nadya when the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I began to ask the same critical ‘why’ questions back to myself, my family and the larger community,” Nadya said. “Pressing for action was the next logical step.” Nadya takes that action through her work as Communications Coordinator with Friends of Sabeel North America, community organizing, writing, and completing a master’s degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at University of Oxford.
“As a Palestinian woman, I want to strive for every possibility of rehabilitation and constructive expression that I can for the multi-faceted Palestinian community,” Nadya said. This includes demanding a just peace on the ground and reparations internationally, plus supporting and inspiring positive growth in the larger diaspora. “I have chosen to work on both ends because I do not think that we will get free or access justice without fostering strength and support around every aspect of the struggle, in both our varied and collective experiences as a people,” Nadya said.
Nadya’s name in Arabic means the first drop of dew in the morning that falls from a flower. Many Arabic speakers roughly translate the word to “hope” because it comes from the idea of beginnings and rejuvenation, she explained.
“As a Palestinian woman, I want to strive for every possibility of rehabilitation and constructive expression that I can for the multi-faceted Palestinian community” – Nadya
When Nadya joined Eyewitness Palestine's Delegation #47 in 2013, it had been 12 years since her previous visit to Palestine/Israel. She traveled with Eyewitness Palestine because of good things she’d heard about the organization, plus “their cohesive list of active connections on the ground."
On her delegation when Nadya saw the inside of a Jewish settlement for the first time, she was speechless. The contrast between the dry, desert landscape outside the settlement and bright flowers, lush green grass, Olympic-sized swimming pools and pristine neighborhoods inside the settlement was shocking. “I can only imagine what it is like to look daily onto the outside walls of Ma’ale Adumim and know that it is literally sucking the life force of my neighborhood, my family, my friends, from under our feet,” Nadya wrote.