Palestinian-Arab Communities: The Counseling Forum for the Arabic Book, Women and Their Bodies

Cover of El Mara Wa Kayanua (Arabic)Publication

El Mara Wa Kayanua (2011)

Translation: Women and Their Bodies


Arabic, for Palestinian women living in Israel

Our Bodies, Ourselves Project

The Counseling Forum for the Arabic Book, part of an editorial team of Palestinian women living in Israel and other Arab women across the region, developed an Arabic adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in 2011.

“El Mara Wa Kayanua” provides Palestinian women resources to understand and protect their health rights, and offers health care providers a comprehensive view into the reality of Palestinian women’s lives in Israel. The book received tremendous support from women across the region, many of whom shared their experiences and expertise through all stages of the project.

This adaptation is a product of a journey that lasted many years; a journey that was inspired by OBOS’s story of women joining together in a common struggle for social justice.

The book integrates the experiences of hundreds of Palestinian women on the complicated issues affecting their lives — including their minority status and its impact on poverty, political/social marginalization, and access to health care — along with a critical feminist vision that aims to secure legal and social justice for all. It is an invaluable addition to existing feminist literature for Arab women and girls.

“El Mara Wa Kayanua” was published by Women and Their Bodies, which published a Hebrew adaptation, “Nashim LeGufan,” the same year. The Hebrew and Arabic adaptations are the first of their kind in research, scope and stories in the Middle East. (Learn about the Hebrew adaptation and Women and Their Bodies.)

The OBOS Global Initiative has provided extensive support, most notably with project start-up and envisioning, as well as fundraising and promotion. OBOS continues to help increase access to this resource and has posted excerpts online (see below).

Raghda Elnabilsy, a trained sex educator, lecturer and workshop facilitator, and editor of the Arabic adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” attended OBOS’s 40th anniversary symposium in 2011 and took part in a panel on challenges to autonomy and activism, which can be viewed online.

How to Obtain Copies

For information on obtaining copies, please contact Raghda Elnabilsy, Counseling Forum for the Arabic Book:

Content Available Online

The following Arabic chapters are available in PDF format.

مقدمة ورؤية مستقبلية  (“Introduction”)
صورة الجسد  (“Body Image”)
الصّحة النفسيّة  (“Emotional Wellbeing”)
الجهاز الجنسي والتناسلي للمرأة، الدورة لشهرية والوعي للخصوبة  (“Sexual Anatomy, Reproduction & the Menstrual Cycle”)
الأمراض المنقولة جنسيًا  (“Sexually Transmitted Infections”)
متلازمة نقص المناعة المُكتسبة – الإ  (“HIV & AIDS”)
العلاقة الجنسية الآمنه  (“Safer Sex”)
إبطال الحمل )الإجهاض  (“Abortion”)
سن الأمان  (“Midlife & Menopause”)
المرشد في جهاز الصحة وتسييس صحة المرأة  (“Navigating the Health Care System”)
التنظيم من أجل التغيير المجتمعي  (“Politics of Women’s Health & Organizing for Change”)

Community Action & Activism

The Counseling Forum for the Arabic Book is an informal group of Palestinian women living in Israel and other Arab women across the region working to advance the health and human rights of Arab communities within and beyond Israel. The group works on its own and joins with larger organizations to create change.

Raghda Elnabilsy, editor of the Arabic adaptation, is a certified sex educator with extensive experience working with abused Arab women in Israel and researching the social, cultural and political implications of abuse. Others contributors have expertise in developing social welfare projects, sexuality education and training, and special education.

One of the represented organizations is Muntada — The Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education and Health. Created in 2006, Muntada responds to the health information needs of Palestinian women and girls, focusing on sexuality and reproductive health. Programs emphasize informed decision making in the community and trainings for providers working on sexuality and reproductive health.

A large team of nurses, doctors, photographers, artists, linguistic editors and interviewers brought energy and passion to this adaptation project, ensuring the Arabic resource will have many secure bases for distribution, consciousness-raising, and action.


Raghda Elnabilsy, Counseling Forum for the Arabic Book: