Author: Judith

The Story of Nadera Riazi

The Story of Nadera Riazi

A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named.

The story begins with a young woman named Nadera Riazi

The daughter of Palestinian refugees, Nadera Riazi grew up in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, situated west of Jerusalem. Riazi first saw her future as a lawyer when, as a student at Birzeit University, she received a call from a university official requesting her to join a program for graduate students. Through this program, Riazi was offered a job working for the lawyer, Zawadi, whom she would later sue for alleged sexual harassment. Riazi was one of six lawyers recruited for the program and, at the time, was accepted at the University of Virginia’s School of Law.[i]

Nadera Riazi as a lawyer, defending Palestinian refugees. Riazi founded the Lawyer for Palestinians Campaign, a lobbying group which is dedicated to defending the rights and liberties of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

In addition to defending refugee rights, Riazi was also involved in the field of human rights. She spoke out against human rights abuses during the Oslo peace process, and helped found the Israeli group, The Israeli Bar Association of the Arab Minority,[ii] the only Arab-Muslim bar association in Israel.

Riazi and her two sisters, both graduates of the same law school, have maintained a close relationship throughout their academic and professional careers; she also took care of her father’s legal affairs. After Riazi’s graduation from law school, she began working as a labor lawyer in Ramallah. Here, in addition to being a law graduate, she was also responsible for the human rights work of the legal center in Ramallah. Riazi also gained some experience in human rights, which is why she was chosen to coordinate and carry out the human rights violations she observed in the West Bank, as well as in Abu Dis, an Israeli West Bank settlement.

In 2000, Riazi started working as a “human rights volunteer” with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “I thought that by working for a humanitarian organization, I’d be helping some poor

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