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Shaden Abdel Qader Al Saleh Abu-Hijleh
(Saturday, February 15, 1941--Friday, October 11, 2002)

Shaden Abdel Qader Al Saleh was born on February 15, 1941, in the city of Nablus, Palestine, to parents belonging to two notable Palestinian families. Her father, Mr. Abdel Qader Al Saleh belonged to Al Haj Mohammed family, originally from the village of Talfeet in the southeast of Nablus. He was a distinguished personality in the Palestinian and Jordanian societies: An educator from 1930 to 1950, then an elected member of the Jordanian Parliament for consecutive sessions over the expanse of thirty years, during which he held several important ministerial positions like defense, agriculture, and public works. Her mother Fatimah belongs to Abu-Ghazaleh family, an honorable and highly educated family from Nablus.

Shaden studied her primary and secondary education in the public schools of the city of Nablus, and finished her high school in 1958. In 1961 she graduated from the Women Teachers’ College in the city of Ramallah. Shaden became a political and social activist within the progressive student movement while she was still in high school and continued her activities throughout her college years.

In 1959, Shaden got engaged to Dr. Jamal Abu-Hijleh. The young teacher and the young Doctor married in 1962 after an exemplary love story as many of their friends have always described it. They lived for three years in Cairo until Jamal finished his medical specialization as an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgeon.

While in Cairo, Shaden and Jamal had their first baby in 1963, a daughter they named Lana which means “Ours” in Arabic (Lana is currently working as a senior officer in the United Nations Development Program in Jerusalem).

The young couple returned to Nablus in 1965 and started their practical life. Shaden worked as a social studies teacher in the public schools of Nablus and Jamal headed the ENT Surgery Departments in the Hospitals of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarem. They began to build their family with the highest levels of love, devotion, and hope. In 1966, they had their second baby, a boy they named Saed (currently working as a lecturer at An-Najah National University in Nablus).

In 1967 Israeli military forces occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Sinai, and the Golan Heights. Shaden resigned her teaching job in protest of the Israeli Occupation Authorities trial to alter the Palestinian educational curriculum.

After 1967, Shaden devoted her life to her family and to helping her people who are suffering from the oppression and brutality of the Israeli Military Occupation. She shared with her husband the responsibility of raising her children and worked hard to provide them with the best education available. In 1969, Shaden and Jamal had their third baby, a boy they named Raed (currently working as an Engineer in Dubai). And in 1972, they had their fourth baby, a boy they named Rami (currently working as an Engineer in Chicago). Lana, Saed, Raed, and Rami, are all graduates of the University of Iowa, USA.

Shaden was a devout patriot and shared with her Palestinian brothers and sisters the aspiration for freedom and liberation from the Israeli military occupation. She worked for Palestinian independence and the preservation of Palestinian national identity on Palestine’s soil. She joined several organizations and association working for freedom and peace in Palestine and around the world. After her sons and daughter graduated from university, Shaden dedicated her life for the sake of achieving political and social justice and became a notable leader in the women’s movement in Palestine. She was an active member in several local and national organizations:

  • Administrative Committee Member, The Charitable Cultural and Social Society, Nablus, Palestine.
  • Administrative Committee Member, Society for the Safeguarding of Motherhood and Childhood, Nablus, Palestine.
  • Founding Member, Ebal Cultural Center for Palestinian Arts and Folklore, Nablus, Palestine.
  • Founding Member, Association for Combating of Smoking and Dangerous Drugs.
  • Founding Member, Palestinian Women for Democratic Change.
  • Member of the National Popular Committees (Responsible for the disbursement of food supplies to needy families affected by Israeli curfews and sieges of Palestinian towns and villages).

Shaden remained active in all of these noble activities until she was assassinated by the cowardly and treacherous bullets of the Israeli military occupation on Friday, October 11, 2002.

Last updated on Saturday, 28 June 2003 01:18 AM

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