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Palestinian artist reveals violence against women in Gaza through paintings

Time:2020-08-13 14:54:00 Source: Xinhua China Youth International

  People visit an exhibition of Palestinian artist Kholoud al-Dasooqi in Gaza City, on Aug. 11, 2020. Kholoud al-Dasooqi, a Palestinian artist from the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, has opened her two-day exhibition to reveal the violence against women through dozens of paintings. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

  by Sanaa Kamal

  GAZA, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Kholoud al-Dasooqi, a Palestinian artist from the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, has opened her two-day exhibition to reveal the violence against women through dozens of paintings.

  Called "Schizophrenia Gaza," it is the first solo exhibition for al-Dasooqi, who graduated from the Department of Art with Al-Aqsa University.

  The 20-year-old artist told Xinhua that she was also subject to domestic violence when she was married, and she chose to express her emotions and feelings through drawing.

  "This project reflects my own experience and an unfortunate marriage. It talks about the details of my life," she said, adding that her artwork has been influenced by the Palestinian reality, especially that of women.

  Using colored-cosmetics and oil colors, the young woman created dozens of tragic paintings showing the sadness of women.

  "In our community, there is a high rate of domestic violence against women," the young artist said, adding that she wants the visitors to realize the severe conditions of Gaza's abused women.

  According to a 2019 report issued by the Palestinian Central Statistics, 29 percent of Palestinian women who are currently married or have previously been married have experienced psychological, sexual, physical, social, or economic violence.

  Out of the total number, 24 percent of them come from the West Bank, while 38 percent are based in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

  The same report found that 18 percent of women in Palestine have experienced physical violence from their husbands, and nine percent of the women were subject to sexual violence by their husbands.

  "It is normal to feel anxiety and fear about the abuse, but I choose to stay positive and convey my story through paintings to encourage others," Kholoud al-Dasooqi said.

  Basel al-Aklouk, a visitor of the exhibition, told Xinhua that "the young artist managed to convey stories and experiences of women through paintings. She draws attention to one of the most acute problems in the Gaza Strip."

  The 42-year-old father of three said that the unprecedented deterioration of the economic, social, and political conditions caused by the tight Israeli blockade and the internal Palestinian division have contributed to the increase of violence against women.

  Besides, the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the Palestinian government to prevent the spread of the virus has further pushed that violence up.

  Palestinian officials and human rights activists say the lockdown has made women more vulnerable to domestic violence and abuse. Many of them were confined to their homes with no outside support.

  The Palestinian Ministry of Social Development said it provided hundreds of counseling and psychological services to thousands of abused women in the Palestinian territories. Enditem

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