Citation
Interview with Nimeh Al-Habashna

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Nimeh Al-Habashna
Series Title:
Middle East Women's Activism
Alternate Title:
مقابلة مع نعمة الحباشنة
Creator:
Al-Habashna, Nimeh ( Interviewee )
الحباشنة ، نعمة ( contributor )
Habashna, Nimeh al- ( contributor )
Pratt, Nicola Christine ( contributor )
Place of Publication:
Amman, Jordan
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Ottoman Empire ( UW-MEWA )
Turkey -- History -- Ottoman Empire, 1288-1918 ( LCSH )
Jordanian National Liberation Movement ( UW-MEWA )
حركة التحرير الوطنية الأردنية ( UW-MEWA )
Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 1918-1970 ( LCSH )
عبد الناصر، جمال،‏ 1918-1970 ( UW-MEWA )
Nasserism ( UW-MEWA )
التيار الناصري‎ ( UW-MEWA )
at-Tayyār an-Nāṣerī ( UW-MEWA )
Persian Gulf War (1991) ( LCSH )
Blogs ( LCSH )
Iraq War (2003-2011) ( LCSH )
Qaida (Organization) ( LCSH )
Arab Spring (2010-) ( LCSH )
الربيع العربي (2010-) ( UW-MEWA )
My mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me (campaign) ( UW-MEWA )
‎أمي أردنية وجنسيتها حق لي ( UW-MEWA )
March 24 Youth ( UW-MEWA )
شباب 24 آذار ( UW-MEWA )
Arab Women Organization ( UW-MEWA )
منظمة المرأة العربية ( UW-MEWA )
CEDAW ( UW-MEWA )
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979 December 18) ( LCSH )
ﺍﺗﻔﺎﻗﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﻀﺎﺀ ﻋﻠﻰ ﲨﻴﻊ ﺃﺷﻜﺎﻝ ﺍﻟﺘﻤﻴﻴﺰ ﺿﺪ ﺍﳌﺮﺃﺓ (1979 ديسمبر 18) ( UW-MEWA )
Women's rights ( LCSH )
Human rights ( LCSH )
Arab Jordanian al Ansar Party ( UW-MEWA )
حزب الانصار العربي الأردني ( UW-MEWA )
Hizballah (Lebanon) ( LCSH )
حزب الله (لبنان) ( UW-MEWA )
Hussein, Saddam, 1937-2006 ( LCSH )
Jordan. Mukhabarat ( UW-MEWA )
Jordan. General Intelligence Directorate ( UW-MEWA )
الأردن. دائرة المخابرات العامة ( UW-MEWA )
Facebook (Electronic resource) ( LCSH )
Social media ( LCSH )
Discrimination ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- Jordan -- Amman Governorate -- Amman
Coordinates:
31.949722 x 35.932778

Notes

Abstract:
Nimeh was born in Lebanon in 1958, after her father fled there from Jordan following the repression of the Jordanian Nationalist Movement in 1957. Her mother was a nurse. Her family eventually moved to Kuwait, where she stayed until the 1990 invasion by Saddam Hussein. As a result, she moved back to Jordan with her husband and children. After 2000, Nimeh began blogging about politics and women's issues. In particular, as a Jordanian woman married to a foreigner, she was particularly concerned about the impacts on her children and herself of the government’s refusal to allow Jordanian women to pass on their nationality to their children. Around 2010, she began a campaign, "My mother is Jordanian and her nationality is my right". In 2011, with the Arab uprisings occurring, she seized the opportunity to take her online campaign to the streets and organized several demonstrations for the rights of Jordanian women to pass on their nationality. Nimeh passed away in 2015. ( en )
General Note:
Funding : Women's Activism in the Arab World (2013-2016). This project, funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, examines the significance of middle-class women's activism to the geo/politics of Arab countries, from national independence until the Arab uprisings. It was based on over 100 personal narratives of women activists of different generations from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
General Note:
Interview conducted on: 07 May 2014
General Note:
Duration: 2 hours, 34 minutes and 39 seconds
General Note:
Language of Interview: English
General Note:
Audio transcription and translation by Captivate Arabia, Amman, Jordan, info@captivatearabia.com
General Note:
آسيا -- الأردن -- عَمّان -- عَمّان
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Pratt, Nicola Christine : URI http://viaf.org/viaf/49147457

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Warwick
Rights Management:
© 2014 the Interviewer and Interviewee. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.

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Full Text
Interview with Nimeh Al-Habashna
2104
TAPE 1
Nicola Pratt: Great.
Nimeh Habashneh: Just ask and I will answer.
N.P: Okay, thank you. Can I begin by asking when and where you were born?
N.H: I was born in Lebanon, my mother was Lebanese from Lebanon, she was Durzi my mother
and my father was from Jordan, from Al-Karak South of Jordan, I think my father he was a
fighter, at that time these people they were very simple people, they didn't know anything
about war or something, and they came suddenly to the, I think Second World War it was and
the Ottomons and the British came and Sir Glubb I rememberthat time of the history of Jordan
and my father he was small, he was young, he was maybe 16 years old, so he had to carry a
gun and to come to fight in the army with Sir Glubb, yes that was, the UK was here in Jordan
and there was fighting with... its commander. My father he had the gun and he started to fight,
I think he was so young and he was so active, so he felt that it was the start of the Hashemite
Kingdom, so what he felt, he felt that, that time came Jamal Abdul Nasser, that time Jamal
Abdul Nasser came, you remember, and he was talking about renewing the Arab World, to
make it one part of the Arab World, we didn't want to stay separate like that, we must start to
be like now with a... if they start at that time I think all our problems now would be finished, but
they made a really union for the Arab World. So my father he was very happy to hear that, you
know his father he was a farmer, a simple farmer my grandfather, and he was a simple boy who
start life and start to leave from here and here, just a little... so that time there was a revolution
against the king, because they think the king he stood in the face of the union with the Arab
World, and they ahave all the ideas of Jamal Abdul Nasser, so all they follow Jamal and they
make a revolution here in Jordan, and that revolution was not a success, so my father escaped
from Jordan, because they wanted to execute him, he was part of that revolution at that time,
so he went to Lebanon and there he met my mother and he married her that time, that time
Junblat was in Lebanon too, there was also Jamal Abdul Nasser ad they wanted to make a union
for the Arab World, it means the ideas which make people meet, so he met with my mother,
my mother is Lebanese and I was born there in Lebanon, until I was 3 years old, not 3, about 2.5
years old, then my father went to Kuwait, I went there with my family to Kuwait, and I was
raised and finished my education in Kuwait, so I think I am global and I like every spot in the
world, because I have a special... in my body, there's a special thing for, in my heart, a special
love for every country of these countries in which I was born and raised and from where I am,
and, yes.
N.P: What did your father do in Kuwait?


N.H: My father? In Kuwait now he forget because he didn't have passport, he didn't have
identity, he didn't have anything, because Jordanians they wanted him, they would not give
him, so he started to make his commercial life and he started like a merchant, some Kuwaiti
people supported him from Kuwait, also in Kuwait there was people who wanted to unite the
Arab World and who wanted to raise up and wanted to make something new. At that time I
remember, at that time it was the 1960's that time, so it was very difficult, but I told you, any
place you go you find people who have the same ideas as you, and they will help you and they
will support you, and that's what happened, we went to Kuwait and people there supported
him and he started, yes. And I was there with him.
N.P: Did your mother work?
N.H: My mother? She was a nurse. Yes, my mother she was a nurse but when she went to
Kuwait she didn't work because I had a brother who was sick, he had some problems so she
must stay at home to take care of him, so she didn't work, but she was a nurse my mother. Yes.
Also I remember something but I forgot it about Kuwait. I think we stop until this man go,
because he will...
N.P: Okay.
N.H: You want to put it on?
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Now he was in Kuwait and I was raised there in Kuwait with my father and I think my
father he was a good reader, he liked books and he liked to read, and he gave me this habit, all
my brothers and sisters when he was going outside to go any place, he brought them maybe
dolls and things like that, but for me he was bringing a book and told me you read it and I will
examine you on it. I think for a child it was a pressure, but after that I felt he was doing nice
with me, he was teaching me the world and he was talking with me all the time about what we
must do, how we were living, how my grandfather was living with the Turks, with the Ottomans
when there was no food, nothing, so we must be ourselves, we must start a revolution in the
Arab World, we must be farmers and in factories work and every place to raise our world, he
was thinking so much of this idea. Raising the Arab World not by, he was telling me, not by
money, not by putting on nice clothes, not by going here and here, no if we want to raise the
Arab World we must work hardly, we must have factories in our world, we must have farms, we
must go back to farms, to start factories, to educate everyone, this is he told me this is the way
to have an elegant Arab World and to raise it, this was his idea and I think that old man he got
everything in my head for this, so I became just a copy-paste of him. Even everyone who saw
me would tell me you are a copy-paste of your father and I'd tell them I'm proud of it. But then
he went to jail and they put execution on him be he wasn't executed because he escaped by his
skin, but they put him in jail, even in Syria they put him in jail, they took out his nails, yes. And
until he died he didn't have ails because he was asking for a united Arab World, he was asking
for Justice in the Arab World. Yes.
N.P: Was he a member of a party?


N.H: Yes, yes. He was with Jamal Abdul Nasser, they called him the Nasserites, he was a
Nasserite. That people. That people they were against the UK, they were against America you
know that people, they were against, not because they hate America, not because they hate...
so many times I discussed with my father, he told me: I didn't hate America, I didn't hate
England, but they must give us a chance to live. He told me: what do they want from us? Now,
first we were led by the Ottomans and they put all their hatred on us, you know, now what do
they want from us? We want to live, we want to start our world, you know. These people they
were very young and they felt that they wanted to change their world, they wanted to change.
N.P: And when did you leave Kuwait?
N.H: We left Kuwait after the Saddam Hussein invasion; I was married at the time, and I had my
children, and we left Kuwait at that time. I think I have saw so much pressure in my life and all
that pressure, I think that was preparing me to become an activist, to fight for something, and I
think this is the start. I left Kuwait after the invasion that time, I woke up to... in Kuwait I
worked for a while with an insurance company, then after that when my children became little
big and they need my help, you know a mother can't leave her children alone, so I took care of
my children at that time, but I was still reading and writing; because I can't... maybe I think I will
die with a pen in my hand. This is the writer, he's like, try to write what is happening. That time
I woke up to a pray at the dawn, early in the morning, it was dark, and I saw, my house
overlooking for the sea, on the shore, my building, the building where I lived, my home, so I
was standing up on the window to see the sea, you know in the morning just to start, and the
sea is going back into waves, in English and I didn't know the word for it
N.P: The tide?
N.H: The tide, yes. Yes, the tide. It's going and coming the sea, so I was watching the tide
waiting for prayers, to around 6 ?? (10:47) for prayer I was waiting, just to pray, when I saw a
bulldozer coming to the shore, after the bulldozer came cars, 3 or 4 cars, after that came a
military jeep, there was some people inside it, then they came maybe 2 or 3 military jeeps
came...(phone ringing) some lady from the... it was a jeep then they took out some prisoners
from the jeep, of course I didn't know if they are Kuwaiti, if they are Iraqi, but I felt for them the
prisoners, I felt they are young boys, 20, 220,18, like that. I can't tell you, it was so much dark,
not so much dark but the moon was there and putting light and they have their spotlight these
people, but how did I know that they are young not old from the way they jumped from the
jeep and like that, you can imagine that they are young not old, because if they were old they
would need some help, but these were jumping and... so, they were standing like that and they
just shot them, very easy. For myself I was standing on the window, my window was a tall
window not like this system, it was a tall window from the floor to the ceiling, from up window
like that. I was standing on the window like that so I was watching, I think that time I make this,
like that, watching, and not moving, I can't move, what is happening I was asking myself, after
they shot them, after that day, an officer came and shot over one shot, they call it mercy bullet,
they shot them and for myself I just stuck to the window, I can't go back, I can't put the curtain,
I can't do... you know that time what happened? My father taught me that we must raise
ourselves, we are Arabs and we must raise ourselves, we must start, we must we must we


must, we, we, we... suddenly you find an Arabic people coming to an Arab country and simply
killing people, simply, very easy. So at that moment I stuck to the window and my brain started
to work, like a machine, it was anger and sadness at that time, and maybe there was nothing in
my mind, it was empty, while I was watching what was happening on this shore. They bring the
bulldozer, then just make a hole in the tide, they buried them and the water came. All that time
I was standing, watching, not crying with a loud sound, no, it was just my tears spilling down
like that, and my mind was working like a machine, and what the officers they make with their
lives, the just make their spotlight, they make it like that, on all the shore, I think in that
moment God protected me, no one else protected me, because if that light came to my face I
think they would have destroyed all that building with me and my children, we would all be
killed at that moment. They just make the light go round and round and I just stuck to the
window, I can't move, I can't do anything from inside my head it was so just burning inside, my
mind was working, till it was 8 o'clock, at 8 o'clock my daughter woke up and she said: Mama,
what are you doing there? So I started to cry, to cry with a loud voice, my loud voice, I can't
describe for you that moment what I was feeling, but in that moment I had a feeling for
everyone in this world who is a victim for some dictator like that. From that moment I think I
have put half of what the ideas my father gave for me, that you must fight for everyone, not
only for the Arab World. You must be global, because everyone is a human, and a human, they
have pain and you must support them. That I think, that moment have changed my life, and it
was God who put me in that place, God who has saved me, because you know how much risk I
was in at that moment, and for myself, some people when they pass through something like
that they become, they hate people and so on, but God has put mercy in my heart for everyone
in this world, and that moment I wanted peace for all the world, you know when we were small
they raised us in our school, I remember that time, when we have Eglish people who were our
neighbors or something like that, they came: Miss, miss, what do you want? I saw an English
man with a car so I went to his wheels and took air from his wheels, oh bravo you have done
good I And they clap for us, so see how much hatred they were raising us o, putting in our
hearts and our minds, that moment. It means these are your enemies, you must kill them, even
if you feel inside that no, this is my neighbor. Sometime I asked, "Miss, why to do that? Miss,
why should we do that? She's a very nice lady, every time she saw me she just smiles in my
face." You? You are a Jew, you are like that, and she starts to... this is inside the school what I'm
talking about, inside our school, see how they were raising us with these ideas. So I didn't
blame now the people who are coming out of schools to do what they are ding, because we
need change in the school. We need to change the education, we need to teach the small
children that you must love everyone, you must be part of the world. I think when we reach this
spot the Arab World will rise, and the Arab World will become a union. When we reach this
special spot. To love everybody, to be part of the world. Not to stay alone, maybe you have
reached the idea, I have given you the idea which I want to talk about, what really happened in
this Arab World, this is from my special experiment, which I'm telling you that when I was small
how they raised me but when I saw this execution for these young boys, I didn't know if they
are Kuwaiti, if they are Iraqi, if they are American, I don't know what they are, but I think these
are victims of a dictator, they need a trial if you have anything, that's how it was the change of
my life, and the start of my life also. After that we came out of Kuwait, my husband and my
children, we came here, because I told you our building was on the shore and it was very


difficult to live there, every time they are coming to the building and they want to go inside
houses and to do, and, so you can't live there, by any means you can't stay in that country at
that time, it was war, for myself I didn't want to come outside Kuwait by the war, because I
think in the war if you leave you will lose. This is the truth, you must stay and you must fight for
your life, but it was very, very difficult to stay in our position, for our building was very... we
came here to Jordan. When we came here to Jordan it started another part of the problems in
our life. My husband is not Jordanian, and my children also are not Jordanian, and I am a
Jordanian lady so we had so many problem on the borders to my children came inside, my
children gave up one year of their lives by studying, because they are not Jordanian, they didn't
allow them to go to school, so they have... and everything I wanted to go, every year to make
residence for them, if anyone is sick I can't treat them because we have come from war, we lost
everything in the war, and we were not rich, but also we were not poor, we were part of the
society, like the others, we were living like the others. So, for myself every year I had to go to
make residence for my children, to go here, to go here, if they want to go to school there would
be a problem, if they want to go. After my husband died we stayed here... he died I think
before, he's been gone for 7 and a half years now, I became a widow alone. At that time in
2000, before my husband died, in 2000 there was a yahoo, it was not yahoo that time it was
called Maktoob, Maktoob bloggers where people blogged, I didn't know about it, there was no
internet, if I wanted to write anything I wrote it in the paper and put it inside the cover and
write and put it inside the cover, or type it on the computer, on the word and put it in the word
file, all that I was having to do. But in 2000, my big son, his name Atef, Atef was working in
Maktoob bloggers so he told me: Mama, today we start a blogger in Maktoob and you can use
it for your own blog and you can use it and start to blog. For myself, I was going to the BBC and
to the CN and to the internet to share my thoughts and to write what, you know the BBC
they are always putting questions to ask and please share your thoughts, and I was so much,
since 2000 I was going there and haring my thoughts on BBC and CNN and, you know because I
think I have some message and I must reach to all people and tell them to live in peace, this is
the most important thing, and of course I was against all the Arab leaders at the time, I was
talking about them, anyone who made mistakes I will always keep talking, why you want to
live? Why you want to be like that rich and steal from us? Why do you want to steak from us
and steal our everything and leave us like that, leave the people like that. Why you didn't share
fortune? Why you didn't become... I think we need change. If you go back with your memory
before 2000, and still this moment, but it was a very bad times, so I was sharing with BBC and
CNN at that time my thought and writing them. When I started my blog Atef told me, Mama
there's a blog, just what you want to put you put on it. I went inside the blog and I started. In
2003 I think, you see I'm sick so I will forget so many things, if I'm not sick I will talk so much.
You are probably saying this lady she is sick and she remembers everything, what if she's not
sick?... so, in 2003, that time in Maktoob blogs I contacted some people, Shia and Sunni and
people like that so, I make my blog and I told them how about making a blog for all of us?
Because at that time it was Al-Qaeda in Iraq, you remember, it was when America went into
Iraq that time, and they killed Saddam and those problems and started Al-Qaeda and started
killing for identity, this is Shia, this is Sunni, so I told them why we didn't make a blog to put,
they all stay on it, to tell the world that we can live together, Shia can live with Sunnah and we
can live with the Christians, we can live with the Jews, we can live with everyone if they didn't


have Nazi thoughts then I can live with them. Even the Nazis if he became okay and removed
his bad ideas I can live with him, right? Because I didn't, his thoughts didn't mean for me, but
what means for me what he's doing, what he's active in the people. So we can forgive, this was
the idea of that, that blog's name was "Souk Ekaz", so we started with Souk Ekaz, we sent a
letter for Mr. Israel Shamir, maybe you know him, he's a Jewish writer, we told him we want to
use your articles to put it on our, to be a part of our blogger, he said: it would be a pleasure for
me but I can't talk Arabic, I can't speak Arabic, I can't write in Arabic, so I told him never mind, I
will try to translate your English articles, of course Russian I can't translate but English we can
translate it, and we put in our blog, and we would try to put some Russian articles, we put it in
our, so to tell the world that we can live together, no need for war. That time I started this
article???(26:05) for this reason, And it was against of course Al-Qaeda and terrorism and
ethnicism and we are against everything from this, so we start writing. After that my husband
died in 2006. In my blogger also I was writing about the rights for children, for the mother who
married not from their nationality, sometimes I was writing articles and I was putting, also on
BBC I was, would share my thoughts, I was writing to, why you didn't discuss this? You must
discuss this, you must... for everything I was writing in my blogger at that time, and of course
against... see what I was doing something, maybe I was cheating ?? (26:56) for the girls and for
the women in my blogger, if anything happened to a girl or a woman by Al-Qaeda or by
terrorism or by anything, I would put this on under light, this is what I was trying to do, of
course I was talking about children too much, children and women, these were the most people
I was fighting for at that time; because I have men with me, so I thought maybe you can fight
for yourself, and I will fight only for women and for children because these people they were
very week, they didn't have anyone to fight for them, so they need somebody to write, and at
that time when anything happened, I remember something in Pakistan, when one lady she was
Christian and they told that she talked about us some Muslims, she talked about and they were
to execute her at that time, at that time I had two articles about that lady and till now they are
online the articles, I can give you my place in "the Civilized Dialogue", I will send if you give me...
you gave me your card, I will send it by e-mail to you, and you can read what I have written in
there, and all my ideas are put in there. So, that time I was fighting for ladies, ladies and small
children, and old people, these people they need more support from us, and I know this is
discrimination against men but I'm not... no, I'm not discriminating but I really think that these
people are the weakest in this world, and I think they use our fortune, but you need to deal
with it. Some people I will give you an example, if you have fortune and you go to nightclubs
and drink and do and and blah blah blah, this thing, and you lose your fortune and after that
commit crime, and someone other, you can compare with someone other who has fortune who
go to med school, maybe to help people, maybe to make free hospitals, I think this is the
comparison between the youth, for this I tell you the youth are the fortune, if you use it and
you train it and you take care of it and you put nice ideas in their heads you will have a
treasure. But if you give tern laws and put like Al-Qaeda now they are putting these terrible
ideas in their minds and the Islam doing this and... but this is not from Islam, the truth for
myself, I have read the Quran and I have read translation for it, and I spent all my life,
sometimes I tell people Quran is my friend, you know, he's my friend, I read the bible, I read it
also, I read it more than, so many times I read the bible and anytime I go to bible. All our what
came from God, these instructions that came from God, it's telling us to be okay, to love each


other, to treat, not to kill, this killing is not from our religion, this is not from God, because if
God wanted to kill us I think He would make a thunder and we all would die, you see 3 days ago
when a whole village came under sand in Afghanistan, maybe you heard about it, but He can do
it, He is not weak, He can kill us all and it's finished, why God would tell you kill this and kill this,
why? This is the truth, for that, I think they came after the youth, youth if you treat them good
they will be a treasure. And this is what is
TAPE 2
Nimeh Habashneh: in the Arab World, in the Arab World they are not treating them, they are
teaching them, I don't know what is happening, but I hope it will go. After 2006, my husband
died, I told you that time I was writing about children with no nationality, with no identity,
about these women, how they are suffering, what they are doing, it's a terrible thing, and also I
was in the BBC, their sharing thoughts, that time I was writing my ideas, my political ideas, my
human ideas, my thoughts about peace and something like that. So I connected with so many
people from all the Arab World, and also in our blogger we were writing from all the Arab
World, we were connecting and discussing what to do, what is happening in the Arab World, I
think maktoob bloggers was the start of the Arab Spring, in that spot we started the Arab
Spring, because all the Arab, the volunteers who were working there putting their idea there,
and it was like a big building, each blogger visits the other bloggers and we would comment on
their blogs and they comment on our blogs, and also after we finis we met on messenger to
talk, what is happening in your country, what happened in my country, I know girls from
Morocco, from Libya, I know girls from Libya who joined the revolution and who worked hard in
Libya to change, of course we have become backward, we didn't change, but at least we try, we
try to change, in Syria, you know some bloggers, a blogger from Syria she was writing there and
after that they captured her, the Syrian regime and they put her in jail, till this moment she
didn't come out, and every time we were going to her blog we wrote we are with you, we are
supporting you, I think this was the start of the Arab Spring, the Arab bloggers they started it. in
2006 my husband died, I have my daughter, she became ill, I wanted to treat her because you
know I'm not a rich lady, I didn't have health insurance, here you can't make health insurance in
this country because it's very, for the foreigners they would not make it, for the Jordanians who
came I think 55 or 60 years old you can make health insurance, before that you didn't have
anything, it's very bad system for health insurance in this country, so I went there to try and
take anything, any health insurance to treat my daughter, I went to the Prime Minister house,
at first I went to the Royal Courty, they told me your daughter is not Jordanian, we can't give
you, go to the Prime Minister house. I went to the Prime Minister house, when I went there,
there was in the reception, there was a man sitting there, he was very stuffed man and very, he
didn't want to talk with anyone and he's very proud of himself that man, so I told him like that
and my daughter is sick and what he did simply he catch the paper and throw it in my face, and
told me no one told you to marry a none-Jordanian. I told him this is your last word? He told me
yes please go out, I told him okay I will go out. So I came out from the Prime Minister house,


there was a bridge, maybe you saw this blue bridge on the 4th circle, near the Prime Minister
house there is a blue bridge, you saw it. this bridge, I was crossing this bridge, it has windows
like that, so I wanted to cry but I didn't cry, it was nothing worth crying, and I think I became
strong since that execution, I felt that everything will go and pass so no need to cry after that. I
woke that time, I looked from the window there and said: God I want to talk with you, I hope in
God so much, I have faith in God so much, I trust God, I know God can do anything he want, I
know that God didn't put us fighters for Him, no, God He didn't want fighters, God wants good
people to spread love and peace between, forthat God put us on this earth, ad to make this
earth a place for everyone to live, not to spoilt it also by cutting trees and spoiling water and,
no, God just put us to take care of this land. So, I told him, God... no, first I said: God, you see
what these people are doing to me. I asked him like that, I know that you are seeing and you
know what is happening, I want to cry but I didn't cry, so I wiped my eyes and I told Him: but I
told You God, I'm not weak, but I know that You are with me, and I promise you that I will bring
my right and every Jordanian woman married to a none-Jordanian rights, and I just talked. I
think it's, that moment is a very great moment when you talk to your God and you promise
God, I promised Him. Just I went back home, I opened Google, I Google Jordanian mother
married to none-Jordanian, to see from where I can start, when I googled it I found there was 2
articles, not more, 3 articles, 3 articles, one article was when queen Rania she promised to give
Jordanian children nationality for, I think it's in 2001 or 2002, that time, it was a conference.
The second article it was for one of the ministers, Interior Minister, he was talking that we can't
give this nationality for the children because of the Palestinian case and because we did it??
(7:20). (side chatter)... another article, that was another article, and third article it was for a
media man, his name Muhammad Shamma. Muhammad Shamma he has put the family book
picture for the mother who can't add her children, he has put it, he has a blog in his blogger,
and he write: till when will these people be treated like that? And he had an article about it, so I
told myself I found somebody to cooperate with to start, I sent him my e-mail, I told him please
I want to make a blogger and I want to make a campaign and something for this problem, I
want to work on it, and please if you want to support me you can answer me for this e-mail. So
really he sent me an e-mail and he called me, and he told me he was working in Radio Al-Balad,
he told me I will make a program for you, so he told me: but Nimah, I want women to talk, it's
very difficult, I can't find women to talk about this issue, I want women to start our program, ad
let us start. At that time I went also to my facebook, I made my page on facebook, I connected
it with Twitter, so any article I put on my page it will go on Twitter, like a beginning, of course I
started that page. Muhammad he wanted to make that program, so Muhammad he told:
Nimah I need women to start, I said okay I will find them. I called women, I called about 15
women to come, I told them this is a radio program, this is not television, you can tell my name
Um Muhammad, Um Ahmad, you can tell any voice name, and you can tell what you want to
tell, but we want the truth, we can bring anyone from the street and tell him to talk about
himself and he will talk. We want the truth, we want you women yourselves to fight for your
cause. So what happened?
N.P: They told me these are for you.


N.H: You must eat at least one, right? So... what happened that time? Muhammad told me at 5
o'clock I would come, I told him okay I'd come. They all told me we'll come, we'll come, at 5
o'clock nobody was there. Ladies they think that this is a red line, that women were always
talking about red lines, you know in the Arab World, so many red lines, and some told me I'm
frightened, my husband because he's not Jordanian something might happened to him from
the police, others told me my family didn't agree to come up and talk about this problem and
so much stories. That time I told Muhammad okay, there was my neighbor, she was Jordanian
married to an Egyptian, I went to her, I told her come I want you, I told her come, come drink a
cup of coffee, okay so I brought her to my house and my daughters and my children and for me,
and I told him start your program, start to record. And that was the first, BBC before they make
for us many programs, not only for Jordanian women, for Jordan and for Lebanon, but you
know what, this was the first program in Jordan, that one which Muhammad Shamma made, it
was the first, and I started my page on facebook. What happened after that was like a disaster
for me when Yahoo bought Maktoob, and when yahoo bought maktoob they decided that they
will remove all the bloggers from there. We sent a letter for them, now we have been working
for years and for 12 years since 2000/1999, we are working on these bloggers, we didn't have
the rights, these were all my thoughts, I have pictures for my blogger I will send for you to see
my blogger. They didn't have the right just by spread like that to say I didn't want bloggers in
yahoo, this is our world, this is the most bad things in the internet, that you are working and
putting all your ideas and the owner of the place came and took everything from it. and saw
yahoo removed all out bloggers. Now I have only my facebook page and my twitter page. And
of course the "the Civilized Discussion" it's a website where I write and put my ideas, it's some
place for the Arab writers, they can write there, I write there, and that was the most important
thing. After I worked for about 3 years online or through interviews, no one came to since 2006,
early 2006 I started, so in 2011 about 5 years have passed, or 4 and a half years, so I started, I
wanted to go to, we can't stay online and make my page, I spread the idea, I have so many
volunteers to help me, I also reach Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, I was at that time I was
working to reach all these people, Equality Now, Open Society, all of these people I reached, I
reached them, I sent them letters to talk about our problem, to tell also so many articles were
articles, I was writing my own articles to put and some people they were spread from Morocco
from Iraq from here, they were sending for me questions and articles, so that time it was
working like a turtle, it was walking alone, you know like old turtle working alone, but everyone
was throwing flowers for her and grass, she was very happy that turtle. It felt very nice that
time, of course people were against us and from Jordan and they were pushing hard by bas
thoughts, bad talking, but for me I just put cotton in my ears and I walked, I didn't want to hear.
If you want to start you must put what I told you, put cotton in your ears and go. And don't
care. Only care for people who send you roses, but people who send you bad thoughts don't
listen to them. Because I have my own project, I have my own goal, I must reach my goal,
nothing will stop me, this is the most idea, and if you know that God is there and you have faith
in God then you can do anything you want to do. Of course that time it was very, also it was
dangerous that start, it wasn't easy for me, because I know that the government they didn't
want anyone to talk about this issue, they didn't want to open it, they didn't want, and for
myself I just trusted God and I know what the, for that from the first when I started I connected
with Amnesty and Human Rights Watch and these people, at least for myself to feel that I have


some people to support me or to protect me that time, and at least they know about me, but
when I was working alone no one knew about you, it would be very difficult and the
government they can just catch you and put you where they want. In 2011... I became very dry,
you know?
N.P: If you want we can stop for a minute.
N.H: Yes, yes.
N.P: Okay?
N.H: Where did we stop?
N.P: That you were contacting... made contact with international Human Rights organizations.
N.H: Yes, to protect myself that time, I think it was a good idea for me and good thinking, so in
2011 in Jordan started the Arab Spring and everyone was coming to the streets, for myself I was
thinking, why should I stay online all this time? It's time to go to the street. So I was going
down, you know when you're working for political and working for human rights also, but I
think my political working is connected with the human rights, it means for myself I will be very
grateful for any leader who came and respect human rights, I'm not looking because this is left
or because this is from right or this has loyalty for Russia or this is for Marx or Lenin or anyone,
no, no. I respect the political man or political lady who came and respect the human rights, for
Margret Thatcher I know she didn't give milk for children in England, but I think I'm looking for
her not like a dictator or like a leader, I'm looking for her like a woman, a woman who has
achieved something, because really she's a woman, she was an old lady, and she was strong
and she became a PM of a great country in the world, and this is not something easy, for that I
look up for her, not, I know she did so many mistakes, and also men when they become leaders
they make so many mistakes, why we should say oh this is a woman she is... see, Martin Luther
King, I respect him, so much I respect him, because he was a political man but he was also a
human rights man. This is the way I'm working for political, from this point, not from any other
point, I'm looking for the political person who stands in front of me, like this man is great, okay,
why is he great? Because he's working for human rights. So, that time I was going down with
them for Arab Spring, I go to demonstration down on the street, I wanted to go to make for my
campaign, I named my campaign "my mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me".
Why I should I start from children? Some people told me why you didn't start from the women
themselves, it means I am a Jordanian woman and I have the right ot give my nationality to my
children. After that program I told you about, I felt that all the women here they are frightened
to talk, and they are frightened to go out, so I think why shouldn't I start and I told you about
the youth fortune, why I didn't start with these boys and girls, these youth who are ?? (19:56),
who have strength, I think these people they will push their mothers outside, because if I am
inside my house, I didn't want to go out, my child who is suffering from this problem told me
mama please go, go and work for me, of course I will go out. For that, even the name I was
thinking it before I chose the name, because you need sometimes to think of everything, every
step you want to talk. So I started that page and when I stated my page all the people on the
page were from the youth, so I put an announcement that we were going to demonstrate, it


was the 14th of March, right? Yes, the 14th of March, we're going down and there was a big
demonstration in Jordan on the 14th of March, of course before that I connected with all the
people, I was going down to Al-Husseini to march with them and go for demonstrations with
them and because you can't go alone like that and put yourself in front of these people that I
want, no you need support, in Jordan and outside Jordan, so I connected with these people and
I started working with them, very nice people they supported me, they told me okay Nimeh you
come with us, you stand with us, we will help you, and really I went on that day on the 14th of
March I went with me, I put announcement on my facebook page, please we want to
demonstrate, anyone who, I put that occasion, anyone who wanted to come and support us,
nobody came, only me and my two daughters. So that people they were demonstrating for
political issues, I put my back for them, and I put my banner like that in front of the ministry of
interior, to see that this is what I want, I want nationality. Of course at that time people started
to talk and so many articles came in the Jordanian online media, also in the media in general, I
think I have made, I started the fire at that time, just started the fire, then people came from
every place to our page, why you didn't tell us? We want to go, they started to apologize, I told
them I told you but you didn't want to go out, I know you are frightened but there's nothing to
be frightened about, so they started to tell me we were frightened from the police, from the
detectives, of the intelligence, from from from, so many ideas people they have in their minds,
but they need somebody just to tell them out to shout and say this is my right, that was I think
for me it was a very difficult point, very difficult, just to tell somebody to go face him, come and
fight for your right, now I'm fighting for my right and for my children's right, but you must go
out to fight for your right, it's very difficult to push somebody out from his house to go on the
streets and to have the banner because if he didn't believe in it or if he's frightened, especially
in the Arab World are treated the police treatment and they are frightened from everything, so
it's very difficult but thank God I have made these women, what I told you, I started with the
youth and really they write for me on my facebook page, madam Nimeh we want to go for a
demonstration, after that stand up we make it, after 15 days only two weeks I had another
stand up near the Prime Minister house with 40 ladies, 40 ladies, see how much? See how the
difference came from me and my two daughters for 40, about 359 or 35 people came, I think it
was very, it's a great achievement, that time there was about 100, for us we were 35 or 40, the
others were all press and media and police of course, but if you come to the street you find 100
people standing with their banners to ask for their rights, I think it was very, very great work
and great thing that happened that time. And then we started, now we have made 50 stand
ups. Yes, we have made and we're still fighting of course this. So many things happened, so
many things happened, they hacked our facebook page, of course they hacked it for two times
they hacked, for my profile of course they were trying to hack it for so many time, they tried to
put articles against me, they accused me that I'm working with the Zionists, to bring the
Palestinian people who are in Palestine to Jordan, and leave the land for them they have gone
to my blog and they were searching for me and say see this woman she's working with Zionists,
she gets money from them, something like that. They start to accuse me for everything they
think is bad in the world, they put it on my head, but for myself I didn't care for them, maybe
I'm strong enough, maybe I trust in God so much, maybe sometimes I tell you the truth, I'm
telling that God who have made me, who have given me strength from the beginning, who have
made me pass so many parts of life, I forgot to tell you about my mother, I was 10 years old


when my mother had cancer and started to spread on her body and she was so small, she
married my father she was 17 years old, she finished her study, at that time they didn't study to
work as a nurse or something like that, they just go to doctor and they like training, and after
that they start their work, so that lady she was a great lady, she was very honest and very lovely
lady, she was loving every person in this life, but I think she didn't have luck because she died
very early, she died when she was only 26 years, she was very small when she died, she had
cancer, at that time I was the big one in the family, imagine that, I was 9 and a half year or 10
years at that time, so I must take care of my brothers and sister, and while my mother in the
hospital of course there was ?? (27:21)lady, she raised us, she was the housekeeper, she was
not a housekeeper, we would call her auntie because she's a Kurdi, and Iraqi Kurdi, she came to
the house to help my mother, she was helping before my mother died and she was also friends
with my mother, and she was helping and she was taking care of us, but of course that lady she
would go back to her house and I would stay, this one is sick, this one has fever, imagine that 10
years old girl who's taking care of these children until time... I think that also gave me some
strength, so it gave me so much strength so that I can care and handle my life, ?? (28:03). This is
from what I get my strength. Now if you want to ask me about the campaign, what we have
made in the campaign, of course now we send letters for the king, we send our two letters, one
of the times the king called center, he came to talk with us, he told us the king is with you, the
king is supporting you, and we will solve your problem, I was very happy that time, very happy,
but after that nothing happened, just a promise, after that they told us go to the PM house, we
went to the PM house, also we give them ??? (28:39) about what we were given, every time
they were talking about civil rights we can't give nationality, we give civil rights, okay where is
it? Just give it, give anything. For myself, I told them, for myself I will still fight, I will not stop
fighting, I will not refuse what you give for me, but I will not agree for it, for that they catch me
they told me, you need nationality? Yes, what I need is nationality for these children, but if you
give me civil rights now okay, I will never refuse it, but also I will not agree for it, because I want
to continue my work. There was for sorry, and for sorry and for sorry I'm telling you I'm fighting
for women's rights, for human rights, for girls, small girls, for the most sorry thing and I'm very
ashamed of it, it's shameful and I think it's very shameful to see a man pushing against you
okay, it's ordinary, but to see a woman pushing against you, this is I think is very shameful. Now
if woman stands against the other women's right, we have a women ministry they put for us, of
course they didn't put it for us, they put it just to decorate the Prime Minister at that time, the
minister team, they want to decorate it, to see and tell people we have human rights here in
Jordan ad that I did, so they put a woman, she was a minister of women and they put a woman
on the head of it, ad that lady she was against us, imagine that! We met with her and she was
talking she said only civil rights, because of Palestine and you want to empty Palestine and then
the alternative homeland if you know this word, you want to make it and I told her no. at that
time I was very happy one lady was with me from the campaign, after that the
TAPE 3


Nimeh Habashneh: the ones who came out and they were working with me and helping me,
you know now I reached a point if I didn't want to go now or for two weeks now you see I'm
sick, I didn't go outside, see now how much this telephone rang?This is because thy started the
campaign, where are you? Why you are not working? No, you are our support you must come
outside. Now they are pushing me to come out to the street, see how much, it's very, you feel
like you are very happy for this, you can push these women, one lady she told her... but you are
Palestinian. She told the minister of women, she told her but you are Palestinian, and you have
the Jordanian nationality. Okay, give your Jordanian nationality and I will take it for my child.
See? I told her okay, all the Palestinian leaders they are I, and Hamas and all of them, they have
Jordanian nationality, and this is something true, they have Jordanian nationality, and they are
Palestinian, they why are you talking about our children? I asked her, she said they are here for
businessmen, I said but these people they are not businessmen, they are leaders. They should
be everyone would look for them, they should say I would not take any nationality except my
Palestinian nationality. If you are talking about Palestinians, about interior place and they are
talking about this, why you put me because I'm a woman you want to make all my rights, oaky,
why are Jordanian men there are so many Palestinians here who have the Jordanian nationality,
right? In the campaigns they come, in the camps, Al-Baqaa and these camps, these people
about 3 million Palestinians who have taken the Jordanian nationality. These 3 million now they
are Palestinians, right? They have the right to go to Palestine, okay, why this man he can marry
up to 4 women and give them the Jordanian nationality, and you didn't talk about it? Why you
give them the right? And for me you didn't want to give me, I'm asking for nationality for my
children, the equality says that they give nationality for my husband and my children, this is
equality, I'm not asking for equality, I know, I'm asking for equity, only, equity giving my
children my nationality, I'm not asking for something more. Why the Jordanian man he can
marry 4 Palestinians and if he divorced one he can marry the others, and he divorced... marry
20 women and give them all the nationality. It's only discrimination against women, it's not for
Palestinians, not for the government, these people are lying, they are liars. These people they
didn't in their tradition, they didn't respect who are married to a foreigner, they feel that she
made something offensive, they prefer the woman to stay without marriage and to die like
that, but not marry a foreigner, and all this came from the wealth and sharing wealth after the
father dies and something like that, now she brings foreigner for us, she brings Egyptian, and
this is my father land, how I will give my land for an Egyptian? How will I give my land for a
Moroccan or for a British or for, he's a foreigner, you know the old thinking of the farmers and
for the tribes far away, maybe in England the people they had some ideas like that before,
about hundreds of years. In our country it is still till now, these ideas still arrive till this moment.
So this is the most thing for them, so that lady she was against us, this is the minister of
women, she was against us, she was not with us, she said we'll try to give you civilian rights,
sorry because I'm sick sometimes I forget, I can't concentrate so much so I'm sorry. I will give
you civil rights, okay, where is it? Give it. and after 3 months she just go, she take photos, and
she go and she didn't do anything. And so many organizations here in Jordan the women are,
maybe Hala told you, the women are against us. The head of the organization is against this
issue, and she's working, what they say, the organization is with us but the hea of it isn't with
us. So what happened at that time? All the organizations were against us. This is the most thing,
this is what stopped in our faces in this country. After that we reached, of course we are like a


campaign, we have worked with media, we have respected everyone, any organization who
wanted to work with us I was very happy, I was telling them, you know when I started the
campaign I was taking the telephone and ringing on every organization separately and told
them we are campaigning we need your help, we need your support, please come and support
us. Some people they accepted us, others they didn't accept us; because they are against the
idea. But mostly when we go out to demonstrate, we demonstrate around, you know, I'm
telling you what happened, exactly what happened. Now the government is against the issue.
These organizations they are taking money from the government, Now some organization the
head of the organization and who are working inside it they are against our issue, so they didn't
want to cooperate from the beginning. Some organizations, the lady who is on the head and all
the staff are with us, and they want to support us, but they can't support because the
government is against us. They didn't take the green light from the government, the
government didn't give them the green light. So, how they can help us? They just help us from
under the table, you know, now be media, by something like that, but not under the light,
because under the light they are frightened of the government, they can't do anything because
they are supported by the government and the government didn't give them the green light.
This is what really happened in Jordan. Some organizations which are not for the government
like the AWO, you know them, Laila, Laila she didn't care about anyone, and she's a great lady
and she wasn't frightened also. So she supported us under light, and she came since the day I
knew her, she came to support us in our demonstration, she helped me to go to Geneva in
CIDAW committee to lobbying there and to just pushing something from there, and the CIDAW
they put it for the recommendation for the government, citizenship for children and for
husbands also, it was very great, and that time also there was the UPR (8:15), also Laila
supported me, and the EPA they supported us, and we go to Geneva also where there was
discussion the UPR for Jordan and we have made some management, all the governments
there they were with us, but of course the Jordanian government was against us, but what
made me also sad that you came and USA the most countries in the world which Jordan is
listening for them and obeying their orders, they didn't ask the government for this. But I can
give them because you know USA or UK talking about this automatically all the people will say
because of Zionists and because of Palestine. But I think sometimes you mustn't frighten from
anyone and we must put our rights first and we must talk. Now if USA or UK put these
recommendations for Jordan I think Jordan will reply for them, and really we need support
from these countries. Now, wi told you we made demonstrations, after that we have tried to
cooperate with the parliament, we have also sent memoranda for the parliament, for the legal
society there in the parliament, we made them, we tried to cooperate with them, in last
elections we have cooperated with so many parliament people, we go there to reach with them
ad to talk with them, I come for many people I reach for Mr. Mustafa Hamarneh, Mustafa
Hamarneh he's responsible for Sharakeh organization in Madaba, and thie man he's working
with women married to none-Jordanians since years, since so many years he's working, and
when he heard about my campaign and about my work he blessed me and he was very happy,
and he sent for me to talk with the women there, to support them and to tell them to, he told
me I want them to be brave and to come out, same what we now, and the ladies came and
supported the campaign, and Mr. Hamarneh he became in parliament, when he became I gave
him the memorandum, he called me and what we want to do, I told him this, he told me for


this time I can't ask for citizenship, because it's very difficult, and everything is against us, let s
start with civil rights, I told him okay, I told him okay but at least give citizenship for children for
women who have special needs, who are widowed, divorced or orphaned, these people they
need a cure and we must give them citizenship, he promised me that he would work for it but
everyone when they didn't agree, they only agreed for citizenship, they changed the world from
citizenship to even averages, maybe special averages let's say, only they give, we call it in Arabic
"mazaya khadamatiyyah" and in English special advantages or averages like that. They will give
averages.
Nicola Pratt: Averages?
N.H: Averages, yes.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Special averages, yes. Special averages, this is what they now call it, not civil rights,
because the civil rights are like citizenship and we didn't want to give, and now they are talking
about coming out these averages, every day, every week we are waiting, and we are still
demonstrating to have our right. And this is the story for me and now you want to ask me
anything you can ask me.
N.P: Can I ask, did you ever join, were you ever part of a political organization or...
N.H: Yes, yes. One time when I just came from Kuwait I was part of some party, it was named
Ansar and I think that time I was searching for I told you peace and something and when I
talked to the manager for that party he told me we are working for women rights and for peace
and something like that, I worked with them about maybe 2 years I worked forthem, but after
that I find that parties here in Jordan they are not working to separate their world or to, no not
like England, not like USA, no. Parties here like a shock in Jordan, just the one who is
responsible he goes here and here to collect money, and thank God it's enough. For myself I
talked with him I told him that time I heard what happened between me and him, and he told
me Nimeh we want you to go to Iraq, go visit Saddam Hussein, and he would give everyone
who came he will give them money, of course you will come back with money, and you can...
that time I have, I didn't pay my rent that time and the government was asking me to pay rent
for the owner of the flat or leave the flat, and he told me now you didn't have your rent for
house, ad you need money for your children, so go to see Saddam Hussein, at that time Saddam
Hussein in the days before America went there.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: It was in 1999 or 1998 maybe. So I went to the party it was 1996, that time it was 1998,
the last of 1998, maybe it was in November or in December because it was winter at that time,
so he told me you go to Saddam Hussein, just to go there because we want to support him, and
we'll give you money and you'll go there in Haroun Al-Rasheed street in Baghdad, and you'll go
into a hotel and that time so many people from Jordan did go, I told him I would never go. I
can't put my hand with a murderer. He told me you are fool lady, you can think, I didn't know


who you are thinking like that, I told him no this is the truth, I will not go to put my hand with a
killer just to bring money to pay my rent and for my children, even if they put me in jail because
I'm not paying the rent it would be okay for me but not go to put my hand in the... and that
time I fought with him too much and he was talking with me badly, he said you're foolish and
things like that, I told him I'm going outside form this part and I promise you I'll never go for any
party in my life until I have my own party, if I want to make I will make my own party and I will
make my own people, but not working with anyone of you, because I will never go there, I will
never put my hand with a murderer and it's finished. And that was time, that time I left, and the
people who went there everyone was returned with a Rolex, ah, Rolex watch and with 50
thousand dollars. My neighbor here on the next street he went there, imagine 50 thousand
dollars that in 1999, how much they worth that time? My neighbor here he came that time he
bought a Mercedes, he bought a flat, he became rich, and for myself I'm happy, I didn't want to
be rich on other people's bodies and blood, no. it's not my cause and not my target, my target
is to reach God with so many souls I have saved, not so many souls that I have put my feet on
them, yes. I think sometimes you will think that I'm a fool lady but I'm proud of myself. Yes.
N.P: You have a lot of honesty.
N.H: Thank God, thank God, because I tell you something, I have seen that execution by myself,
now if anyone told me Saddam was a dictator I will say no just give me something, but I saw
myself what they've done for Kuwait, I saw myself when they were killing youth for nothing,
why are you killing them? So, why should I put my hand with a dictator. Even if he was my
father, I told you my father taught me so many ideas, when I grew up I said that father he told
me was teaching me wrong ideas, for the time for my father it was right for him but not right
for me, because that was a time and this is a time, we will ot be stuck with our father's ideas in
our heads till we die, no, if you didn't change yourself it means you'll stay where you are now
you see that what he make most of the plants or animals they change, why God make them
change? Even the plant in winter it will go all leaves down and it will come back in Spring
because God He wants us to change like that, to renew ourselves, not to stay in the same
ideas, same thoughts. Okay, for my farther that time there were Ottomans, they got so many
people who were underground, they wanted to go upside, they wanted to raise up, they
wanted to do something, that was the right idea, but after that what to do? Where to go? Now
for myself I mean for my children I didn't accept, I didn't like Al-Qaeda, I didn't like all this
terrorism, even from where... we need to live in peace, we need something good for our
children, now this planet became so much crowded and if we didn't live in peace and if we
didn't renew ourselves and renew our life we will destroy everything. That was the only part I
was gone inside it and then I left it, simply I left it, I didn't want, 4 or 5 years I was with them
and then I left it simply, I didn't want to forthat support... if you want, they let me go inside
because he was, they didn't have woman that time and he told me come please support us, you
are a woman and you can talk about women rights and, okay, but I will not go to put my hand
with a dictator just to give money and come back. This is not my role. What do you want to ask?
Ask what you want.
N.P: Were you ever part of any other organization? Civil society organization


N.H: No... yes, now I'm with AW Awk?? (20:48) now, yes, yes I'm not withthem. We try to make
our, I forgot to tell you about this, we tried to make our organization for our campaign, for two
times, we tried to register it for two times and the government didn't accept us, they didn't
want us to become an organization, for two times me and women with me we have gone to the
Social Affairs Ministry to try to be an organization, to register it, but they didn't want us, they
refused, both times they refused. The last time they even refused to take the application from
us, the government. They hacked our page, they hacked my page, when I started and, I told you
about Piata?? (21:44) when Piata sent me from Poland a letter with a signature on it for the
professors and doctors they are in her university and in EU from EU parliament, some people
from EU parliament she sent me, signature for supporting us, I just put it on my page, I put it on
the page, on the facebook page, what happened after that next day we woke up, it was my
birthday, 30/11, when I woke up I found my page hacked and they put the king's picture on it
and they saved it under "how many likes for the king's eyes?" see? See how these people are
thinking? So what I've done simply I went to the royal court there, it was a demonstration, I told
them why you hack my page? He told me I first told the police, the police told me bring the
admins and something like that, see what they've done. They know the admins they didn't have
identity, they are boys and girls from women married to none-Jordanians and they didn't have
anything, so these people they can't go to police, it's dangerous for them, so they later hacked
the paper, hacked the page, when I go to police they told me I told them okay, I told the Prime
Minister House, I told them why you just hacked my page? He told me it's not us, it's the
Muslim Brotherhood who hacked it. so why they will hack my page the Muslim Brotherhood?
They told me maybe because you're writing against them and against... I said no, no, because
when I go to a demonstration of that type it was for them and they accept me between them, I
told the police they accept me, They said okay come and demonstrate with us, you know so
why should they? Then I go to the PM house, I find the name ODAI, Odai, I was searching, I
found this same signature in the intelligence page, he's the admin for it. so, I go to the PM
house I told them this man he's from the intelligence, his name is Odai, they said no, this is not,
I said give me your laptop to show you. I showed him, no this is not a government organization,
I told him no one can go to on facebook and make intelligence and make government
organization if he wasn't allowed to do it and you know this, it's possible for anyone to make a
page for the intelligence, especially if it's Jordanian, Jordan Intelligence, or UK intelligence or
Israel or USA because these are very strong intelligence organizations and you know this, so he
told me no, no, I told him no, this one is from intelligence and they hacked my page and I want
my page back. After about one week someone came inside the page and what he said: where is
the owner of this page or I will delete it. so they called me, Mrs. Nimeh this is the one who
hacked the page, he has written like that, I sent him a letter, I said why do you want to delete
my page? He said this is your page? I told him yes, he told me give me your phone I will call you.
I put for him my phone he called me. He told me you went to the PM house and was talking
about me and, how did this man know? How does he know? If he's not from the Intelligence,
how did he know? This is the truth, how did he know? So he told me your page is against the
government ad you are what we call it, the word, you know I forgot everything today because
I'm sick, I'm so sorry, it means to make bad... what? Bad reputation, you are making bad
reputation for the government, and you are bringing signature from Europe, from here, from
here, and this page is making bad reputation for Jordan and something like that. I told him, if


you didn't want a bad reputation just give us our rights and I will say that you are angels who
came from the sky. Just give me my right, so lastly he told me I will give you back your page and
I'm sorry for hacking it, something like that, I told him okay but I will keep you admin for it, I
told him, okay I will take my page back but I will put you as an admin for it, to know that you
will not hack it again, not give it for me today and tomorrow you hack it again. He said you are a
strong woman I told him thank you very much, and I made him admin for 3 months after that,
after that he by himself he has gone from the page, but I put him admin to know, to tell that
he... you know, I need that time not to hack it again because I know what they do, they maybe
give it to me and they say we'll bring it back for you, no, ?? (27:23), no. after that they tried to
hack it another time and thank God some people told me how to make a secret admin and
something like that and I did a secret admin, and it came and they can't hack it for the first
time, and we can save the page. And now we are waiting for them to see what would they do.
Now if you want to ask me, if your campaign finished what we will do?
N.P: Okay, but before that can I just ask, were you shocked about, when you came to Jordan
and you found your children did not attend school or get health care, were you shocked?
N.H: Yes, yes. It was very... see I told you, not shocked only for Jordan... I can't eat anything,
because it came here, it is very tasty, thank you very much, you take one, please, you want my
pen?.
N.P: No, you stay, I can write.
N.H: Thank you very much... thank you, thank you. See, not only from Jordan I was shocked. Of
course when I came and found my children they didn't have any right it was a shock for me, but
really I was shocked, my father has put so many ideas in my mind, and we're Arabs and we
must cooperate and, and, and...you must be proud of yourself because you are, I think
sometimes it's kind of lie the Nazis where they say you are a Nazi, you are a German from
Germans, you are pure and you are best of all the world, all the people, I think sometimes it's
like that, you know? They became very... I don't have the word, extremists, extremism, yes, so
much that you are Arab, you are something pure, you are something very, something like that,
and you go out and you see, what happened? I lived all my life in Kuwait, I studied in Kuwait, I
finished my education, I married in Kuwait, I raised my children in Kuwait, and when I came
outside Kuwait and Saddam came I go outside from Kuwait because I love Kuwait, but for
Kuwaiti people they didn't want me to go back to Kuwait, anyone who came out of Kuwait
during that invasion they didn't come back to Kuwait. Even if you are Arab, then where am I? I
have written an article about this, I will give you the link and you can see what I have done. You
feel like you are a stranger, a stranger in Jordan, a stranger in Kuwait, any Arab country you feel
like you are a stranger. Okay, I will go to England, okay I will be a stranger because I am not
English and I didn't have ?? (31:00), and maybe I will go for visit only
TAPE 4


Nimeh Habashneh: Like to visit them, something like that, but in my, in the country I was raised
in, I was educated in, how I can live in this kind of country? And you didn't even respect me,
even you think that I'm... I think this is what, this is not my problem, this is all the Arab problem.
Really we have an identity crisis, even if we have identity and we have Arab and, but inside all
the Arab people they have identity crisis. Of course I'm shocked by what happened, all the Arab
countries they give women citizenship except Lebanon and us, they didn't give, and it's because
of corruption, corruption and discrimination, not for anything else, these people are liars, you
know now if she's married for Egyptian she needs for her children for working she want... I can't
concentrate because you know
Nicola Pratt: shall we take a pause?
N.H: Or court permit, she wants court permit, of course. Now, she must pay for somebody
money to make this for her children. This is not, these people they didn't want to lose what
they are taken from these ladies, they didn't want to lose, they want to just take money, now
this only work... now if one of her children is sick and she wants to make for him insurance and
something like that, she will also find a man to pay for him money and he will bring it for her
from under the table. If he has money and he wants to take citizenship, he will pay for
somebody money ad will take citizenship. I think, and saw a little bit, and I know after you put it
in public or the Jordanian people will hate me, in this country they didn't respect humans, they
respect money. How much you have money, they respect you. They didn't respect you like a
human, and this is the truth, maybe from far they say okay this lady she's talking right and, but
no they will not, they will never respect anyone, they respect only how much money you have.
How much money you will give for them, and this is a disaster. You want to talk to me about
these... I have some ideas but it's gone... about these children for mothers, we talk about
corruption, we talk about, yes, yes. Now eve the organizations who are responsible, I'm not
talking about all the organizations, some of them they didn't want this problem to be solved,
why? Because they are taking budget and funds to work for this issue, and they are not working
probably, they are just doing conference her and conference here inside the hotel, so now let
us make conference or workshop for one hundred years, who will know about it? what we have
done? How do you save the cause? This is, for you now Nimeh came, Nicola, the other one, the
other one, we came there for a workshop, okay, after two weeks they say please come there is
another workshop, please come there's a conference, same circle, they didn't go to the street,
they didn't push ideas outside, but these people they are happy because they are taking money
for our cause and some of them even not small people, some of the people who work from
years and working, but they are working not because they want to help the society, no, they are
working because they want to be rich and rich and rich. They are just taking money from UK
from USA, USAID, from here and there, but they just spend it for themselves and then we have
made a workshop, it's finished, and this is the most dangerous thing, that these organizations
are cooperating with the government to stay against us for all the time. See how it is, it
happens in this country, they didn't want to go work, they didn't want to solve anything, they
just want to stay taking money and live on it. This is maybe, somebody told you about this,
what is happening? You know about this idea?
N.P: I've heard some people say these things, yeah.


N.H: And I think in Egypt the same, in all the Arab countries the same, yes. You know in Yemen
sometime before, you know what they were doing in Yemen? in the time of Ali Abdullah Saleh
and this time, they make, give money to Al-Qaeda people, make them terrorism, go and fight
and do and do and do, and they just ask America, what to do? We need money to fight these
people? These people they are doing like that, and the US she's paying, UK paying money, the
tax payer money, they give to these people because... and those people they take the money
and of course the robots, the remote control, stop, work, stop, work. And this is the truth.
Shameful, I just say shameful, shameful where we reached is shameful, the Arab World now
let's forget my campaign, the reach is shameful, I don't know when will we go outside this...
now they put us in the middle of the fire, and I don't know when will we go outside this fire,
where we are going, we were trying to make Arab Spring, were trying to spread the roses
between the Arab people, and to make one Arab country, a place for peace for everyone, but I
think what happened is that we became separated for thousands of people who have thoughts
and parties and I didn't know how we... I think if you bring mud and put it with water and you
just shake it with a spoon it will become something terrible, and this is I hope the Arab World
now at this moment is like that, like mud with water, and we have just moved the spoon, when
it will come to separate the clear water from the mud, maybe in our children's time, maybe
after, but for myself like an activist I have tried, I have tried through my blogger, I have tried
through my campaign, now I'm telling you now I'm a little away from the political now, but I can
watch what is happening on the street, I can see what is happening in Syria, killing people by
cold blood, I think maybe the barbarians if they came back this time, I think they will say you
are awful and shame on you! Because you are doing more than what those people were doing,
we are very, very, the world became really, it became one... we want to make the world one
global village, but the truth is that we have made the world separated for thousands of parties
and people and regions and... I think it's awful what is happening in this world. But for myself I
will still fight, even if I finish my campaign, I will go back to my rights, in human rights, now I'm
cooperating with the organization, I hope God gives me one day money so I can start my own
party, I wanted a clean party, I wanted a party to reach peace and to reach everything good in
this world, for myself I believe in God, I believe in Muhammad, I believe in Jesus, I believe in
Moses, I believe in the Bible, I believe in the Quran, I believe in everything, anything good in this
world I believe in it, and I thought God put us in this world not to kill everyone, not to spoil the
world, to make it clean and green and to make peace between it, but I think it's a very big
dream for the old lady, now you didn't ask me about my age, I'm 56 years now, I hope God will
give me more strength and life so I can fight because we need to go. Anything else I...
N.P: You're still very young
N.H: Thank you very much, thank you very much. You know, sometimes you live 56 or 60 years
or 65 or 70 but you start to fight at 30 or 40, it means you'll stay young, but for myself I'm
fighting since I was 10 years old, I think it's a very big, big journey, I have worked so much, but I
didn't reach anything, this is the most thing that you work, work, work, sometimes I feel that
I'm proud of myself, thank God, I didn't, I told you one time I was in need for money and I didn't
share any money from a dictator or from anyone else, thank God, I didn't sell myself for
anyone, I was fighting for people, for my people who I'm like. Ghandi, I'm very proud of Ghandi,


Martin Luther King I like him so much, Martin Luther King. Winston Churchil, he was a strong
man and he was a fighter and he was... but I think this man he had some ideas, it's worth to
learn from him, maybe he was a very simple man, this is what I like in Winston Churchil, he was
a simple man, and I like when he refused to occupy any land, he said no, this is not Britain's
land, this is the others' land, give it for them. I respect this for him. Anyone who is working for
peace I respect him. Mother Teresa I like her so much also, I think the symbol for me, Mary, this
is I think, Virgin Mary we call her, I this is the greatest lady ever came in this world, this lady she
is great, she was a mother, she was a fighter, she was a woman, and she was great, these
people who I really respect them and I like them and I hope one day will come peace for all this
world. And anything you want to ask me, remember.
N.P: I think that you are an inspiration to the young people in Jordan who are opting for change.
N.H: I hope, God willing, I hope we can change, God willing, we can change. I want to tell you
something the most important thing when you want to change that the regime or the political
system in the country wants to change, what if it's spoiled and corrupted they will put in every
step for you they will put a stone, this is the truth. If you want to change, the head of the
regime must be with you and I hope and I wish that the head of the regime here in Jordan our
king start this change, because if he didn't want to change nothing will change, because you see
if you are in a house and there's a father, this is to say the truth, and he's drunk your father or
he's gambling, or he's spoiled with a woman all the time, then it will be very heavy on mother
and on children to live, maybe one or two of the children they will do like daddy, maybe one,
maybe no one, but you have that type, it will be heavy, heavy on the mother and the children,
everyone inside the family, if you're talking about family, it will be very difficult, so if the head
of the regime if he isn't good and if he didn't want to change, nothing will happen in Jordan, it
will stay more corrupted and wrong. If he wants to change and he works hard for it, even in UK,
in England you have the queen mother, I respect her so much this lady, of course first because
she's a lady, second because she's a really nice queen. My children accuse me that I'm like
queen Elizabeth because queen Elizabeth in the night she puts off all the lights in her palace, so
at night I go and they tell me Elizabeth come come, don't put the light off, I put all the lights off,
so I think she's a very lady, she has respect for herself, she respects her people, she likes her
people, no one is perfect, if you want to talk about perfect no one is perfect, everyone has... but
at least be good for your people and give them their rights, I think it will be a very, very... I hope
one day we can reach England and here in Jordan came like, like England. I forgot to tell you
about constitution repairment when they tried... that time for my campaign we had made 15
demonstrations for the repairment of the constitution to put the word gender in the six of it,
and the government refused to put the work gender because they put, they refused to put the
word gender because we didn't want to give nationality for children of women married to
none-Jordanians. They just put it in the media, in Al-Rai, Al-Rai is the government newspaper,
they put it inside it, in an article in an announcement. See how much these people are working
against us? This is the truth, ad if you put it off I will tell you the other.
N.P: Okay... continue?


N.H: Yes, yes. I told you that lady she asked me for a way to bring money to just bring money to
demonstrate, I told her I didn't have money, all what we need was the ticket or taxi, and a
paper, sometimes, I told her sometimes we take the cartons with us, we write on this face, the
next time we bring it we just turn it and write on the other face. It's not something very
difficult. You know I forgot to tell you something, they tried to go for me and my house, they
tried to penetrate me when I started my campaign, they pushed... they know I am a widow,
they push some people for me on internet or on facebook or messenger to talk with me and
you are lady, you didn't want to live, you didn't want to marry, you didn't want to have a
boyfriend something like that, I told them I'm an old lady and I have my cause, please if you
want to talk with me talk with me only with business with my work, nothing else. They have
tried so many times. They send people to talk phones with me also, Mrs. Nimeh please I want
to talk with you and I talk with them then they start to talk about living and your life and you
are alone and something like that. I told him I didn't tell you I'm... this is so much, the woman
who came outside to fight, they try to catch it like that in the Arab World, and all the World,
these people, to harass her to something like that, oh you are a lady you are alone, something
like that, you are a very nice lady, you didn't try sex with somebody, something like that, I told
him please I'm not talking about this, I ?? (18:15) put my line and I'm working online, this is the
intelligence that's doing that, ad the people who are against you, and they are so for money,
they tried to give me money from the against party which is in UK, he called me, you know I
told you about some complications, let's come inside, yes record.
N.P: I can record?
N.H: Yes record, you are recording?
N.P: Yes.
N.H: About some complications coming inside the campaign I want to tell you. This man he
called me, first he sent me please I want your phone I said okay, I gave him my phone, everyone
knows this man is not against, he's part of the intelligence but he's pushing the against to a
trap, so what he told me, for myself I didn't... he called me, you are working and you must fight
for your rights and I'm happy for you and you're ?? (19:09), okay, I want to help you I want to
send you money, I said money for what and he told me I will send you 20 thousand dollars for
the first time and every month I will send you 1 thousand or 2 thousands for you and the ladies
to demonstrate and to work, I told him thank you I didn't want money from anyone, I will not
spoil my campaign for money, because money is not my goal, if I want money I will go and work
and bring money, my goal is to reach what I want to reach, this is my goal, and thank you very
much. What that man has done he talked with some people who were admin in the page, my
page, and I think these they didn't want to talk and they left the campaign. Sometimes you fight
for people who you shouldn't fight for, sorry to tell this word, but I think they have taken
money from him because it was a poor boy, now he's married and he has money and no one
knows from where that money came, and this is what happened, and I think this boy he was
put in the campaign from the intelligence themselves, you know. They have tried to trap me so
much, they have made for me so many traps, but thank God I didn't go inside the traps. They
said for me people I love you, they tried to come to my house, to my children, they tried to


come to my children but of course my daughters they know, every one of us knows that we are,
if you want to work they are, I don't know. The people in the campaign also there is something
here in the Arab World that people they didn't want to work, they want everything to come just
to them, and this is why the activists in the Arab World they find themselves in trouble. Talk
about corruption? Yes. I want to talk about the campaign itself, about how to deal with people
from the campaign itself, you can find so many people, you can find people who want to fight
and to fight for their rights, you can find people who just want to sit and wait to see what the
end of what will happen. Some people will attack you, you are working for us then why you
didn't bring anything till the moment? I told them I didn't work for you, you didn't pay me, I'm
an activist, I just work for the cause, not for you, I'm not working for you, I tell them I work for
myself, and I work for the cause, not for you, for you I will never go and... because if you pay
me, I will work for you, but I don't work for you. Some people they put like that, this is in the
Arab World this is the most bad thing in the campaigns, that people from all types and some of
them they didn't want to cooperate, some want to just jump over the campaign, of course this
is where the intelligence comes, one time one lady was with the campaign and they connected
with her the intelligence, they took her, and she was telling the ladies, don't go, the police will
come. They will beat you, I hear somebody talk like that, some police told me that they will
beat you, they will break your legs, they will dump... some ladies are very, very nice ladies and
they work without talking, of course they... you know, if they have found a chance to make
them activists they will be and nice and great activists, but in the Arab World they didn't give
you a chance to fight for yourself or fight for your rights, if you want to go they will beat you,
they will put you inside the intelligence they will do so many things for you. Some ladies now in
my campaign, sorry to say that, 3 ladies have died, because they were old ladies and they were
very active and they were working hard, you know they were good, they've take... now there is
my page link here you can go to the page and go to pictures and you can see the pictures for
these old ladies, and now 3 of them dead, by... we call it heart attack, by heart attack the three
of them died since these now 7years, 8 years now it's almost, because it was in the beginning in
2006, not it's almost became now about 8 years, we reached 8 years. So these ladies have died,
now about two weeks ago also one lady she had a brain attack and she became she can't walk,
she became... but these ladies are some in the campaign you find great ladies, all you want to
push them outside, push her and tell her go and work she will work. Of course some ladies they
didn't want to work, she told you I'm lady, I'm weak, my father my brother my husband, she
feels like... they raise her like that, you are nothing so just stay in your home and don't do
anything else. This is the people in the campaign who can't fight, from the difficulties I told you
about hacking the page, I told you about they refused to register our organization, they refused
it for three times, I told you about the intelligence what they try, they tried to sometimes to
send men for me or to buy, send me money or anything, or penetrating through my daughters
or my children they tried to do. I will tell you a story, it will be a very nice story. When I was
working on my blogger, that time I reached with Mr. Shamir, I reached him to put his article on
my blogger, so there were people from Libya and Egypt and you know, they started to say this
lady she's a Zionist and something like that and she is cooperating with the Israeli government,
event he name my name was Souq Ikaz, Souk Ikaz is some kind of place where people were
meeting from all regions and they were talking, for that I called it Souk Ikaz, to mean that we
can meet, whatever you are there is a place you can meet, there is a spot you can meet with it


and live, never mind, we can live together, I do not care for what you are thinking, you know in
my blogger there were two boys Shia, one of them was from Lebanon, I'm for all the time I am
against Hezbollah, and that boy he was supporting Hezbollah and for me I was against it and he
was repeating and commenting for each other, was talking in public about why I hate them and
why he is, he thinks that these people are protecting them and protected his village when the
Israeli came to bomb and something like that, they were dropping dolls with bombs for children
the Israeli force ad I was thinking that Hezbollah these people they are liars and they are not
doing anything, they are just making problems with the others and something, and he was
talking, another one he was Bahraini, he was supporting Iran and for myself I was, not Iranian
people, I'm with Iranian people but I'm against the Iranian regime which is making this for
people and Malali and these stories and what they are doing for women and what they are
doing for children, and he thinks that this is the right way, he was also partner with my blogs,
how the blog was, and Mr. Shamir that time, so when I put Mr. Shamir people they started to
became angry, the Libyan people, you are with the Zionists, you are like that, you are like that,
and they started to say bad things about me, this is a whore, yes this lady she's a whore, she's
making, pulling boys and girls towards her just to put these bad ideas, the Israel government is
giving her a salary and something like that, that time the boys and girls who like me they made
a blogger for me and they called it Mama Nimeh, and every one of them would just go inside
and write something for me, like they give it for me in my birthday they gave it to me like a
present, birthday present, Mama Nimeh blogger and... so this is what happened, they think that
this is working for the Zionists this lady she work. Okay, the Libyan what did they start to do?
They started to attack me, go inside my blogger and attack me, and by bad words, back talking,
they have made bloggers against me, see how they... I was thinking that day what to do? What
to do with these people? I must find something they were badly attacking me, I must find
something to stop, all the Libyan bloggers, only maybe one or two were with me, the others all
were against me and they were talking with the Egyptians, with the Libyan, from Algeria, from
here, they were making people against me, and I was thinking, thinking, thinking, that time I
was standing me and my computer and looking, I have read what they wrote about me, this
whore she is pushing our children, our girls and boys, she's talking them to make them soldiers
for Israel and something like that. What to do? Then I remembered one time when Muammar
Qaddafi he was talking about Israel and he was saying these are our brothers, and we must
make one country called Israteen he called it, half of Palestine and half of Israel, it will become
Israteen, Palestine with Israel, half word and half word will become, so I remembered that, I
went to Youtube and just bring the film, I didn't respect Muammar Qaddafi, I didn't like him
because I knew he was a murderer and he was a dictator, I knew it, but sometimes you need to
do something against your beliefs to push another one to go far from you, so I bring that video
and I just put it in my blog, and I say what a nice words from a nice leader, Mr. Muammar
Qaddafi, I respect you guy, I just put it in my blog. I know these people are, all of them they are
Libyan Intelligence, I know, I know them, because one I have contacted
TAPE 5


Nimeh Habashneh: one Libyan girl, and these told me Mama Nimeh these people all are
intelligence from Libya and they are attacking you for this, and it was a chance for them to do
something to raise themselves, okay I told her. I got it. so I got inside my blogger, one hour only
I came, I found about 100 comments, they were spitting on my... telling me, hey you lady, you
think you are like Mr. Muammar Qaddafi the king of Africa, the prophet of God, like that! They
were, you think you are... so what I commented, one comment for them, I told them I know
he's the king of Africa, I know he's a great man, I know he's a prophet of God, for that I'm
respecting him and respecting his ideas. So, they all splash, gone, no one was there, came for
me one of them, I know he's intelligence also but he was a friend of mine and at that time he
stood not with me, not with them, he was just silent, and he told me, hey Nimeh, you know
what you've done for them? You have destroyed them all, they are all they like they have a
meeting in Benghazi and they were talking and they all were spitting on you and see this she's
Jewish, she's Zionist, she's like that, but they can't, no one can talk anything about you.
Sometimes the active lady she needs to be smart, and to do something, of course I respect
myself, against what you think, sometimes you want to do something against what you think,
but it's not harming anyone because after 2 days I just removed that blog, I removed that video
and everything is finished, now no one can come to my blog, no one talking about me, finished.
You must do something to make the other stop, you must be strong. Not only strong by
muscles, no one is strong by muscles, but strong by mind, to think right, you can destroy your
enemy, I think this is not my enemy, they are enemy for every human right detective these
people like that, they are against, really, they are enemies for every human peace. That lady I
told you she was blogger, Libyan Blogger, now she's a parliament member in Libya. She was
small and young lady, she was in the university, she was calling me Mama Nimeh, every time, of
course she was against the regime against Muammar Qaddafi, I was so much frightened for her
because they were raping girls and putting them in jails and something like that, so she was
talking with me, what to do, she was a girl, she wanted to put and write, for myself I was giving
her instructions, I was telling her don't be foolish, don't... I have some thoughts maybe they are
right, maybe they are wrong, but if you want to be a human right and you want to fight for
other people's rights don't put yourself in danger, in the main danger, no. of course we are all in
danger, but sometimes there is dangerous more than dangerous, I know the government
maybe will take me anytime but my ideas are separated also, it's finished, but for lady like that,
for a young girl in Libya at that time with some kind of regime, I think it was very dangerous to
write an article against Muammar Qaddafi or to do something like that, so I was telling her
please spread your ideas in the close room and slowly, don't be, the sea when it came flow it
will take countries, but if you work like a stream it will be in all, in every opposite, the roses will
raise up, and then... (side talk)... so now I was telling her you want to spread your word, spread
it easily, don't just attack the regime, because you are alone, you can't attack a regime, if we
spread our words slowly we can go, I told you like a stream and like a sea. The sea is killing,
making flood, it will take everything and will spoil everything, but the stream is going slowly
and the roses will come and spring will come, and this is I think any human rights activist should
work by this system. Don't be hard, sometimes we need to be hard but not that hardness, same
like the cause I told you with the Libyans, I was hard, I think I was so much hard that time, but it
was also slowly, not something, this is what the activist needs, to work easily and think and
most thing that you must respect yourself. Don't use your cause, don't ever use your cause to


make benefit for yourself; because you are working for the others not for yourself. Even if they
attack you, even if you are in need, don't make it to take... because at the minute you sell
yourself no one your respect you. You'll fall, and all the cause you are working for will fall, and
everyone, human rights activists like you they see huh, see what they are doing, they will make
you a sample for the others, so if you really want to and I hope we can find fighters like that,
like Martine Luther King, like Ghandi who was working against UK I know, but he was a great
and brave man, like South African president remind me of his name
Nicola Pratt: Nelson Mandela?
N.H: Nelson Mandela, he's a great man and see he was poor, not rich and he started a cause
and he worked, this is the human rights we want to reach these goals, you must have a human
right cause and you work for people not for yourself ad spoil your name even if you are in need,
you can be patient and you can solve your problems but don't spoil the others, and I think being
a human rights activist and peace defender is the most lovely feeling inside your heart, you will
be... I think no difference between the prophet and the human right activist or peace activist. I
think we are small prophets, some of us God created us, for myself I thank God because God
created me not myself you, I told you I was fighting when my mother was ill and I was studying
and I was, after that when I saw the war and I was, something I'll tell you, I was born in
13/11/1958, that time I was born in Beirut, the American army was on all the streets in Beirut
at that time, when my mother gave birth to me she was shouting, no one was there to support
her, my father he can't take her to hospital because also my father you know he escaped from
Jordan to Syria and in Syria they took all his nails and then he escaped to Beirut and there he
didn't have any identity, he just gave money for one in Syrian prison and he gave money ad hey
threw him on the borders in Beirut borders and that time he reached with my mother and he
married her, so they didn't have, they can't go take my mother to hospital to have child
because my father he didn't have identity, no one there to help my mother to have the
children, that time there were some nurses who came to the house to make delivery for the
woman, they call her the midwife, they can't go for her or call her, no telephone, nothing, so
what happened my mother's neighbor she was from Armenia, lady, she came and she just make
my mother give birth and she bring me to life, see, and my mother I told you about her Kurdish
friend who was raising us and taking care of us and treating us, so my mother is Durzi, my
father from Jordan, the lady who bring me to life from Armenia, the other lady who was
treating me was Kurdi from Iraq, see how many? Now without these people I would never be to
life. This is the truth, this is the life, if everyone think like that, that we need each other, no one
will harm anyone. Yes. I have written an article about my life and how I came to the world, I will
give you the link and you will read it, in Arabic but you can translate it. Yes. And there are so
many ideas in that. I wrote some articles... Now ??? (10:44) no I didn't write any articles, only
for our campaign I am writing articles, because it's very difficult to be a reader and founder and
leader for a campaign in a country like Jordan and with people, it's very difficult, that doesn't
give you time even to think. Yes, and conferences and here ad here and here, I think it's very, I
didn't have time now, but God willing I'm coming back to write. In my articles I was expecting
this Arab Spring, I was talking about it, or I was talking about the cheating, which these people
cheat us, our leaders, they cheat us, I have written a short story, I really I hope if I can find


somebody to translate it for me and make it in a book for 2 or 3 papers it will be, I hope I will
find somebody to put what I write in a book, it was talking about, you know how the Arab
people treat us, the leaders and what happened, it was talking about the Arab Spring in a
simple way, you know our grandmothers they were talking and our mothers, about the goblins
and who came and to come for people, and every time I will make it for you easy in small wars,
and every time these people they went to war, for us, for children who used to go to the street
they'd say: come mama, he will eat you, he will come the goblin and something like that, they
would threaten us. So, I was talking about one boy his name is Aladdin, Aladdin he was in a
country and in his country his father was talking, every time he talked with him and he told him
don't go, don't go or the goblin will eat you something like that, but this boy he was looking
there, he was finding the leader of the country, he was putting hand with the goblin all the
time, he's shaking hands with him and he's kissing him and he's eating with him and he's
drinking with him, so Aladdin asked him okay why do you tell us, told us this goblin is dangerous
and you are sitting with him? Why us? Why are you sitting with him? He asked him this
question so he took him and put him in prison, because no one must ask questions like that,
you have got the ideas, no one must ask for this question, they put him in prison and they put
people to guard him in the prison. In the prison there are rats, and this boy Aladdin he was
used, also the rats I didn't mean them for the rats, the rats the people in prison, Aladdin used to
give food for them, cut the food between himself and the rats, so all the rats in prison they like
him and they love him, and he came... one time he saw a goblin and he told one of these guards
and the rats, please let me go outside, I want to go and to see what is this goblin, what he's
doing? I want to know what he is, what this, what kind of people he is? So the rats because he
gave them money they gave him permission to go outside the prison, they told him okay go but
in the night you will be back before anyone of the guards can see what you are doing, he told
them okay, he told them because, and when the guards were talking with him he told them
that we are not better than you, you are in prison, but if I don't obey orders they will throw me
in the island of the salt, so I will be salted and vanished. So he went outside, Aladdin he went to
see this goblin, to see what happened, he was, Aladdin he was, the goblin he was having a
meeting with the father, the government, and the leader and was talking and nice, when
Aladdin was coming from his bedroom to the goblin, the goblin saw Aladdin so he was shocked
and frightened the goblin, and he just put his back to the wall because he was so much
frightened from Aladdin, and Aladdin was frightened, he thought that, what happened? This
will eat me, something like that, Aladdin was shocked also, okay I'm frightened for him because
he will eat me, then why this man he is frightened of me and putting... then the goblin said
please, please don't come for me, you are just... you are terrorism, you are like that, you are
eating people, you are killing me, the goblin was telling Aladdin because he was frightened of
him, and Aladdin was astonished, how this is frightened of me? He said who told you that I am
like that? He told me your government he told me, he told me that you are rude, you are bad,
he tried to educate you, you will never be educated, he tried to make you like humans you
didn't want, he said but I see I'm human and I'm okay, my government told me that you will eat
me, the goblin was astonished like that he said, why I eat you? I will not eat you, I was trying to
help you, but your government told me no one will do this for you, so Aladdin and the goblin
became friends. What he told him, he told him please educate me and tell me how you raise
your country and your system and how you became like that, you people? Great people. He


said okay, he gave him a crystal ball and he told him take this crystal ball with you and go to jail
and just teach the people there in the jail, the prisoners teach them, anything you want you just
put right on the crystal ball, I meant with the crystal ball the internet, which gives our countries,
just put and you will see everything and you will learn everything about us, so Aladdin went
back to jail, he tried to teach the guards, and the rats, and the prisoners there, one day they
cooperated with others and they came out to say for the regime, we didn't want you, they were
shouting, we didn't want you, we want the goblin to be our leader, we don't want you, so the
king told them, not the king, the leader whoever he was, told them why you don't want me? He
said the goblin will eat you but they said no, we want the goblin to be our leader, we don't
want you to be our leader, he told them I raised you, I made for you, they told him okay, after
we finished our life and educated, we will give you back what you want. Now we didn't want
you, and they just take the goblin and they put it on their shoulders, and they say we didn't
want baba, long live the goblin. This is the story. I think this is how the Arab Spring started.
From the beginning, it's a small story, not more than 2 or 3 pages, but I think this is how the
Arab Spring started. Really it started with the leaders, America against you, England against
you, these foreigners, they will eat you, they will kill you, they will do this and this for you, but
the truth that they are dealing with them, they are taking money from them, they are sharing
with them everything, only they want the people to stay away from cooperating with anyone,
this is the truth, and to keep us away, and what they are telling to the others, we are trying to
educate these people, these people are Bedouins, they are terrorists, they are like that, they
are like that, they didn't want to teach, let's put these people, and really this is what our leaders
tell this talking about their people, in front of the others. Anyone who talk they put him in jail,
the rats I mean the guards of the jail the people who are guarding the government and if
anyone of them makes any mistake they will banish him to the salt island, which I mean for
them it means that they will vanish, they will kill him, and these the rats, the people, the rats
are the prisoners, the guards who have some mind and who want to change and they just go
through here and here, they just want to change something in the world, so they, in the Arab
World, so they are listening for the prisoners, helping prisoners, trying to make change from
their position inside the regime, they try to do some change, the goblin I told you, this is the
foreigners who are frightened, they told us don't deal with them, and this is, really this was
before the internet came to the Arab World, when the internet came, this crystal ball which the
goblin gave it for us because it's not Arabic, it came from the West, when it came the Arab
people have seen, they have started bloggers, start to see, reading about democracy, reading
about what the American people achieved, what the UK have achieved, what this king make for
his country, what this queen had made, what this parliament made, now we know everything
about each other, so that time the Arab World said, they looked for themselves, they find that
this one is cheating and stealing them, and cheating them, so we didn't want him, that what
when the Arab Spring started by this way, this letter I have written it before the Arab Spring. I
was expecting that this will happen, because this is the truth in our world, but now I'm very
sorry because of what's happening, we are going backwards, of course because of the Arab
leaders, they didn't want us to achieve anything, they just want us to stay like slaves for them,
and destroyed everything, so you know how much killing in Yemen, how much killing in Libya,
what's happening in Egypt, you feel so sorry, what's happening in Syria, killing with cold blood.


Now we never reached time when people just with knives killing others, it's very dirty and
difficult way to die and to... this is about Nimeh Habashneh, this is Nimeh Habashneh.
Nicola Pratt: Thank you
N.H: And for you thank you also for your interest and for your thinking of the ladies who are
activists in all the world who should really, these stories should be raised I think not because I'm
one of them, no, because we need the women to raise and fight for their rights, we need
symbols to tell that there is ladies in one day they have gone outside and fight and it's nice to
go and continue, Joan D'arc, Jamila Bouhraid, these people all there were, they were political
and they were fighting for their countries, but they have fought, Andira Ghandi, we never
forget her Andira, also I told you maybe you don't like me, Margret thatcher, she's a lady, she's
a dictator, she's strong, but she was a lady, right? She was a lady, she was trying to... maybe she
used to think like that, you know also I'm respecting maybe will be... she was an Israeli Prime
Minister Golda Meir, Golda Meir she was a woman, she was a lady, yes she have did so much
killing, something like that, I didn't respect that on her, same like Margaret Thatcher, I didn't
respect the black side but the white side I respected that she's a woman and she's fighting for
her people, this is the most important thing, that you are fighting for your people, and helping
people, but not by killing the others, no, but she was a lady and she was working.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Thanks, and that's all.
N.P: Thank you.
TAPE 6
Nicola Pratt: Okay.
Nimeh Habashneh: For I told you my record need to be...
N.P: Okay, go ahead.
N.H: That time in 1967 I was small. I think that time I was maybe... 7 years here and 2 years, 9
years old I was, not 9, 8 years old I was that time, and there was, that time there was no
television, it was in Kuwait, not so much television, nothing that black and white television was,
and there was only that time the BBC, BBC on the radio. That time my grandmother was there
in our house in Kuwait in a visit for us, she was living there with us, and my mother, of course
my mother she was listening to BBC, my grandmother and it was very nice to see every time,
ton ton, the Big Ben watch, that time, it was ringing every time. My grandmother, one time I
was inside doing my homework, when I see here an old lady she was jumping heey she was
making like that, "May God make you victorious Abu Abdullah", it means God bless you father
of Abdullah, she means King Hussein. I came and said to her what... I didn't know about war or


about anything, and that lady she was raising her voice for all the building and so much and she
was like dancing and jumping, she was... I told her, grandma what happened? What is there? I
asked Mama what, she said Mama they have gone to Al-Karmel Mountain and they have taken
it, Israel has gone inside and they have gone, and they bring it back and they have gone, and
she tried to describe and they do and do and do, and this is the Arab and we have victory and
something like that. I told her okay, okay. Of course I was happy because they have so many
things have done, badly when I little became bigger, after 4 or 5 years, I discovered it was all
lies and it was all media, and they were lying to the Arabs, and all the leaders were lying, and
there is nothing, and Israel has occupied the West Bank, and the Arab didn't do anything, just
jumping in front of the radios. I think that time made me also feel that we are people who trust
in others so much and we need the others to do for ourselves, we didn't want to work, if I
want... I trust the leader so much, what he is taking to me, but all the media which is working
for the leader, it means for the regime, it's making for the regime, it means we are living... that's
the first time I discovered we are living in the world with lies. That what happened, with lies.
And I think my grandmother she died till this moment, she might ad she's still in her grave and
she's still thinking that she has been victorious and she has done something, achieved
something, poor lady. Yes. That my experience with this war, this is what I know about it. Of
course when I grew up I started to read and what happened and what we done and when came
Sadat with peace, I was very happy that he... You see, I believe in peace but peace that is built
on equality and on rights, giving rights. Now you want to live in peace? Okay I will live with you
peacefully, give me my rights and take your rights and we will live in peace. But peace with
somebody over the other, no this is not peace, this will make us back to the war, and for myself
I'm always saying some words, I'm saying: if we know the end of the war, then why we started
it? if the end of the war is this, this is the end of any war, since the early, early, early world, any
war the end of it is peace, then why we didn't start with the peace from the beginning? I didn't
want war, I wanted peace I didn't want war. I didn't want to find one day that my daughter or
my child is killed by Israeli man or one of the terrorism, because I didn't want war. And the only
one... you know, now World War I, World War II, the Arab and Israeli war, who is the victory?
The victory for whom in these all wars? You know who was the victory, for what? Only for
death. We didn't achieve victory, we have reached the peace, but the winner is the death, for
any war in the world the winner is death, then why we start it? why we giv death a chance to be
the hero for? This is what I think about war. Yeah. Thank you.
N.P: Thank you.
N.H: You see, this is not, remember me...


Full Text
Interview with Nimeh Al-Habashna
2104

TAPE 1
Nicola Pratt: Great.
Nimeh Habashneh: Just ask and I will answer.
N.P: Okay, thank you. Can I begin by asking when and where you were born?
N.H: I was born in Lebanon, my mother was Lebanese from Lebanon, she was Durzi my mother and my father was from Jordan, from Al-Karak South of Jordan, I think my father he was a fighter, at that time these people they were very simple people, they didn't know anything about war or something, and they came suddenly to the, I think Second World War it was and the Ottomons and the British came and Sir Glubb I remember that time of the history of Jordan and my father he was small, he was young, he was maybe 16 years old, so he had to carry a gun and to come to fight in the army with Sir Glubb, yes that was, the UK was here in Jordan and there was fighting with… its commander. My father he had the gun and he started to fight, I think he was so young and he was so active, so he felt that it was the start of the Hashemite Kingdom, so what he felt, he felt that, that time came Jamal Abdul Nasser, that time Jamal Abdul Nasser came, you remember, and he was talking about renewing the Arab World, to make it one part of the Arab World, we didn't want to stay separate like that, we must start to be like now with a… if they start at that time I think all our problems now would be finished, but they made a really union for the Arab World. So my father he was very happy to hear that, you know his father he was a farmer, a simple farmer my grandfather, and he was a simple boy who start life and start to leave from here and here, just a little… so that time there was a revolution against the king, because they think the king he stood in the face of the union with the Arab World, and they ahave all the ideas of Jamal Abdul Nasser, so all they follow Jamal and they make a revolution here in Jordan, and that revolution was not a success, so my father escaped from Jordan, because they wanted to execute him, he was part of that revolution at that time, so he went to Lebanon and there he met my mother and he married her that time, that time Junblat was in Lebanon too, there was also Jamal Abdul Nasser ad they wanted to make a union for the Arab World, it means the ideas which make people meet, so he met with my mother, my mother is Lebanese and I was born there in Lebanon, until I was 3 years old, not 3, about 2.5 years old, then my father went to Kuwait, I went there with my family to Kuwait, and I was raised and finished my education in Kuwait, so I think I am global and I like every spot in the world, because I have a special… in my body, there's a special thing for, in my heart, a special love for every country of these countries in which I was born and raised and from where I am, and, yes.
N.P: What did your father do in Kuwait?
N.H: My father? In Kuwait now he forget because he didn't have passport, he didn't have identity, he didn't have anything, because Jordanians they wanted him, they would not give him, so he started to make his commercial life and he started like a merchant, some Kuwaiti people supported him from Kuwait, also in Kuwait there was people who wanted to unite the Arab World and who wanted to raise up and wanted to make something new. At that time I remember, at that time it was the 1960's that time, so it was very difficult, but I told you, any place you go you find people who have the same ideas as you, and they will help you and they will support you, and that's what happened, we went to Kuwait and people there supported him and he started, yes. And I was there with him.
N.P: Did your mother work?
N.H: My mother? She was a nurse. Yes, my mother she was a nurse but when she went to Kuwait she didn't work because I had a brother who was sick, he had some problems so she must stay at home to take care of him, so she didn't work, but she was a nurse my mother. Yes. Also I remember something but I forgot it about Kuwait. I think we stop until this man go, because he will…
N.P: Okay.
N.H: You want to put it on?
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Now he was in Kuwait and I was raised there in Kuwait with my father and I think my father he was a good reader, he liked books and he liked to read, and he gave me this habit, all my brothers and sisters when he was going outside to go any place, he brought them maybe dolls and things like that, but for me he was bringing a book and told me you read it and I will examine you on it. I think for a child it was a pressure, but after that I felt he was doing nice with me, he was teaching me the world and he was talking with me all the time about what we must do, how we were living, how my grandfather was living with the Turks, with the Ottomans when there was no food, nothing, so we must be ourselves, we must start a revolution in the Arab World, we must be farmers and in factories work and every place to raise our world, he was thinking so much of this idea. Raising the Arab World not by, he was telling me, not by money, not by putting on nice clothes, not by going here and here, no if we want to raise the Arab World we must work hardly, we must have factories in our world, we must have farms, we must go back to farms, to start factories, to educate everyone, this is he told me this is the way to have an elegant Arab World and to raise it, this was his idea and I think that old man he got everything in my head for this, so I became just a copy-paste of him. Even everyone who saw me would tell me you are a copy-paste of your father and I'd tell them I'm proud of it. But then he went to jail and they put execution on him be he wasn't executed because he escaped by his skin, but they put him in jail, even in Syria they put him in jail, they took out his nails, yes. And until he died he didn't have ails because he was asking for a united Arab World, he was asking for Justice in the Arab World. Yes.
N.P: Was he a member of a party?
N.H: Yes, yes. He was with Jamal Abdul Nasser, they called him the Nasserites, he was a Nasserite. That people. That people they were against the UK, they were against America you know that people, they were against, not because they hate America, not because they hate… so many times I discussed with my father , he told me: I didn't hate America, I didn't hate England, but they must give us a chance to live. He told me: what do they want from us? Now, first we were led by the Ottomans and they put all their hatred on us, you know, now what do they want from us? We want to live, we want to start our world, you know. These people they were very young and they felt that they wanted to change their world, they wanted to change.
N.P: And when did you leave Kuwait?
N.H: We left Kuwait after the Saddam Hussein invasion; I was married at the time, and I had my children, and we left Kuwait at that time. I think I have saw so much pressure in my life and all that pressure, I think that was preparing me to become an activist, to fight for something, and I think this is the start. I left Kuwait after the invasion that time, I woke up to… in Kuwait I worked for a while with an insurance company, then after that when my children became little big and they need my help, you know a mother can't leave her children alone, so I took care of my children at that time, but I was still reading and writing; because I can't… maybe I think I will die with a pen in my hand. This is the writer, he's like, try to write what is happening. That time I woke up to a pray at the dawn, early in the morning, it was dark, and I saw, my house overlooking for the sea, on the shore, my building, the building where I lived, my home, so I was standing up on the window to see the sea, you know in the morning just to start, and the sea is going back into waves, in English and I didn't know the word for it
N.P: The tide?
N.H: The tide, yes. Yes, the tide. It's going and coming the sea, so I was watching the tide waiting for prayers, to around 6 ?? (10:47) for prayer I was waiting, just to pray, when I saw a bulldozer coming to the shore, after the bulldozer came cars, 3 or 4 cars, after that came a military jeep, there was some people inside it, then they came maybe 2 or 3 military jeeps came…(phone ringing) some lady from the… it was a jeep then they took out some prisoners from the jeep, of course I didn't know if they are Kuwaiti, if they are Iraqi, but I felt for them the prisoners, I felt they are young boys, 20, 220, 18, like that. I can't tell you, it was so much dark, not so much dark but the moon was there and putting light and they have their spotlight these people, but how did I know that they are young not old from the way they jumped from the jeep and like that, you can imagine that they are young not old, because if they were old they would need some help, but these were jumping and… so, they were standing like that and they just shot them, very easy. For myself I was standing on the window, my window was a tall window not like this system, it was a tall window from the floor to the ceiling, from up window like that. I was standing on the window like that so I was watching, I think that time I make this, like that, watching, and not moving, I can't move, what is happening I was asking myself, after they shot them, after that day, an officer came and shot over one shot, they call it mercy bullet, they shot them and for myself I just stuck to the window, I can't go back, I can't put the curtain, I can't do… you know that time what happened? My father taught me that we must raise ourselves, we are Arabs and we must raise ourselves, we must start, we must we must we must, we, we, we… suddenly you find an Arabic people coming to an Arab country and simply killing people, simply, very easy. So at that moment I stuck to the window and my brain started to work, like a machine, it was anger and sadness at that time, and maybe there was nothing in my mind, it was empty, while I was watching what was happening on this shore. They bring the bulldozer, then just make a hole in the tide, they buried them and the water came. All that time I was standing, watching, not crying with a loud sound, no, it was just my tears spilling down like that, and my mind was working like a machine, and what the officers they make with their lives, the just make their spotlight, they make it like that, on all the shore, I think in that moment God protected me, no one else protected me, because if that light came to my face I think they would have destroyed all that building with me and my children, we would all be killed at that moment. They just make the light go round and round and I just stuck to the window, I can't move, I can't do anything from inside my head it was so just burning inside, my mind was working, till it was 8 o'clock, at 8 o'clock my daughter woke up and she said: Mama, what are you doing there? So I started to cry, to cry with a loud voice, my loud voice, I can't describe for you that moment what I was feeling, but in that moment I had a feeling for everyone in this world who is a victim for some dictator like that. From that moment I think I have put half of what the ideas my father gave for me, that you must fight for everyone, not only for the Arab World. You must be global, because everyone is a human, and a human, they have pain and you must support them. That I think, that moment have changed my life, and it was God who put me in that place, God who has saved me, because you know how much risk I was in at that moment, and for myself, some people when they pass through something like that they become, they hate people and so on, but God has put mercy in my heart for everyone in this world, and that moment I wanted peace for all the world, you know when we were small they raised us in our school, I remember that time, when we have Eglish people who were our neighbors or something like that, they came: Miss, miss, what do you want? I saw an English man with a car so I went to his wheels and took air from his wheels, oh bravo you have done good! And they clap for us, so see how much hatred they were raising us o, putting in our hearts and our minds, that moment. It means these are your enemies, you must kill them, even if you feel inside that no, this is my neighbor. Sometime I asked, "Miss, why to do that? Miss, why should we do that? She's a very nice lady, every time she saw me she just smiles in my face." You? You are a Jew, you are like that, and she starts to… this is inside the school what I'm talking about. inside our school, see how they were raising us with these ideas. So I didn't blame now the people who are coming out of schools to do what they are ding, because we need change in the school. We need to change the education, we need to teach the small children that you must love everyone, you must be part of the world. I think when we reach this spot the Arab World will rise, and the Arab World will become a union. When we reach this special spot. To love everybody, to be part of the world. Not to stay alone, maybe you have reached the idea, I have given you the idea which I want to talk about, what really happened in this Arab World, this is from my special experiment, which I'm telling you that when I was small how they raised me but when I saw this execution for these young boys, I didn't know if they are Kuwaiti, if they are Iraqi, if they are American, I don't know what they are, but I think these are victims of a dictator, they need a trial if you have anything, that's how it was the change of my life, and the start of my life also. After that we came out of Kuwait, my husband and my children, we came here, because I told you our building was on the shore and it was very difficult to live there, every time they are coming to the building and they want to go inside houses and to do, and, so you can't live there, by any means you can't stay in that country at that time, it was war, for myself I didn't want to come outside Kuwait by the war, because I think in the war if you leave you will lose. This is the truth, you must stay and you must fight for your life, but it was very, very difficult to stay in our position, for our building was very… we came here to Jordan. When we came here to Jordan it started another part of the problems in our life. My husband is not Jordanian, and my children also are not Jordanian, and I am a Jordanian lady so we had so many problem on the borders to my children came inside, my children gave up one year of their lives by studying, because they are not Jordanian, they didn't allow them to go to school, so they have… and everything I wanted to go, every year to make residence for them, if anyone is sick I can't treat them because we have come from war, we lost everything in the war, and we were not rich, but also we were not poor, we were part of the society, like the others, we were living like the others. So, for myself every year I had to go to make residence for my children, to go here, to go here, if they want to go to school there would be a problem, if they want to go. After my husband died we stayed here… he died I think before, he's been gone for 7 and a half years now, I became a widow alone. At that time in 2000, before my husband died, in 2000 there was a yahoo, it was not yahoo that time it was called Maktoob, Maktoob bloggers where people blogged, I didn't know about it, there was no internet, if I wanted to write anything I wrote it in the paper and put it inside the cover and write and put it inside the cover, or type it on the computer, on the word and put it in the word file, all that I was having to do. But in 2000, my big son, his name Atef, Atef was working in Maktoob bloggers so he told me: Mama, today we start a blogger in Maktoob and you can use it for your own blog and you can use it and start to blog. For myself, I was going to the BBC and to the CN and to the internet to share my thoughts and to write what, you know the BBC they are always putting questions to ask and please share your thoughts, and I was so much, since 2000 I was going there and haring my thoughts on BBC and CNN and, you know because I think I have some message and I must reach to all people and tell them to live in peace, this is the most important thing, and of course I was against all the Arab leaders at the time, I was talking about them, anyone who made mistakes I will always keep talking, why you want to live? Why you want to be like that rich and steal from us? Why do you want to steak from us and steal our everything and leave us like that, leave the people like that. Why you didn't share fortune? Why you didn't become… I think we need change. If you go back with your memory before 2000, and still this moment, but it was a very bad times, so I was sharing with BBC and CNN at that time my thought and writing them. When I started my blog Atef told me, Mama there's a blog, just what you want to put you put on it. I went inside the blog and I started. In 2003 I think, you see I'm sick so I will forget so many things, if I'm not sick I will talk so much. You are probably saying this lady she is sick and she remembers everything, what if she's not sick?... so, in 2003, that time in Maktoob blogs I contacted some people, Shia and Sunni and people like that so, I make my blog and I told them how about making a blog for all of us? Because at that time it was Al-Qaeda in Iraq, you remember, it was when America went into Iraq that time, and they killed Saddam and those problems and started Al-Qaeda and started killing for identity, this is Shia, this is Sunni, so I told them why we didn't make a blog to put, they all stay on it, to tell the world that we can live together, Shia can live with Sunnah and we can live with the Christians, we can live with the Jews, we can live with everyone if they didn't have Nazi thoughts then I can live with them. Even the Nazis if he became okay and removed his bad ideas I can live with him, right? Because I didn't, his thoughts didn't mean for me, but what means for me what he's doing, what he's active in the people. So we can forgive, this was the idea of that, that blog's name was "Souk Ekaz", so we started with Souk Ekaz, we sent a letter for Mr. Israel Shamir, maybe you know him, he's a Jewish writer, we told him we want to use your articles to put it on our, to be a part of our blogger, he said: it would be a pleasure for me but I can't talk Arabic, I can't speak Arabic, I can't write in Arabic, so I told him never mind, I will try to translate your English articles, of course Russian I can't translate but English we can translate it, and we put in our blog, and we would try to put some Russian articles, we put it in our, so to tell the world that we can live together, no need for war. That time I started this article???(26:05) for this reason, And it was against of course Al-Qaeda and terrorism and ethnicism and we are against everything from this, so we start writing. After that my husband died in 2006. In my blogger also I was writing about the rights for children, for the mother who married not from their nationality, sometimes I was writing articles and I was putting, also on BBC I was, would share my thoughts, I was writing to, why you didn't discuss this? You must discuss this, you must… for everything I was writing in my blogger at that time, and of course against… see what I was doing something, maybe I was cheating ?? (26:56) for the girls and for the women in my blogger, if anything happened to a girl or a woman by Al-Qaeda or by terrorism or by anything, I would put this on under light, this is what I was trying to do, of course I was talking about children too much, children and women, these were the most people I was fighting for at that time; because I have men with me, so I thought maybe you can fight for yourself, and I will fight only for women and for children because these people they were very week, they didn't have anyone to fight for them, so they need somebody to write, and at that time when anything happened, I remember something in Pakistan, when one lady she was Christian and they told that she talked about us some Muslims, she talked about and they were to execute her at that time, at that time I had two articles about that lady and till now they are online the articles, I can give you my place in "the Civilized Dialogue", I will send if you give me… you gave me your card, I will send it by e-mail to you, and you can read what I have written in there, and all my ideas are put in there. So, that time I was fighting for ladies, ladies and small children, and old people, these people they need more support from us, and I know this is discrimination against men but I'm not… no, I'm not discriminating but I really think that these people are the weakest in this world, and I think they use our fortune, but you need to deal with it. Some people I will give you an example, if you have fortune and you go to nightclubs and drink and do and and blah blah blah, this thing, and you lose your fortune and after that commit crime, and someone other, you can compare with someone other who has fortune who go to med school, maybe to help people, maybe to make free hospitals , I think this is the comparison between the youth, for this I tell you the youth are the fortune, if you use it and you train it and you take care of it and you put nice ideas in their heads you will have a treasure. But if you give tem laws and put like Al-Qaeda now they are putting these terrible ideas in their minds and the Islam doing this and… but this is not from Islam, the truth for myself, I have read the Quran and I have read translation for it, and I spent all my life, sometimes I tell people Quran is my friend, you know, he's my friend, I read the bible, I read it also, I read it more than, so many times I read the bible and anytime I go to bible. All our what came from God, these instructions that came from God, it's telling us to be okay, to love each other, to treat, not to kill, this killing is not from our religion, this is not from God, because if God wanted to kill us I think He would make a thunder and we all would die, you see 3 days ago when a whole village came under sand in Afghanistan, maybe you heard about it, but He can do it, He is not weak, He can kill us all and it's finished, why God would tell you kill this and kill this, why? This is the truth, for that, I think they came after the youth, youth if you treat them good they will be a treasure. And this is what is

TAPE 2

Nimeh Habashneh: in the Arab World, in the Arab World they are not treating them, they are teaching them, I don't know what is happening, but I hope it will go. After 2006, my husband died, I told you that time I was writing about children with no nationality, with no identity, about these women, how they are suffering, what they are doing, it's a terrible thing, and also I was in the BBC, their sharing thoughts, that time I was writing my ideas, my political ideas, my human ideas, my thoughts about peace and something like that. So I connected with so many people from all the Arab World, and also in our blogger we were writing from all the Arab World, we were connecting and discussing what to do, what is happening in the Arab World, I think maktoob bloggers was the start of the Arab Spring, in that spot we started the Arab Spring, because all the Arab, the volunteers who were working there putting their idea there, and it was like a big building, each blogger visits the other bloggers and we would comment on their blogs and they comment on our blogs, and also after we finis we met on messenger to talk, what is happening in your country, what happened in my country, I know girls from Morocco, from Libya, I know girls from Libya who joined the revolution and who worked hard in Libya to change, of course we have become backward, we didn't change, but at least we try, we try to change, in Syria, you know some bloggers, a blogger from Syria she was writing there and after that they captured her, the Syrian regime and they put her in jail, till this moment she didn't come out, and every time we were going to her blog we wrote we are with you, we are supporting you, I think this was the start of the Arab Spring, the Arab bloggers they started it. in 2006 my husband died, I have my daughter, she became ill, I wanted to treat her because you know I'm not a rich lady, I didn't have health insurance, here you can't make health insurance in this country because it's very, for the foreigners they would not make it, for the Jordanians who came I think 55 or 60 years old you can make health insurance, before that you didn't have anything, it's very bad system for health insurance in this country, so I went there to try and take anything, any health insurance to treat my daughter, I went to the Prime Minister house, at first I went to the Royal Courty, they told me your daughter is not Jordanian, we can't give you, go to the Prime Minister house. I went to the Prime Minister house, when I went there, there was in the reception, there was a man sitting there, he was very stuffed man and very, he didn't want to talk with anyone and he's very proud of himself that man, so I told him like that and my daughter is sick and what he did simply he catch the paper and throw it in my face, and told me no one told you to marry a none-Jordanian. I told him this is your last word? He told me yes please go out, I told him okay I will go out. So I came out from the Prime Minister house, there was a bridge, maybe you saw this blue bridge on the 4th circle, near the Prime Minister house there is a blue bridge, you saw it. this bridge, I was crossing this bridge, it has windows like that, so I wanted to cry but I didn't cry, it was nothing worth crying, and I think I became strong since that execution, I felt that everything will go and pass so no need to cry after that. I woke that time, I looked from the window there and said: God I want to talk with you, I hope in God so much, I have faith in God so much, I trust God, I know God can do anything he want, I know that God didn't put us fighters for Him, no, God He didn't want fighters, God wants good people to spread love and peace between, for that God put us on this earth, ad to make this earth a place for everyone to live, not to spoilt it also by cutting trees and spoiling water and, no, God just put us to take care of this land. So, I told him, God… no, first I said: God, you see what these people are doing to me. I asked him like that, I know that you are seeing and you know what is happening, I want to cry but I didn't cry, so I wiped my eyes and I told Him: but I told You God, I'm not weak, but I know that You are with me, and I promise you that I will bring my right and every Jordanian woman married to a none-Jordanian rights, and I just talked. I think it's, that moment is a very great moment when you talk to your God and you promise God, I promised Him. Just I went back home, I opened Google, I Google Jordanian mother married to none-Jordanian, to see from where I can start, when I googled it I found there was 2 articles, not more, 3 articles, 3 articles, one article was when queen Rania she promised to give Jordanian children nationality for, I think it's in 2001 or 2002, that time, it was a conference. The second article it was for one of the ministers, Interior Minister, he was talking that we can't give this nationality for the children because of the Palestinian case and because we did it?? (7:20). (side chatter)… another article, that was another article, and third article it was for a media man, his name Muhammad Shamma. Muhammad Shamma he has put the family book picture for the mother who can't add her children, he has put it, he has a blog in his blogger, and he write: till when will these people be treated like that? And he had an article about it, so I told myself I found somebody to cooperate with to start, I sent him my e-mail, I told him please I want to make a blogger and I want to make a campaign and something for this problem, I want to work on it, and please if you want to support me you can answer me for this e-mail. So really he sent me an e-mail and he called me, and he told me he was working in Radio Al-Balad, he told me I will make a program for you, so he told me: but Nimah, I want women to talk, it's very difficult, I can't find women to talk about this issue, I want women to start our program, ad let us start. At that time I went also to my facebook, I made my page on facebook, I connected it with Twitter, so any article I put on my page it will go on Twitter, like a beginning, of course I started that page. Muhammad he wanted to make that program, so Muhammad he told: Nimah I need women to start, I said okay I will find them. I called women, I called about 15 women to come, I told them this is a radio program, this is not television, you can tell my name Um Muhammad, Um Ahmad, you can tell any voice name, and you can tell what you want to tell, but we want the truth, we can bring anyone from the street and tell him to talk about himself and he will talk. We want the truth, we want you women yourselves to fight for your cause. So what happened?
N.P: They told me these are for you.
N.H: You must eat at least one, right? So… what happened that time? Muhammad told me at 5 o'clock I would come, I told him okay I'd come. They all told me we'll come, we'll come, at 5 o'clock nobody was there. Ladies they think that this is a red line, that women were always talking about red lines, you know in the Arab World, so many red lines, and some told me I'm frightened, my husband because he's not Jordanian something might happened to him from the police, others told me my family didn't agree to come up and talk about this problem and so much stories. That time I told Muhammad okay, there was my neighbor, she was Jordanian married to an Egyptian, I went to her, I told her come I want you, I told her come, come drink a cup of coffee, okay so I brought her to my house and my daughters and my children and for me, and I told him start your program, start to record. And that was the first, BBC before they make for us many programs, not only for Jordanian women, for Jordan and for Lebanon, but you know what, this was the first program in Jordan, that one which Muhammad Shamma made, it was the first, and I started my page on facebook. What happened after that was like a disaster for me when Yahoo bought Maktoob, and when yahoo bought maktoob they decided that they will remove all the bloggers from there. We sent a letter for them, now we have been working for years and for 12 years since 2000/1999, we are working on these bloggers, we didn't have the rights, these were all my thoughts, I have pictures for my blogger I will send for you to see my blogger. They didn’t have the right just by spread like that to say I didn't want bloggers in yahoo, this is our world, this is the most bad things in the internet, that you are working and putting all your ideas and the owner of the place came and took everything from it. and saw yahoo removed all out bloggers. Now I have only my facebook page and my twitter page. And of course the "the Civilized Discussion" it's a website where I write and put my ideas, it's some place for the Arab writers, they can write there, I write there, and that was the most important thing. After I worked for about 3 years online or through interviews, no one came to since 2006, early 2006 I started, so in 2011 about 5 years have passed, or 4 and a half years, so I started, I wanted to go to, we can't stay online and make my page, I spread the idea, I have so many volunteers to help me, I also reach Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, I was at that time I was working to reach all these people, Equality Now, Open Society, all of these people I reached, I reached them, I sent them letters to talk about our problem, to tell also so many articles were articles, I was writing my own articles to put and some people they were spread from Morocco from Iraq from here, they were sending for me questions and articles, so that time it was working like a turtle, it was walking alone, you know like old turtle working alone, but everyone was throwing flowers for her and grass, she was very happy that turtle. It felt very nice that time, of course people were against us and from Jordan and they were pushing hard by bas thoughts, bad talking, but for me I just put cotton in my ears and I walked, I didn't want to hear. If you want to start you must put what I told you, put cotton in your ears and go. And don't care. Only care for people who send you roses, but people who send you bad thoughts don't listen to them. Because I have my own project, I have my own goal, I must reach my goal, nothing will stop me, this is the most idea, and if you know that God is there and you have faith in God then you can do anything you want to do. Of course that time it was very, also it was dangerous that start, it wasn't easy for me, because I know that the government they didn't want anyone to talk about this issue, they didn't want to open it, they didn't want, and for myself I just trusted God and I know what the, for that from the first when I started I connected with Amnesty and Human Rights Watch and these people, at least for myself to feel that I have some people to support me or to protect me that time, and at least they know about me, but when I was working alone no one knew about you, it would be very difficult and the government they can just catch you and put you where they want. In 2011… I became very dry, you know?
N.P: If you want we can stop for a minute.
N.H: Yes, yes.
N.P: Okay?
N.H: Where did we stop?
N.P: That you were contacting… made contact with international Human Rights organizations.
N.H: Yes, to protect myself that time, I think it was a good idea for me and good thinking, so in 2011 in Jordan started the Arab Spring and everyone was coming to the streets, for myself I was thinking, why should I stay online all this time? It's time to go to the street. So I was going down, you know when you're working for political and working for human rights also, but I think my political working is connected with the human rights, it means for myself I will be very grateful for any leader who came and respect human rights, I'm not looking because this is left or because this is from right or this has loyalty for Russia or this is for Marx or Lenin or anyone, no, no. I respect the political man or political lady who came and respect the human rights, for Margret Thatcher I know she didn't give milk for children in England, but I think I'm looking for her not like a dictator or like a leader, I'm looking for her like a woman, a woman who has achieved something, because really she's a woman, she was an old lady, and she was strong and she became a PM of a great country in the world, and this is not something easy, for that I look up for her, not, I know she did so many mistakes, and also men when they become leaders they make so many mistakes, why we should say oh this is a woman she is… see, Martin Luther King, I respect him, so much I respect him, because he was a political man but he was also a human rights man. This is the way I'm working for political, from this point, not from any other point, I'm looking for the political person who stands in front of me, like this man is great, okay, why is he great? Because he's working for human rights. So, that time I was going down with them for Arab Spring, I go to demonstration down on the street, I wanted to go to make for my campaign, I named my campaign "my mother is Jordanian and her nationality is a right for me". Why I should I start from children? Some people told me why you didn't start from the women themselves, it means I am a Jordanian woman and I have the right ot give my nationality to my children. After that program I told you about, I felt that all the women here they are frightened to talk, and they are frightened to go out, so I think why shouldn't I start and I told you about the youth fortune, why I didn't start with these boys and girls, these youth who are ?? (19:56), who have strength, I think these people they will push their mothers outside, because if I am inside my house, I didn't want to go out, my child who is suffering from this problem told me mama please go, go and work for me, of course I will go out. For that, even the name I was thinking it before I chose the name, because you need sometimes to think of everything, every step you want to talk. So I started that page and when I stated my page all the people on the page were from the youth, so I put an announcement that we were going to demonstrate, it was the 14th of March, right? Yes, the 14th of March, we're going down and there was a big demonstration in Jordan on the 14th of March, of course before that I connected with all the people, I was going down to Al-Husseini to march with them and go for demonstrations with them and because you can't go alone like that and put yourself in front of these people that I want, no you need support, in Jordan and outside Jordan, so I connected with these people and I started working with them, very nice people they supported me, they told me okay Nimeh you come with us, you stand with us, we will help you, and really I went on that day on the 14th of March I went with me, I put announcement on my facebook page, please we want to demonstrate, anyone who, I put that occasion, anyone who wanted to come and support us, nobody came, only me and my two daughters. So that people they were demonstrating for political issues, I put my back for them, and I put my banner like that in front of the ministry of interior, to see that this is what I want, I want nationality. Of course at that time people started to talk and so many articles came in the Jordanian online media, also in the media in general, I think I have made, I started the fire at that time, just started the fire, then people came from every place to our page, why you didn't tell us? We want to go, they started to apologize, I told them I told you but you didn't want to go out, I know you are frightened but there's nothing to be frightened about, so they started to tell me we were frightened from the police, from the detectives, of the intelligence, from from from, so many ideas people they have in their minds, but they need somebody just to tell them out to shout and say this is my right, that was I think for me it was a very difficult point, very difficult, just to tell somebody to go face him, come and fight for your right, now I'm fighting for my right and for my children's right, but you must go out to fight for your right, it's very difficult to push somebody out from his house to go on the streets and to have the banner because if he didn't believe in it or if he's frightened, especially in the Arab World are treated the police treatment and they are frightened from everything, so it's very difficult but thank God I have made these women, what I told you, I started with the youth and really they write for me on my facebook page, madam Nimeh we want to go for a demonstration, after that stand up we make it, after 15 days only two weeks I had another stand up near the Prime Minister house with 40 ladies, 40 ladies, see how much? See how the difference came from me and my two daughters for 40, about 359 or 35 people came, I think it was very, it's a great achievement, that time there was about 100, for us we were 35 or 40, the others were all press and media and police of course, but if you come to the street you find 100 people standing with their banners to ask for their rights, I think it was very, very great work and great thing that happened that time. And then we started, now we have made 50 stand ups. Yes, we have made and we're still fighting of course this. So many things happened, so many things happened, they hacked our facebook page, of course they hacked it for two times they hacked, for my profile of course they were trying to hack it for so many time, they tried to put articles against me, they accused me that I'm working with the Zionists, to bring the Palestinian people who are in Palestine to Jordan, and leave the land for them they have gone to my blog and they were searching for me and say see this woman she's working with Zionists, she gets money from them, something like that. They start to accuse me for everything they think is bad in the world, they put it on my head, but for myself I didn't care for them, maybe I'm strong enough, maybe I trust in God so much, maybe sometimes I tell you the truth, I'm telling that God who have made me, who have given me strength from the beginning, who have made me pass so many parts of life, I forgot to tell you about my mother, I was 10 years old when my mother had cancer and started to spread on her body and she was so small, she married my father she was 17 years old, she finished her study, at that time they didn't study to work as a nurse or something like that, they just go to doctor and they like training, and after that they start their work, so that lady she was a great lady, she was very honest and very lovely lady, she was loving every person in this life, but I think she didn't have luck because she died very early, she died when she was only 26 years, she was very small when she died, she had cancer, at that time I was the big one in the family, imagine that, I was 9 and a half year or 10 years at that time, so I must take care of my brothers and sister, and while my mother in the hospital of course there was ?? (27:21)lady, she raised us, she was the housekeeper, she was not a housekeeper, we would call her auntie because she's a Kurdi, and Iraqi Kurdi, she came to the house to help my mother, she was helping before my mother died and she was also friends with my mother, and she was helping and she was taking care of us, but of course that lady she would go back to her house and I would stay, this one is sick, this one has fever, imagine that 10 years old girl who's taking care of these children until time… I think that also gave me some strength, so it gave me so much strength so that I can care and handle my life, ?? (28:03). This is from what I get my strength. Now if you want to ask me about the campaign, what we have made in the campaign, of course now we send letters for the king, we send our two letters, one of the times the king called center, he came to talk with us, he told us the king is with you, the king is supporting you, and we will solve your problem, I was very happy that time, very happy, but after that nothing happened, just a promise, after that they told us go to the PM house, we went to the PM house, also we give them ??? (28:39) about what we were given, every time they were talking about civil rights we can't give nationality, we give civil rights, okay where is it? Just give it, give anything. For myself, I told them, for myself I will still fight, I will not stop fighting, I will not refuse what you give for me, but I will not agree for it, for that they catch me they told me, you need nationality? Yes, what I need is nationality for these children, but if you give me civil rights now okay, I will never refuse it, but also I will not agree for it, because I want to continue my work. There was for sorry, and for sorry and for sorry I'm telling you I'm fighting for women's rights, for human rights, for girls, small girls, for the most sorry thing and I'm very ashamed of it, it's shameful and I think it's very shameful to see a man pushing against you okay, it's ordinary, but to see a woman pushing against you, this is I think is very shameful. Now if woman stands against the other women's right, we have a women ministry they put for us, of course they didn't put it for us, they put it just to decorate the Prime Minister at that time, the minister team, they want to decorate it, to see and tell people we have human rights here in Jordan ad that I did, so they put a woman, she was a minister of women and they put a woman on the head of it, ad that lady she was against us, imagine that! We met with her and she was talking she said only civil rights, because of Palestine and you want to empty Palestine and then the alternative homeland if you know this word, you want to make it and I told her no. at that time I was very happy one lady was with me from the campaign, after that the

TAPE 3

Nimeh Habashneh: the ones who came out and they were working with me and helping me, you know now I reached a point if I didn't want to go now or for two weeks now you see I'm sick, I didn't go outside, see now how much this telephone rang?This is because thy started the campaign, where are you? Why you are not working? No, you are our support you must come outside. Now they are pushing me to come out to the street, see how much, it's very, you feel like you are very happy for this, you can push these women, one lady she told her… but you are Palestinian. She told the minister of women, she told her but you are Palestinian, and you have the Jordanian nationality. Okay, give your Jordanian nationality and I will take it for my child. See? I told her okay, all the Palestinian leaders they are I, and Hamas and all of them, they have Jordanian nationality, and this is something true, they have Jordanian nationality, and they are Palestinian, they why are you talking about our children? I asked her, she said they are here for businessmen, I said but these people they are not businessmen, they are leaders. They should be everyone would look for them, they should say I would not take any nationality except my Palestinian nationality. If you are talking about Palestinians, about interior place and they are talking about this, why you put me because I'm a woman you want to make all my rights, oaky, why are Jordanian men there are so many Palestinians here who have the Jordanian nationality, right? In the campaigns they come, in the camps, Al-Baqaa and these camps, these people about 3 million Palestinians who have taken the Jordanian nationality. These 3 million now they are Palestinians, right? They have the right to go to Palestine, okay, why this man he can marry up to 4 women and give them the Jordanian nationality, and you didn't talk about it? Why you give them the right? And for me you didn't want to give me, I'm asking for nationality for my children, the equality says that they give nationality for my husband and my children, this is equality, I'm not asking for equality, I know, I'm asking for equity, only, equity giving my children my nationality, I'm not asking for something more. Why the Jordanian man he can marry 4 Palestinians and if he divorced one he can marry the others, and he divorced… marry 20 women and give them all the nationality. It's only discrimination against women, it's not for Palestinians, not for the government, these people are lying, they are liars. These people they didn't in their tradition, they didn't respect who are married to a foreigner, they feel that she made something offensive, they prefer the woman to stay without marriage and to die like that, but not marry a foreigner, and all this came from the wealth and sharing wealth after the father dies and something like that, now she brings foreigner for us, she brings Egyptian, and this is my father land, how I will give my land for an Egyptian? How will I give my land for a Moroccan or for a British or for, he's a foreigner, you know the old thinking of the farmers and for the tribes far away, maybe in England the people they had some ideas like that before, about hundreds of years. In our country it is still till now, these ideas still arrive till this moment. So this is the most thing for them, so that lady she was against us, this is the minister of women, she was against us, she was not with us, she said we'll try to give you civilian rights, sorry because I'm sick sometimes I forget, I can't concentrate so much so I'm sorry. I will give you civil rights, okay, where is it? Give it. and after 3 months she just go, she take photos, and she go and she didn't do anything. And so many organizations here in Jordan the women are, maybe Hala told you, the women are against us. The head of the organization is against this issue, and she's working, what they say, the organization is with us but the hea of it isn't with us. So what happened at that time? All the organizations were against us. This is the most thing, this is what stopped in our faces in this country. After that we reached, of course we are like a campaign, we have worked with media, we have respected everyone, any organization who wanted to work with us I was very happy, I was telling them, you know when I started the campaign I was taking the telephone and ringing on every organization separately and told them we are campaigning we need your help, we need your support, please come and support us. Some people they accepted us, others they didn't accept us; because they are against the idea. But mostly when we go out to demonstrate, we demonstrate around, you know, I'm telling you what happened, exactly what happened. Now the government is against the issue. These organizations they are taking money from the government, Now some organization the head of the organization and who are working inside it they are against our issue, so they didn't want to cooperate from the beginning. Some organizations, the lady who is on the head and all the staff are with us, and they want to support us, but they can't support because the government is against us. They didn't take the green light from the government, the government didn't give them the green light. So, how they can help us? They just help us from under the table, you know, now be media, by something like that, but not under the light, because under the light they are frightened of the government, they can't do anything because they are supported by the government and the government didn't give them the green light. This is what really happened in Jordan. Some organizations which are not for the government like the AWO, you know them, Laila, Laila she didn't care about anyone, and she's a great lady and she wasn't frightened also. So she supported us under light, and she came since the day I knew her, she came to support us in our demonstration, she helped me to go to Geneva in CIDAW committee to lobbying there and to just pushing something from there, and the CIDAW they put it for the recommendation for the government, citizenship for children and for husbands also, it was very great, and that time also there was the UPR (8:15), also Laila supported me, and the EPA they supported us, and we go to Geneva also where there was discussion the UPR for Jordan and we have made some management, all the governments there they were with us, but of course the Jordanian government was against us, but what made me also sad that you came and USA the most countries in the world which Jordan is listening for them and obeying their orders, they didn't ask the government for this. But I can give them because you know USA or UK talking about this automatically all the people will say because of Zionists and because of Palestine. But I think sometimes you mustn't frighten from anyone and we must put our rights first and we must talk. Now if USA or UK put these recommendations for Jordan I think Jordan will reply for them, and really we need support from these countries. Now, wi told you we made demonstrations, after that we have tried to cooperate with the parliament, we have also sent memoranda for the parliament, for the legal society there in the parliament, we made them, we tried to cooperate with them, in last elections we have cooperated with so many parliament people, we go there to reach with them ad to talk with them, I come for many people I reach for Mr. Mustafa Hamarneh, Mustafa Hamarneh he's responsible for Sharakeh organization in Madaba, and thie man he's working with women married to none-Jordanians since years, since so many years he's working, and when he heard about my campaign and about my work he blessed me and he was very happy, and he sent for me to talk with the women there, to support them and to tell them to, he told me I want them to be brave and to come out, same what we now, and the ladies came and supported the campaign, and Mr. Hamarneh he became in parliament, when he became I gave him the memorandum, he called me and what we want to do, I told him this, he told me for this time I can't ask for citizenship, because it's very difficult, and everything is against us, let s start with civil rights, I told him okay, I told him okay but at least give citizenship for children for women who have special needs, who are widowed, divorced or orphaned, these people they need a cure and we must give them citizenship, he promised me that he would work for it but everyone when they didn't agree, they only agreed for citizenship, they changed the world from citizenship to even averages, maybe special averages let's say, only they give, we call it in Arabic "mazaya khadamatiyyah" and in English special advantages or averages like that. They will give averages.
Nicola Pratt: Averages?
N.H: Averages, yes.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Special averages, yes. Special averages, this is what they now call it, not civil rights, because the civil rights are like citizenship and we didn't want to give, and now they are talking about coming out these averages, every day, every week we are waiting, and we are still demonstrating to have our right. And this is the story for me and now you want to ask me anything you can ask me.
N.P: Can I ask, did you ever join, were you ever part of a political organization or…
N.H: Yes, yes. One time when I just came from Kuwait I was part of some party, it was named Ansar and I think that time I was searching for I told you peace and something and when I talked to the manager for that party he told me we are working for women rights and for peace and something like that, I worked with them about maybe 2 years I worked for them, but after that I find that parties here in Jordan they are not working to separate their world or to, no not like England, not like USA, no. Parties here like a shock in Jordan, just the one who is responsible he goes here and here to collect money, and thank God it's enough. For myself I talked with him I told him that time I heard what happened between me and him, and he told me Nimeh we want you to go to Iraq, go visit Saddam Hussein, and he would give everyone who came he will give them money, of course you will come back with money, and you can… that time I have, I didn't pay my rent that time and the government was asking me to pay rent for the owner of the flat or leave the flat, and he told me now you didn't have your rent for house, ad you need money for your children, so go to see Saddam Hussein, at that time Saddam Hussein in the days before America went there.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: It was in 1999 or 1998 maybe. So I went to the party it was 1996, that time it was 1998, the last of 1998, maybe it was in November or in December because it was winter at that time, so he told me you go to Saddam Hussein, just to go there because we want to support him, and we'll give you money and you'll go there in Haroun Al-Rasheed street in Baghdad, and you'll go into a hotel and that time so many people from Jordan did go, I told him I would never go. I can't put my hand with a murderer. He told me you are fool lady, you can think, I didn't know who you are thinking like that, I told him no this is the truth, I will not go to put my hand with a killer just to bring money to pay my rent and for my children, even if they put me in jail because I'm not paying the rent it would be okay for me but not go to put my hand in the… and that time I fought with him too much and he was talking with me badly, he said you're foolish and things like that, I told him I'm going outside form this part and I promise you I'll never go for any party in my life until I have my own party, if I want to make I will make my own party and I will make my own people, but not working with anyone of you, because I will never go there, I will never put my hand with a murderer and it's finished. And that was time, that time I left, and the people who went there everyone was returned with a Rolex , ah, Rolex watch and with 50 thousand dollars. My neighbor here on the next street he went there, imagine 50 thousand dollars that in 1999, how much they worth that time? My neighbor here he came that time he bought a Mercedes, he bought a flat, he became rich, and for myself I'm happy, I didn't want to be rich on other people's bodies and blood, no. it's not my cause and not my target, my target is to reach God with so many souls I have saved, not so many souls that I have put my feet on them, yes. I think sometimes you will think that I'm a fool lady but I'm proud of myself. Yes.
N.P: You have a lot of honesty.
N.H: Thank God, thank God, because I tell you something, I have seen that execution by myself, now if anyone told me Saddam was a dictator I will say no just give me something, but I saw myself what they've done for Kuwait, I saw myself when they were killing youth for nothing, why are you killing them? So, why should I put my hand with a dictator. Even if he was my father, I told you my father taught me so many ideas, when I grew up I said that father he told me was teaching me wrong ideas, for the time for my father it was right for him but not right for me, because that was a time and this is a time, we will ot be stuck with our father's ideas in our heads till we die, no, if you didn't change yourself it means you'll stay where you are now you see that what he make most of the plants or animals they change, why God make them change? Even the plant in winter it will go all leaves down and it will come back in Spring because God He wants us to change like that, to renew ourselves, not to stay in the same ideas, same thoughts. Okay, for my farther that time there were Ottomans, they got so many people who were underground, they wanted to go upside, they wanted to raise up, they wanted to do something, that was the right idea, but after that what to do? Where to go? Now for myself I mean for my children I didn't accept, I didn't like Al-Qaeda, I didn't like all this terrorism, even from where… we need to live in peace, we need something good for our children, now this planet became so much crowded and if we didn't live in peace and if we didn't renew ourselves and renew our life we will destroy everything. That was the only part I was gone inside it and then I left it, simply I left it, I didn't want, 4 or 5 years I was with them and then I left it simply, I didn't want to for that support… if you want, they let me go inside because he was, they didn't have woman that time and he told me come please support us, you are a woman and you can talk about women rights and, okay, but I will not go to put my hand with a dictator just to give money and come back. This is not my role. What do you want to ask? Ask what you want.
N.P: Were you ever part of any other organization? Civil society organization
N.H: No… yes, now I'm with AW Awk?? (20:48) now, yes, yes I'm not withthem. We try to make our, I forgot to tell you about this, we tried to make our organization for our campaign, for two times, we tried to register it for two times and the government didn't accept us, they didn't want us to become an organization, for two times me and women with me we have gone to the Social Affairs Ministry to try to be an organization, to register it, but they didn't want us, they refused, both times they refused. The last time they even refused to take the application from us, the government. They hacked our page, they hacked my page, when I started and, I told you about Piata?? (21:44) when Piata sent me from Poland a letter with a signature on it for the professors and doctors they are in her university and in EU from EU parliament, some people from EU parliament she sent me, signature for supporting us, I just put it on my page, I put it on the page, on the facebook page, what happened after that next day we woke up, it was my birthday, 30/11, when I woke up I found my page hacked and they put the king's picture on it and they saved it under "how many likes for the king's eyes?" see? See how these people are thinking? So what I've done simply I went to the royal court there, it was a demonstration, I told them why you hack my page? He told me I first told the police, the police told me bring the admins and something like that, see what they've done. They know the admins they didn't have identity, they are boys and girls from women married to none-Jordanians and they didn't have anything, so these people they can't go to police, it's dangerous for them, so they later hacked the paper, hacked the page, when I go to police they told me I told them okay, I told the Prime Minister House, I told them why you just hacked my page? He told me it's not us, it's the Muslim Brotherhood who hacked it. so why they will hack my page the Muslim Brotherhood? They told me maybe because you're writing against them and against… I said no, no, because when I go to a demonstration of that type it was for them and they accept me between them, I told the police they accept me, They said okay come and demonstrate with us, you know so why should they? Then I go to the PM house, I find the name ODAI, Odai, I was searching, I found this same signature in the intelligence page, he's the admin for it. so, I go to the PM house I told them this man he's from the intelligence, his name is Odai, they said no, this is not, I said give me your laptop to show you. I showed him, no this is not a government organization, I told him no one can go to on facebook and make intelligence and make government organization if he wasn't allowed to do it and you know this, it's possible for anyone to make a page for the intelligence, especially if it's Jordanian, Jordan Intelligence, or UK intelligence or Israel or USA because these are very strong intelligence organizations and you know this, so he told me no, no, I told him no, this one is from intelligence and they hacked my page and I want my page back. After about one week someone came inside the page and what he said: where is the owner of this page or I will delete it. so they called me, Mrs. Nimeh this is the one who hacked the page, he has written like that, I sent him a letter, I said why do you want to delete my page? He said this is your page? I told him yes, he told me give me your phone I will call you. I put for him my phone he called me. He told me you went to the PM house and was talking about me and, how did this man know? How does he know? If he's not from the Intelligence, how did he know? This is the truth, how did he know? So he told me your page is against the government ad you are what we call it, the word, you know I forgot everything today because I'm sick, I'm so sorry, it means to make bad… what? Bad reputation, you are making bad reputation for the government, and you are bringing signature from Europe, from here, from here, and this page is making bad reputation for Jordan and something like that. I told him, if you didn't want a bad reputation just give us our rights and I will say that you are angels who came from the sky. Just give me my right, so lastly he told me I will give you back your page and I'm sorry for hacking it, something like that, I told him okay but I will keep you admin for it, I told him, okay I will take my page back but I will put you as an admin for it, to know that you will not hack it again, not give it for me today and tomorrow you hack it again. He said you are a strong woman I told him thank you very much, and I made him admin for 3 months after that, after that he by himself he has gone from the page, but I put him admin to know, to tell that he… you know, I need that time not to hack it again because I know what they do, they maybe give it to me and they say we'll bring it back for you, no, ?? (27:23), no. after that they tried to hack it another time and thank God some people told me how to make a secret admin and something like that and I did a secret admin, and it came and they can't hack it for the first time, and we can save the page. And now we are waiting for them to see what would they do. Now if you want to ask me, if your campaign finished what we will do?
N.P: Okay, but before that can I just ask, were you shocked about, when you came to Jordan and you found your children did not attend school or get health care, were you shocked?
N.H: Yes, yes. It was very… see I told you, not shocked only for Jordan… I can't eat anything, because it came here, it is very tasty, thank you very much, you take one, please, you want my pen?.
N.P: No, you stay, I can write.
N.H: Thank you very much… thank you, thank you. See, not only from Jordan I was shocked. Of course when I came and found my children they didn't have any right it was a shock for me, but really I was shocked, my father has put so many ideas in my mind, and we're Arabs and we must cooperate and, and, and…you must be proud of yourself because you are, I think sometimes it's kind of lie the Nazis where they say you are a Nazi, you are a German from Germans, you are pure and you are best of all the world, all the people, I think sometimes it's like that, you know? They became very… I don't have the word, extremists, extremism, yes, so much that you are Arab, you are something pure, you are something very, something like that, and you go out and you see, what happened? I lived all my life in Kuwait, I studied in Kuwait, I finished my education, I married in Kuwait, I raised my children in Kuwait, and when I came outside Kuwait and Saddam came I go outside from Kuwait because I love Kuwait, but for Kuwaiti people they didn't want me to go back to Kuwait, anyone who came out of Kuwait during that invasion they didn't come back to Kuwait. Even if you are Arab, then where am I? I have written an article about this, I will give you the link and you can see what I have done. You feel like you are a stranger, a stranger in Jordan, a stranger in Kuwait, any Arab country you feel like you are a stranger. Okay, I will go to England, okay I will be a stranger because I am not English and I didn't have ?? (31:00), and maybe I will go for visit only

TAPE 4

Nimeh Habashneh: Like to visit them, something like that, but in my, in the country I was raised in, I was educated in, how I can live in this kind of country? And you didn't even respect me, even you think that I'm… I think this is what, this is not my problem, this is all the Arab problem. Really we have an identity crisis, even if we have identity and we have Arab and, but inside all the Arab people they have identity crisis. Of course I'm shocked by what happened, all the Arab countries they give women citizenship except Lebanon and us, they didn't give, and it's because of corruption, corruption and discrimination, not for anything else, these people are liars, you know now if she's married for Egyptian she needs for her children for working she want… I can't concentrate because you know
Nicola Pratt: shall we take a pause?
N.H: Or court permit, she wants court permit, of course. Now, she must pay for somebody money to make this for her children. This is not, these people they didn't want to lose what they are taken from these ladies, they didn't want to lose, they want to just take money, now this only work… now if one of her children is sick and she wants to make for him insurance and something like that, she will also find a man to pay for him money and he will bring it for her from under the table. If he has money and he wants to take citizenship, he will pay for somebody money ad will take citizenship. I think, and saw a little bit, and I know after you put it in public or the Jordanian people will hate me, in this country they didn't respect humans, they respect money. How much you have money, they respect you. They didn't respect you like a human, and this is the truth, maybe from far they say okay this lady she's talking right and, but no they will not, they will never respect anyone, they respect only how much money you have. How much money you will give for them, and this is a disaster. You want to talk to me about these… I have some ideas but it's gone… about these children for mothers, we talk about corruption, we talk about, yes, yes. Now eve the organizations who are responsible, I'm not talking about all the organizations, some of them they didn't want this problem to be solved, why? Because they are taking budget and funds to work for this issue, and they are not working probably, they are just doing conference her and conference here inside the hotel, so now let us make conference or workshop for one hundred years, who will know about it? what we have done? How do you save the cause? This is, for you now Nimeh came, Nicola, the other one, the other one, we came there for a workshop, okay, after two weeks they say please come there is another workshop, please come there's a conference, same circle, they didn't go to the street, they didn't push ideas outside, but these people they are happy because they are taking money for our cause and some of them even not small people, some of the people who work from years and working, but they are working not because they want to help the society, no, they are working because they want to be rich and rich and rich. They are just taking money from UK from USA, USAID, from here and there, but they just spend it for themselves and then we have made a workshop, it's finished, and this is the most dangerous thing, that these organizations are cooperating with the government to stay against us for all the time. See how it is, it happens in this country, they didn't want to go work, they didn't want to solve anything, they just want to stay taking money and live on it. This is maybe, somebody told you about this, what is happening? You know about this idea?
N.P: I've heard some people say these things, yeah.
N.H: And I think in Egypt the same, in all the Arab countries the same, yes. You know in Yemen sometime before, you know what they were doing in Yemen? in the time of Ali Abdullah Saleh and this time, they make, give money to Al-Qaeda people, make them terrorism, go and fight and do and do and do, and they just ask America, what to do? We need money to fight these people? These people they are doing like that, and the US she's paying, UK paying money, the tax payer money, they give to these people because… and those people they take the money and of course the robots, the remote control, stop, work, stop, work. And this is the truth. Shameful, I just say shameful, shameful where we reached is shameful, the Arab World now let's forget my campaign, the reach is shameful, I don't know when will we go outside this… now they put us in the middle of the fire, and I don't know when will we go outside this fire, where we are going, we were trying to make Arab Spring, were trying to spread the roses between the Arab people, and to make one Arab country, a place for peace for everyone, but I think what happened is that we became separated for thousands of people who have thoughts and parties and I didn't know how we… I think if you bring mud and put it with water and you just shake it with a spoon it will become something terrible, and this is I hope the Arab World now at this moment is like that, like mud with water, and we have just moved the spoon, when it will come to separate the clear water from the mud, maybe in our children's time, maybe after, but for myself like an activist I have tried, I have tried through my blogger, I have tried through my campaign, now I'm telling you now I'm a little away from the political now, but I can watch what is happening on the street, I can see what is happening in Syria, killing people by cold blood, I think maybe the barbarians if they came back this time, I think they will say you are awful and shame on you! Because you are doing more than what those people were doing, we are very, very, the world became really, it became one… we want to make the world one global village, but the truth is that we have made the world separated for thousands of parties and people and regions and… I think it's awful what is happening in this world. But for myself I will still fight, even if I finish my campaign, I will go back to my rights, in human rights, now I'm cooperating with the organization, I hope God gives me one day money so I can start my own party, I wanted a clean party, I wanted a party to reach peace and to reach everything good in this world, for myself I believe in God, I believe in Muhammad, I believe in Jesus, I believe in Moses, I believe in the Bible, I believe in the Quran, I believe in everything, anything good in this world I believe in it, and I thought God put us in this world not to kill everyone, not to spoil the world, to make it clean and green and to make peace between it, but I think it's a very big dream for the old lady, now you didn't ask me about my age, I'm 56 years now, I hope God will give me more strength and life so I can fight because we need to go. Anything else I…
N.P: You're still very young
N.H: Thank you very much, thank you very much. You know, sometimes you live 56 or 60 years or 65 or 70 but you start to fight at 30 or 40, it means you'll stay young, but for myself I'm fighting since I was 10 years old, I think it's a very big, big journey, I have worked so much, but I didn't reach anything, this is the most thing that you work, work, work, sometimes I feel that I'm proud of myself, thank God, I didn't, I told you one time I was in need for money and I didn't share any money from a dictator or from anyone else, thank God, I didn't sell myself for anyone, I was fighting for people, for my people who I'm like. Ghandi, I'm very proud of Ghandi, Martin Luther King I like him so much, Martin Luther King. Winston Churchil, he was a strong man and he was a fighter and he was… but I think this man he had some ideas, it's worth to learn from him, maybe he was a very simple man, this is what I like in Winston Churchil, he was a simple man, and I like when he refused to occupy any land, he said no, this is not Britain's land, this is the others' land, give it for them. I respect this for him. Anyone who is working for peace I respect him. Mother Teresa I like her so much also, I think the symbol for me, Mary, this is I think, Virgin Mary we call her, I this is the greatest lady ever came in this world, this lady she is great, she was a mother, she was a fighter, she was a woman, and she was great, these people who I really respect them and I like them and I hope one day will come peace for all this world. And anything you want to ask me, remember.
N.P: I think that you are an inspiration to the young people in Jordan who are opting for change.
N.H: I hope, God willing, I hope we can change, God willing, we can change. I want to tell you something the most important thing when you want to change that the regime or the political system in the country wants to change, what if it's spoiled and corrupted they will put in every step for you they will put a stone, this is the truth. If you want to change, the head of the regime must be with you and I hope and I wish that the head of the regime here in Jordan our king start this change, because if he didn't want to change nothing will change, because you see if you are in a house and there's a father, this is to say the truth, and he's drunk your father or he's gambling, or he's spoiled with a woman all the time, then it will be very heavy on mother and on children to live, maybe one or two of the children they will do like daddy, maybe one, maybe no one, but you have that type, it will be heavy, heavy on the mother and the children, everyone inside the family, if you're talking about family, it will be very difficult, so if the head of the regime if he isn't good and if he didn't want to change, nothing will happen in Jordan, it will stay more corrupted and wrong. If he wants to change and he works hard for it, even in UK, in England you have the queen mother, I respect her so much this lady, of course first because she's a lady, second because she's a really nice queen. My children accuse me that I'm like queen Elizabeth because queen Elizabeth in the night she puts off all the lights in her palace, so at night I go and they tell me Elizabeth come come, don't put the light off, I put all the lights off, so I think she's a very lady, she has respect for herself, she respects her people, she likes her people, no one is perfect, if you want to talk about perfect no one is perfect, everyone has… but at least be good for your people and give them their rights, I think it will be a very, very… I hope one day we can reach England and here in Jordan came like, like England. I forgot to tell you about constitution repairment when they tried… that time for my campaign we had made 15 demonstrations for the repairment of the constitution to put the word gender in the six of it, and the government refused to put the work gender because they put, they refused to put the word gender because we didn't want to give nationality for children of women married to none-Jordanians. They just put it in the media, in Al-Rai, Al-Rai is the government newspaper, they put it inside it, in an article in an announcement. See how much these people are working against us? This is the truth, ad if you put it off I will tell you the other.
N.P: Okay… continue?
N.H: Yes, yes. I told you that lady she asked me for a way to bring money to just bring money to demonstrate, I told her I didn't have money, all what we need was the ticket or taxi, and a paper, sometimes, I told her sometimes we take the cartons with us, we write on this face, the next time we bring it we just turn it and write on the other face. It's not something very difficult. You know I forgot to tell you something, they tried to go for me and my house, they tried to penetrate me when I started my campaign, they pushed… they know I am a widow, they push some people for me on internet or on facebook or messenger to talk with me and you are lady, you didn't want to live, you didn't want to marry, you didn't want to have a boyfriend something like that, I told them I'm an old lady and I have my cause, please if you want to talk with me talk with me only with business with my work, nothing else. They have tried so many times. They send people to talk phones with me also, Mrs. Nimeh please I want to talk with you and I talk with them then they start to talk about living and your life and you are alone and something like that. I told him I didn't tell you I'm… this is so much, the woman who came outside to fight, they try to catch it like that in the Arab World, and all the World, these people, to harass her to something like that, oh you are a lady you are alone, something like that, you are a very nice lady, you didn't try sex with somebody, something like that, I told him please I'm not talking about this, I ?? (18:15) put my line and I'm working online, this is the intelligence that's doing that, ad the people who are against you, and they are so for money, they tried to give me money from the against party which is in UK, he called me, you know I told you about some complications, let's come inside, yes record.
N.P: I can record?
N.H: Yes record, you are recording?
N.P: Yes.
N.H: About some complications coming inside the campaign I want to tell you. This man he called me, first he sent me please I want your phone I said okay, I gave him my phone, everyone knows this man is not against, he's part of the intelligence but he's pushing the against to a trap, so what he told me, for myself I didn't… he called me, you are working and you must fight for your rights and I'm happy for you and you're ?? (19:09), okay, I want to help you I want to send you money, I said money for what and he told me I will send you 20 thousand dollars for the first time and every month I will send you 1 thousand or 2 thousands for you and the ladies to demonstrate and to work, I told him thank you I didn't want money from anyone, I will not spoil my campaign for money, because money is not my goal, if I want money I will go and work and bring money, my goal is to reach what I want to reach, this is my goal, and thank you very much. What that man has done he talked with some people who were admin in the page, my page, and I think these they didn't want to talk and they left the campaign. Sometimes you fight for people who you shouldn't fight for, sorry to tell this word, but I think they have taken money from him because it was a poor boy, now he's married and he has money and no one knows from where that money came, and this is what happened, and I think this boy he was put in the campaign from the intelligence themselves, you know. They have tried to trap me so much, they have made for me so many traps, but thank God I didn't go inside the traps. They said for me people I love you, they tried to come to my house, to my children, they tried to come to my children but of course my daughters they know, every one of us knows that we are, if you want to work they are, I don't know. The people in the campaign also there is something here in the Arab World that people they didn't want to work, they want everything to come just to them, and this is why the activists in the Arab World they find themselves in trouble. Talk about corruption? Yes. I want to talk about the campaign itself, about how to deal with people from the campaign itself, you can find so many people, you can find people who want to fight and to fight for their rights, you can find people who just want to sit and wait to see what the end of what will happen. Some people will attack you, you are working for us then why you didn't bring anything till the moment? I told them I didn't work for you, you didn't pay me, I'm an activist, I just work for the cause, not for you, I'm not working for you, I tell them I work for myself, and I work for the cause, not for you, for you I will never go and… because if you pay me, I will work for you, but I don't work for you. Some people they put like that, this is in the Arab World this is the most bad thing in the campaigns, that people from all types and some of them they didn't want to cooperate, some want to just jump over the campaign, of course this is where the intelligence comes, one time one lady was with the campaign and they connected with her the intelligence, they took her, and she was telling the ladies, don't go, the police will come. They will beat you, I hear somebody talk like that, some police told me that they will beat you, they will break your legs, they will dump… some ladies are very, very nice ladies and they work without talking, of course they… you know, if they have found a chance to make them activists they will be and nice and great activists, but in the Arab World they didn't give you a chance to fight for yourself or fight for your rights, if you want to go they will beat you, they will put you inside the intelligence they will do so many things for you. Some ladies now in my campaign, sorry to say that, 3 ladies have died, because they were old ladies and they were very active and they were working hard, you know they were good, they've take… now there is my page link here you can go to the page and go to pictures and you can see the pictures for these old ladies, and now 3 of them dead, by… we call it heart attack, by heart attack the three of them died since these now 7years, 8 years now it's almost, because it was in the beginning in 2006, not it's almost became now about 8 years, we reached 8 years. So these ladies have died, now about two weeks ago also one lady she had a brain attack and she became she can't walk, she became… but these ladies are some in the campaign you find great ladies, all you want to push them outside, push her and tell her go and work she will work. Of course some ladies they didn't want to work, she told you I'm lady, I'm weak, my father my brother my husband, she feels like… they raise her like that, you are nothing so just stay in your home and don't do anything else. This is the people in the campaign who can't fight, from the difficulties I told you about hacking the page, I told you about they refused to register our organization, they refused it for three times, I told you about the intelligence what they try, they tried to sometimes to send men for me or to buy, send me money or anything, or penetrating through my daughters or my children they tried to do. I will tell you a story, it will be a very nice story. When I was working on my blogger, that time I reached with Mr. Shamir, I reached him to put his article on my blogger, so there were people from Libya and Egypt and you know, they started to say this lady she's a Zionist and something like that and she is cooperating with the Israeli government, event he name my name was Souq Ikaz, Souk Ikaz is some kind of place where people were meeting from all regions and they were talking, for that I called it Souk Ikaz, to mean that we can meet, whatever you are there is a place you can meet, there is a spot you can meet with it and live, never mind, we can live together, I do not care for what you are thinking, you know in my blogger there were two boys Shia, one of them was from Lebanon, I'm for all the time I am against Hezbollah, and that boy he was supporting Hezbollah and for me I was against it and he was repeating and commenting for each other, was talking in public about why I hate them and why he is, he thinks that these people are protecting them and protected his village when the Israeli came to bomb and something like that, they were dropping dolls with bombs for children the Israeli force ad I was thinking that Hezbollah these people they are liars and they are not doing anything, they are just making problems with the others and something, and he was talking, another one he was Bahraini, he was supporting Iran and for myself I was, not Iranian people, I'm with Iranian people but I'm against the Iranian regime which is making this for people and Malali and these stories and what they are doing for women and what they are doing for children, and he thinks that this is the right way, he was also partner with my blogs, how the blog was, and Mr. Shamir that time, so when I put Mr. Shamir people they started to became angry, the Libyan people, you are with the Zionists, you are like that, you are like that, and they started to say bad things about me, this is a whore, yes this lady she's a whore, she's making, pulling boys and girls towards her just to put these bad ideas, the Israel government is giving her a salary and something like that, that time the boys and girls who like me they made a blogger for me and they called it Mama Nimeh, and every one of them would just go inside and write something for me, like they give it for me in my birthday they gave it to me like a present, birthday present, Mama Nimeh blogger and… so this is what happened, they think that this is working for the Zionists this lady she work. Okay, the Libyan what did they start to do? They started to attack me, go inside my blogger and attack me, and by bad words, back talking, they have made bloggers against me, see how they… I was thinking that day what to do? What to do with these people? I must find something they were badly attacking me, I must find something to stop, all the Libyan bloggers, only maybe one or two were with me, the others all were against me and they were talking with the Egyptians, with the Libyan, from Algeria, from here, they were making people against me, and I was thinking, thinking, thinking, that time I was standing me and my computer and looking, I have read what they wrote about me, this whore she is pushing our children, our girls and boys, she's talking them to make them soldiers for Israel and something like that. What to do? Then I remembered one time when Muammar Qaddafi he was talking about Israel and he was saying these are our brothers, and we must make one country called Israteen he called it, half of Palestine and half of Israel, it will become Israteen, Palestine with Israel, half word and half word will become, so I remembered that, I went to Youtube and just bring the film, I didn't respect Muammar Qaddafi, I didn't like him because I knew he was a murderer and he was a dictator, I knew it, but sometimes you need to do something against your beliefs to push another one to go far from you, so I bring that video and I just put it in my blog, and I say what a nice words from a nice leader, Mr. Muammar Qaddafi, I respect you guy, I just put it in my blog. I know these people are, all of them they are Libyan Intelligence, I know, I know them, because one I have contacted

TAPE 5

Nimeh Habashneh: one Libyan girl, and these told me Mama Nimeh these people all are intelligence from Libya and they are attacking you for this, and it was a chance for them to do something to raise themselves, okay I told her. I got it. so I got inside my blogger, one hour only I came, I found about 100 comments, they were spitting on my… telling me, hey you lady, you think you are like Mr. Muammar Qaddafi the king of Africa, the prophet of God, like that! They were, you think you are… so what I commented, one comment for them, I told them I know he's the king of Africa, I know he's a great man, I know he's a prophet of God, for that I'm respecting him and respecting his ideas. So, they all splash, gone, no one was there, came for me one of them, I know he's intelligence also but he was a friend of mine and at that time he stood not with me, not with them, he was just silent, and he told me, hey Nimeh, you know what you've done for them? You have destroyed them all, they are all they like they have a meeting in Benghazi and they were talking and they all were spitting on you and see this she's Jewish, she's Zionist, she's like that, but they can't, no one can talk anything about you. Sometimes the active lady she needs to be smart, and to do something, of course I respect myself, against what you think, sometimes you want to do something against what you think, but it's not harming anyone because after 2 days I just removed that blog, I removed that video and everything is finished, now no one can come to my blog, no one talking about me, finished. You must do something to make the other stop, you must be strong. Not only strong by muscles, no one is strong by muscles, but strong by mind, to think right, you can destroy your enemy, I think this is not my enemy, they are enemy for every human right detective these people like that, they are against, really, they are enemies for every human peace. That lady I told you she was blogger, Libyan Blogger, now she's a parliament member in Libya. She was small and young lady, she was in the university, she was calling me Mama Nimeh, every time, of course she was against the regime against Muammar Qaddafi, I was so much frightened for her because they were raping girls and putting them in jails and something like that, so she was talking with me, what to do, she was a girl, she wanted to put and write, for myself I was giving her instructions, I was telling her don't be foolish, don't… I have some thoughts maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong, but if you want to be a human right and you want to fight for other people's rights don't put yourself in danger, in the main danger, no. of course we are all in danger, but sometimes there is dangerous more than dangerous, I know the government maybe will take me anytime but my ideas are separated also, it's finished, but for lady like that, for a young girl in Libya at that time with some kind of regime, I think it was very dangerous to write an article against Muammar Qaddafi or to do something like that, so I was telling her please spread your ideas in the close room and slowly, don't be, the sea when it came flow it will take countries, but if you work like a stream it will be in all, in every opposite, the roses will raise up, and then… (side talk)… so now I was telling her you want to spread your word, spread it easily, don't just attack the regime, because you are alone, you can't attack a regime, if we spread our words slowly we can go, I told you like a stream and like a sea. The sea is killing, making flood, it will take everything and will spoil everything, but the stream is going slowly and the roses will come and spring will come, and this is I think any human rights activist should work by this system. Don't be hard, sometimes we need to be hard but not that hardness, same like the cause I told you with the Libyans, I was hard, I think I was so much hard that time, but it was also slowly, not something, this is what the activist needs, to work easily and think and most thing that you must respect yourself. Don't use your cause, don't ever use your cause to make benefit for yourself; because you are working for the others not for yourself. Even if they attack you, even if you are in need, don't make it to take… because at the minute you sell yourself no one your respect you. You'll fall, and all the cause you are working for will fall, and everyone, human rights activists like you they see huh, see what they are doing, they will make you a sample for the others, so if you really want to and I hope we can find fighters like that, like Martine Luther King, like Ghandi who was working against UK I know, but he was a great and brave man, like South African president remind me of his name
Nicola Pratt: Nelson Mandela?
N.H: Nelson Mandela, he's a great man and see he was poor, not rich and he started a cause and he worked, this is the human rights we want to reach these goals, you must have a human right cause and you work for people not for yourself ad spoil your name even if you are in need, you can be patient and you can solve your problems but don't spoil the others, and I think being a human rights activist and peace defender is the most lovely feeling inside your heart, you will be… I think no difference between the prophet and the human right activist or peace activist. I think we are small prophets, some of us God created us, for myself I thank God because God created me not myself you, I told you I was fighting when my mother was ill and I was studying and I was, after that when I saw the war and I was, something I'll tell you, I was born in 13/11/1958, that time I was born in Beirut, the American army was on all the streets in Beirut at that time, when my mother gave birth to me she was shouting, no one was there to support her, my father he can't take her to hospital because also my father you know he escaped from Jordan to Syria and in Syria they took all his nails and then he escaped to Beirut and there he didn't have any identity, he just gave money for one in Syrian prison and he gave money ad hey threw him on the borders in Beirut borders and that time he reached with my mother and he married her, so they didn't have, they can't go take my mother to hospital to have child because my father he didn't have identity, no one there to help my mother to have the children, that time there were some nurses who came to the house to make delivery for the woman, they call her the midwife, they can't go for her or call her, no telephone, nothing, so what happened my mother's neighbor she was from Armenia, lady, she came and she just make my mother give birth and she bring me to life, see, and my mother I told you about her Kurdish friend who was raising us and taking care of us and treating us, so my mother is Durzi, my father from Jordan, the lady who bring me to life from Armenia, the other lady who was treating me was Kurdi from Iraq, see how many? Now without these people I would never be to life. This is the truth, this is the life, if everyone think like that, that we need each other, no one will harm anyone. Yes. I have written an article about my life and how I came to the world, I will give you the link and you will read it, in Arabic but you can translate it. Yes. And there are so many ideas in that. I wrote some articles… Now ??? (10:44) no I didn't write any articles, only for our campaign I am writing articles, because it's very difficult to be a reader and founder and leader for a campaign in a country like Jordan and with people, it's very difficult, that doesn't give you time even to think. Yes, and conferences and here ad here and here, I think it's very, I didn't have time now, but God willing I'm coming back to write. In my articles I was expecting this Arab Spring, I was talking about it, or I was talking about the cheating, which these people cheat us, our leaders, they cheat us, I have written a short story, I really I hope if I can find somebody to translate it for me and make it in a book for 2 or 3 papers it will be, I hope I will find somebody to put what I write in a book, it was talking about, you know how the Arab people treat us, the leaders and what happened, it was talking about the Arab Spring in a simple way, you know our grandmothers they were talking and our mothers, about the goblins and who came and to come for people, and every time I will make it for you easy in small wars, and every time these people they went to war, for us, for children who used to go to the street they'd say: come mama, he will eat you, he will come the goblin and something like that, they would threaten us. So, I was talking about one boy his name is Aladdin, Aladdin he was in a country and in his country his father was talking, every time he talked with him and he told him don't go, don't go or the goblin will eat you something like that, but this boy he was looking there, he was finding the leader of the country, he was putting hand with the goblin all the time, he's shaking hands with him and he's kissing him and he's eating with him and he's drinking with him, so Aladdin asked him okay why do you tell us, told us this goblin is dangerous and you are sitting with him? Why us? Why are you sitting with him? He asked him this question so he took him and put him in prison, because no one must ask questions like that, you have got the ideas, no one must ask for this question, they put him in prison and they put people to guard him in the prison. In the prison there are rats, and this boy Aladdin he was used, also the rats I didn't mean them for the rats, the rats the people in prison, Aladdin used to give food for them, cut the food between himself and the rats, so all the rats in prison they like him and they love him, and he came… one time he saw a goblin and he told one of these guards and the rats, please let me go outside, I want to go and to see what is this goblin, what he's doing? I want to know what he is, what this, what kind of people he is? So the rats because he gave them money they gave him permission to go outside the prison, they told him okay go but in the night you will be back before anyone of the guards can see what you are doing, he told them okay, he told them because, and when the guards were talking with him he told them that we are not better than you, you are in prison, but if I don't obey orders they will throw me in the island of the salt, so I will be salted and vanished. So he went outside, Aladdin he went to see this goblin, to see what happened, he was, Aladdin he was, the goblin he was having a meeting with the father, the government, and the leader and was talking and nice, when Aladdin was coming from his bedroom to the goblin, the goblin saw Aladdin so he was shocked and frightened the goblin, and he just put his back to the wall because he was so much frightened from Aladdin, and Aladdin was frightened, he thought that, what happened? This will eat me, something like that, Aladdin was shocked also, okay I'm frightened for him because he will eat me, then why this man he is frightened of me and putting… then the goblin said please, please don't come for me, you are just… you are terrorism, you are like that, you are eating people, you are killing me, the goblin was telling Aladdin because he was frightened of him, and Aladdin was astonished, how this is frightened of me? He said who told you that I am like that? He told me your government he told me, he told me that you are rude, you are bad, he tried to educate you, you will never be educated, he tried to make you like humans you didn't want, he said but I see I'm human and I'm okay, my government told me that you will eat me, the goblin was astonished like that he said, why I eat you? I will not eat you, I was trying to help you, but your government told me no one will do this for you, so Aladdin and the goblin became friends. What he told him, he told him please educate me and tell me how you raise your country and your system and how you became like that, you people? Great people. He said okay, he gave him a crystal ball and he told him take this crystal ball with you and go to jail and just teach the people there in the jail, the prisoners teach them, anything you want you just put right on the crystal ball, I meant with the crystal ball the internet, which gives our countries, just put and you will see everything and you will learn everything about us, so Aladdin went back to jail, he tried to teach the guards, and the rats, and the prisoners there, one day they cooperated with others and they came out to say for the regime, we didn't want you, they were shouting, we didn't want you, we want the goblin to be our leader, we don't want you, so the king told them, not the king, the leader whoever he was, told them why you don't want me? He said the goblin will eat you but they said no, we want the goblin to be our leader, we don't want you to be our leader, he told them I raised you, I made for you, they told him okay, after we finished our life and educated, we will give you back what you want. Now we didn't want you, and they just take the goblin and they put it on their shoulders, and they say we didn't want baba, long live the goblin. This is the story. I think this is how the Arab Spring started. From the beginning, it's a small story, not more than 2 or 3 pages, but I think this is how the Arab Spring started. Really it started with the leaders, America against you, England against you, these foreigners, they will eat you, they will kill you, they will do this and this for you, but the truth that they are dealing with them, they are taking money from them, they are sharing with them everything, only they want the people to stay away from cooperating with anyone, this is the truth, and to keep us away, and what they are telling to the others, we are trying to educate these people, these people are Bedouins, they are terrorists, they are like that, they are like that, they didn't want to teach, let's put these people, and really this is what our leaders tell this talking about their people, in front of the others. Anyone who talk they put him in jail, the rats I mean the guards of the jail the people who are guarding the government and if anyone of them makes any mistake they will banish him to the salt island, which I mean for them it means that they will vanish, they will kill him, and these the rats, the people, the rats are the prisoners, the guards who have some mind and who want to change and they just go through here and here, they just want to change something in the world, so they, in the Arab World, so they are listening for the prisoners, helping prisoners, trying to make change from their position inside the regime, they try to do some change, the goblin I told you, this is the foreigners who are frightened, they told us don't deal with them, and this is, really this was before the internet came to the Arab World, when the internet came, this crystal ball which the goblin gave it for us because it's not Arabic, it came from the West, when it came the Arab people have seen, they have started bloggers, start to see, reading about democracy, reading about what the American people achieved, what the UK have achieved, what this king make for his country, what this queen had made, what this parliament made, now we know everything about each other, so that time the Arab World said, they looked for themselves, they find that this one is cheating and stealing them, and cheating them, so we didn't want him, that what when the Arab Spring started by this way, this letter I have written it before the Arab Spring. I was expecting that this will happen, because this is the truth in our world, but now I'm very sorry because of what's happening, we are going backwards, of course because of the Arab leaders, they didn't want us to achieve anything, they just want us to stay like slaves for them, and destroyed everything, so you know how much killing in Yemen, how much killing in Libya, what's happening in Egypt, you feel so sorry, what's happening in Syria, killing with cold blood. Now we never reached time when people just with knives killing others, it's very dirty and difficult way to die and to… this is about Nimeh Habashneh, this is Nimeh Habashneh.
Nicola Pratt: Thank you
N.H: And for you thank you also for your interest and for your thinking of the ladies who are activists in all the world who should really, these stories should be raised I think not because I'm one of them, no, because we need the women to raise and fight for their rights, we need symbols to tell that there is ladies in one day they have gone outside and fight and it's nice to go and continue, Joan D'arc, Jamila Bouhraid, these people all there were, they were political and they were fighting for their countries, but they have fought, Andira Ghandi, we never forget her Andira, also I told you maybe you don't like me, Margret thatcher, she's a lady, she's a dictator, she's strong, but she was a lady, right? She was a lady, she was trying to… maybe she used to think like that, you know also I'm respecting maybe will be… she was an Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Golda Meir she was a woman, she was a lady, yes she have did so much killing, something like that, I didn't respect that on her, same like Margaret Thatcher, I didn't respect the black side but the white side I respected that she's a woman and she's fighting for her people, this is the most important thing, that you are fighting for your people, and helping people, but not by killing the others, no, but she was a lady and she was working.
N.P: Okay.
N.H: Thanks, and that's all.
N.P: Thank you.

TAPE 6

Nicola Pratt: Okay.
Nimeh Habashneh: For I told you my record need to be…
N.P: Okay, go ahead.
N.H: That time in 1967 I was small. I think that time I was maybe… 7 years here and 2 years, 9 years old I was, not 9, 8 years old I was that time, and there was, that time there was no television, it was in Kuwait, not so much television, nothing that black and white television was, and there was only that time the BBC, BBC on the radio. That time my grandmother was there in our house in Kuwait in a visit for us, she was living there with us, and my mother, of course my mother she was listening to BBC, my grandmother and it was very nice to see every time, ton ton, the Big Ben watch, that time, it was ringing every time. My grandmother, one time I was inside doing my homework, when I see here an old lady she was jumping heey she was making like that, "May God make you victorious Abu Abdullah", it means God bless you father of Abdullah, she means King Hussein. I came and said to her what… I didn't know about war or about anything, and that lady she was raising her voice for all the building and so much and she was like dancing and jumping, she was… I told her, grandma what happened? What is there? I asked Mama what, she said Mama they have gone to Al-Karmel Mountain and they have taken it, Israel has gone inside and they have gone, and they bring it back and they have gone, and she tried to describe and they do and do and do, and this is the Arab and we have victory and something like that. I told her okay, okay. Of course I was happy because they have so many things have done, badly when I little became bigger, after 4 or 5 years, I discovered it was all lies and it was all media, and they were lying to the Arabs, and all the leaders were lying, and there is nothing, and Israel has occupied the West Bank, and the Arab didn't do anything, just jumping in front of the radios. I think that time made me also feel that we are people who trust in others so much and we need the others to do for ourselves, we didn't want to work, if I want… I trust the leader so much, what he is taking to me, but all the media which is working for the leader, it means for the regime, it's making for the regime, it means we are living… that's the first time I discovered we are living in the world with lies. That what happened, with lies. And I think my grandmother she died till this moment, she might ad she's still in her grave and she's still thinking that she has been victorious and she has done something, achieved something, poor lady. Yes. That my experience with this war, this is what I know about it. Of course when I grew up I started to read and what happened and what we done and when came Sadat with peace, I was very happy that he… You see, I believe in peace but peace that is built on equality and on rights, giving rights. Now you want to live in peace? Okay I will live with you peacefully, give me my rights and take your rights and we will live in peace. But peace with somebody over the other, no this is not peace, this will make us back to the war, and for myself I'm always saying some words, I'm saying: if we know the end of the war, then why we started it? if the end of the war is this, this is the end of any war, since the early, early, early world, any war the end of it is peace, then why we didn't start with the peace from the beginning? I didn't want war, I wanted peace I didn't want war. I didn't want to find one day that my daughter or my child is killed by Israeli man or one of the terrorism, because I didn't want war. And the only one… you know, now World War I, World War II, the Arab and Israeli war, who is the victory? The victory for whom in these all wars? You know who was the victory, for what? Only for death. We didn't achieve victory, we have reached the peace, but the winner is the death, for any war in the world the winner is death, then why we start it? why we giv death a chance to be the hero for? This is what I think about war. Yeah. Thank you.
N.P: Thank you.
N.H: You see, this is not, remember me…