Maysoun Khanfar

Mrs. Maysoun is a married woman living with her five children and her unemployed husband who lost his work in Israel because he cannot get a work permit. As a result, they lost their main source of income and in order to support her family, Maysoun tried to work from home by processing food and selling it to local shops. Maysoun’s father died 10 years ago and her six brothers got control of what he left behind including an agricultural land. Her brothers, do not allow Maysoun and her three sisters to benefit from the lands under the pretext that the ownership of their land will be transferred to strangers.

According to Maysoun, her brothers claim that they will not allow her to benefit from the land because she is married to someone who is coming from different family and they are afraid that the land will be owned by strangers (her husbands and children). Maysoun said I always thought about getting my shares from my brothers without losing them since they will get angry with me if I asked them. I desperately need my land so we can generate some income that I badly need to support my family. Maysoun attended two workshops on right to inheritance which is one of the activities of the AMENCA 3 project supported by the Australian Government. Maysoun said that she learned a lot from the presentations made by the clergymen and accordingly she discussed her case with one of the project staff (Coordinator of the Right to Inheritance Campaign) who helped her to get in touch with a lawyer to get legal information that will help her to get her shares.

Maysoun said, "I went to my brother who works as an Imam (Clerk) in one of the mosques, and I shyly told him about what I heard and learned from the two workshops. I felt that he was not happy and got angry with me, but one thing that I learned from the workshops was to break the barrier of fear, which was the only reason prohibiting me, as well as my other sisters from getting our shares. I then went and talked to my other brothers, and after several discussions I managed to convince them to give me and my sisters our shares. I now have some cash and a piece of land (3 dunums) planted with olive trees. In October 2017, the olive harvesting season started and I went with my family to harvest our olives for the first time in which we managed to get around 5 containers (around 100 Kg) of olive oil in which most of it will be consumed by my family.

It was a very beautiful feeling to have your own property, granted by God's grace to me from my father, and to be able to provide my family's need of olive and olive oil from my rightful inheritance. It was the first time that I had olive oil in my house, because previously I could not afford to buy it.

I encourage every woman to break the barrier of fear and equip herself with the knowledge to obtain her rights and to take advantage of the support of relevant institution, and I thank the institution and all of those who supported me to get my right."