“My motivation to work for peace came from the tragedic conditions that wars cause, leaving behind a large number of disabled land mine survivors, displaced people, widows and orphans.”
As a trained medical doctor and an international expert on child health and family planning, Insaf Arafat has over 30 years experience in promoting health care for mothers and children throughout the Middle East. She has also helped the displaced survivors of wars and disabled land mine victims, and has participated in international conferences on the role of health professionals in fighting violence against women. Her work and contributions have been undertaken through various UN organizations.
As Team Leader of a World Health Organization (WHO) project working on maternal and child health under unstable conditions in Somalia and Congo, Dr. Arafat risked her life to ensure the successful completion of the program. At one point, she says, “We were lost in the jungle for many hours, but fortunately we were rescued by the rest of the team.” Despite the scare, she has remained steadfast in her commitment to bettering the health and living conditions of women and children in these locations and throughout the world. Her commitment to health issues is matched only by her commitment to peace and stability in the world. For all her work in the last 30 years, Insaf Arafat still draws her strength from her own experiences as a displaced Arab woman. “I was studying in London in the year 1967, the June war broke out and my town Nablus in Palestine was occupied. I have not been able to return home ever since.” Unable to return to her hometown, Insaf Arafat has committed herself to working with refugees, not only on health issues, but also on conflict resolution. As a young physician she began her work helping women and children in war-stricken areas of the world, particularly in Africa where civil wars and difficult political situations often made her peace work strenuous and life-threatening. Now, 30 years later, she is still working towards peace but in a different manner. She concentrates her peace efforts on helping charity institutions concerned with assisting the disabled, land mine survivors and refugees. Insaf Arafat is committed to a peaceful future through working for a new culture of peace in the region. This includes working with organizations committed to peace and to the betterment of peoples everywhere.
World Health Organization (WHO) United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef) United Nations Women Guild of Jordan (UNWGJ)
Central Asia and the Middle East | Jordan