Yusra Mohammed Badwan recently became Palestine’s youngest female mayor, in the town of Azzun in the northern West Bank.
Badwan, 25, was elected after her independent list, the Prisoners’ Bloc, won in the local elections.
Badwan graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Palestine Technical University in Qalqilya. She worked as a contracting engineer in the city of Jericho in the eastern West Bank and as a supervisory engineer in the Cooperative Housing Foundation. She also participated in social volunteer work in her hometown, which made her face known among the people who gave her their vote of confidence.
“I didn’t hesitate to run in the local elections in Azzun because I want women and youth to be more involved in these elections and I aspire to make a positive change in my hometown,” she said. “I first ran in October 2016, but the government decided to postpone the elections due to disagreements between Hamas and Fatah at the time.”
Yusra Badwan (25 years) elected Mayor of Azzoun municipality in Palestinian West Bank.
Acts of change starts as big as this pic.twitter.com/c6kOXZ48tx
— Fadi Al-Qadi (@fqadi) May 24, 2017
“I will show everyone that women can make a difference, no matter their age. I will contribute to developing the town’s facilities and try to provide better life services for citizens,” she said. “I will benefit from all those who preceded me in this position, and I will take comments under advisement. Hard work pays off, and I wish myself all the success.”
When asked about the biggest challenge she might face, Badwan said, “The Israeli occupation.” She added, “Our town is under Israeli siege. Its eastern entrance is closed due to the Ma’ale Shomron and Karnei Shomron settlements, while the Israeli occupation forces have placed concrete cubes on two other entrances, as well as a metal gate on the town’s main entrance, which the occupation forces open and close as they please.”
Inspite of these challenges, Badwan hopes to bring prosperity to her hometown. She has called on the Palestinian government to provide continued financial support to the town to pave its rural roads and build public facilities.
(Al-Monitor, PC, Social Media)