Personality of the Month

Muna Taneeb

Muna Taneeb is a 54-year-old Palestinian farmer from Irtah Village, south of Tulkarem in the West Bank. Intent on securing her own subsistence, she is the owner of Hakouritna (our own courtyard) and the mother of four boys and one girl.

Muna began farming 35 years ago, taking on the toil and hard work of tending to her family’s land after her husband was arrested in the 1980s. She recalls that she had no idea how to deal with the planted crops. “I was doing my best to learn agriculture. I worked alone when my husband was detained, and I was able to harvest the crops at a time when our land was used by the occupation army for training.” Since then, Muna has never given up.

Throughout the years, Muna has been subjected to harassment by the occupation forces and exposed to continuous attacks and repressive practices, such as the bulldozing of her land and the destruction of infrastructure and irrigation systems. In the 1980s, an industrial zone that was established alongside her family’s property began to spread poison in the attempt to expel her family from their land. Muna persisted and is still resisting. She has not given in to continuous threats to confiscate the ten dunums of her land that is surrounded by the apartheid annexation wall and lies next to the Israeli chemical factory Jishuri; she insists on protecting her property and staying put! During the second Intifada, Israeli forces forced the farm to close for more than 14 months, designating the area a closed military zone and preventing Muna from gaining access to it. Frequent incursions and the destruction of trees and agricultural crops have been common occurrences.

In addition to her physical work, Muna is heavily engaged in humanitarian work and has a vision for further development. Today Mona oversees several projects that include fish farming, biogas production, a solar-dryer project to dry fruits and vegetables, integrated agriculture practices, bee and horticulture projects, and organic agriculture. The farm owns greenhouses, cultivates vegetables in open fields, and grows thyme. Furthermore, Muna is head of a women’s society in her village that aims to empower women and enable them to achieve their goals.

Her husband Fayez considers her a partner and a key element in transforming the farm into an organic farm that operates free of chemicals. With all the many vital and rare projects that Muna has implemented, their land has become a home for international volunteers, students and their parents who wish to learn about agriculture, and specialists from all over the world.