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How this Ramallah shop teaches women to fight against harassment

Palestinian-American Yasmeen Mjalli created BabyFist to speak out against street harassment in Ramallah, but the shop quickly turned into a safe space for women to share their stories and seek legal advice.

The BabyFist shop in downtown Ramallah has a sleek, minimal design with just a handful of handmade, seasonal apparel in the window display, unlike many of the shop windows to be found in this West Bank city. Even more out of the ordinary is the brand’s feminist message both on its clothes and in its social projects.

The shop’s founder and owner, Yasmeen Mjalli, 23, moved back to Ramallah in 2017 after growing up in North Carolina. As she was trying to settle in her new city, the sexual harassment she faced on the streets simply astonished her. “I was experiencing a lot of harassment on the streets because I was living in the baladia [city center],” she told Al-Monitor. “It’s really debilitating, right? This was something that people have just been normalizing — no one reacted.”

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