Former MK Hilou

Pioneering former MK dies at 61

First female Christian Arab parliamentarian, known for her long-life commitment to battling poverty and inequality, passes away after long struggle with illness.

Nadia Hilou, the first female Christian Arab elected to the Knesset, passed away at the age of 61 on Friday. Hilou, a social worker by profession, entered the parliament in 2006 after receiving the 15th spot on the Labor list that year.



Hilou, who served as the chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, died after a long struggle with a severe condition. The funeral will take place at 3 pm on Friday at St. Anthony's Church. She is survived by her husband and four girls – Natali, Cristina, Rola, and Rena.


Nadia Hilou (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Nadia Hilou (Photo: Yaron Brener)


"Nadia donated much of her time to social causes," said the family members. "She always helped others and was involved in every social struggle. She stayed strong until her final day."


Hilou was a member in many women's organizations and founded Manara, a foundation for the social development of women which focused on empowering female Arab leaders. She was the deputy chairwoman of Naamat Women's Organization and in recent years served as a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, specializing in issues pertaining to the Arab public.


Two years ago she published an autobiography titled The Pioneer from Ajami.


Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog conveyed his condolences to her family this morning. "We are filled with sorrow and grief as we mourn former MK Nadia Hilou, who passed before her time. Nadia served as an MK for Labor and had a reputation for fighting on behalf of the non-Jewish sectors of this country."


Herzog recalled her efforts from both within and without the Knesset. "Nadia fought bravely for the rights and status of women in Arab society and the State of Israel. She was a leader who struggled against poverty and inequality with all her might."


"I will remember Nadia as a strong, brave, optimistic, and radiant woman who worked across many sectors and shattered both glass ceilings and checkpoints; she cherished peace and coexistence above all. My deepest condolences to the family, the community, and her many friends," he said.


Moran Azulay contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 02.27.15, 11:27
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