Reem's parents and grandparents were born in Palestine, on the West Bank, in a town called Beit Sahour, which is next to Bethlehem (Beit Lehem in Arabic).
Reem was born in Kuwait in 1960. Her family planned to return to Palestine, but after the 1967 war this was impossible. Reem grew up in Kuwait, completed school and university there, and went on to work as a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Allied Health at the University of Kuwait. She was married in Kuwait, and had 2 children there.
In 1990 her family was forced to flee to Jordan, following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. She left Jordan with her family in 1992 and came to Australia, where she obtained citizenship in 1995.
After several years raising her children, Reem became a teachers' assistant in 1997, and at the same time completed her Diploma of Education. In 2001 she began work as a teacher, a job she has now held for 24 years. She has been a member of and an activist in the Australian Education Union for all of the time she has spent working in public schools.
Reem has always been a fighter against imperialism and for the Palestinian cause. She participated in the mass marches against the Iraq War in 2003, and in much smaller actions in solidarity with the second Palestinian Intifada 25 years ago.
Since then she has been a prominent activist in all of the campaigns against Israel's many assaults on Gaza, against the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, and in support of the BDS campaign.
She has spoken from the platform at many of these rallies, been a speaker at Palestine solidarity forums and conferences (most recently the APAN conference in 2023), and has been regularly interviewed on independent media about the situation in Palestine.
And, of course, she has been a tireless fighter against the genocide being carried out against the Palestinians today, speaking to tens of thousands at one of the huge Palestine marches taking place every Sunday in Melbourne since October last year.
Asked what motivates her to continue the struggle for a free Palestine, Reem said:
I don’t have the luxury not to be inspired [by the current movement]. My grandparents died without seeing a liberated Palestine. My Mum and Dad died and were buried in the diaspora, outside of Palestine. My people are living in the diaspora, most of them, and the ones who are in Palestine are being robbed of water, resources, of every piece of land they sit on. We need to have hope and fight, because if we won’t fight for a free Palestine, who will?
Reem has also been involved in countless campaigns for workers’ rights, and against injustice and inequality of all forms.