13th Annual Conference

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“They try to bury us but they don’t know we are seeds.”

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Palestinian roots have never been more resilient. Rejuvenated in dynamism, creativity, and humanity, the Free Palestine movement has proven that our will to self-determination cannot be broken. The collective efforts and collaborative strength of Palestinian organizations and their allies have generated unprecedented progress for our cause. The tide is turning in the eyes of the American public. Palestinian voices are not only being heard but listened to and supported. What can we do to accelerate this momentum?

Join us at Al Awda’s 13th annual Conference as we mark 70 years of ongoing dispossession and resistance to injustice. Come meet and learn from Palestine’s diverse activists and supporters, and participate in lively, thought-provoking discussions on mapping our eventual and inalienable return to Palestine.

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Meet Famed Illustrator Carlos Latuff

Carlos was born in Brazil and is of Lebanese descent. His political cartoons on Palestine and the world can speak a thousand words literally and theoretically. His work has appeared in many major publications and has infuriated Zionist groups as to the accuracy of its message.

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Meet Fashion Icon Hama Hinnawi

Hama’s love for Palestine can be seen in the incredibly intricate designs in her fashion lines. Every article of clothing carries with it a representation of thousands of years of our beautiful history.

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Meet Akhil Gopal

Akhil Gopal is a member of JVP-LA, where he is an organizer for the Deadly Exchange campaign to end partnerships between US law enforcement agencies and the Israeli military. He is a film composer and musician based in Los Angeles and is passionate about the arts and justice.

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Meet Ali Al-Arian

Ali Al-Arian is an award-winning journalist and an independent filmmaker. He worked with Al Jazeera English for nearly five years and was part of the team that launched the acclaimed website Palestine Remix, which used interactive tools to tell the story of Palestine. His latest project is a documentary about the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. Ali graduated from the University of Chicago where he studied History and Political Science.

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Meet Amer Zahr

Amer Zahr is an Arab-American comedian, speaker, writer, academic, and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He draws on his experiences growing up as a child of Palestinian immigrant parents, performing and lecturing on topics like politics, society, Islam, growing up Arab, and more. In 2016, Amer also served as a surrogate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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Meet Rebecka Jackson-Moeser

Rebecka Jackson-Moeser is an interdisciplinary artist and activist based in Los Angeles, California. She has traveled and lived in Palestine and is a member of the International Action Center and Workers World Party in Los Angeles. Rebecka sued the city of Los Angeles after she was hospitalized by an assault from a LAPD cop at a demonstration against the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Rebecka’s work as a producer and filmmaker is concentrated on social justice and underrepresented groups in cinema.

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Meet Dr. Rima Khalaf

Dr. Rima Khalaf served as an Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia until she resigned from her UN post after pressured by the UN to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid. Dr. Khalaf has a combination of deep passion for, and knowledge of, the region with its challenges and opportunities; substantial experience with the United Nations at the senior policy-making levels; and the necessary management skills for a complex organization such as ESCWA.

During her tenure as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Programmer (UNDP), from 2000 to 2006, she launched pioneering projects to promote good governance, human rights and human development in Arab States, receiving international honors, including the Prince Claus Award and the King Hussein Leadership Prize.

Prior to joining UNDP, Dr. Khalaf held many senior policymaking positions in Jordan, including Minister for Industry and Trade from 1993 to 1995, Minister for Planning from 1995 to 1998) and Deputy Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000. As head of the ministerial economic team, she led the drive to reform and modernize the economy while simultaneously implementing a social package for building human capabilities, alleviating poverty and strengthening the social safety net.

A regular contributor to regional and international policy forums concerned with global governance and the state of development in the Arab world, Dr. Khalaf has participated in a number of international commissions, including the High-Level Commission for the Modernization of the World Bank Group Governance from 2008 to 2009. Dr. Khalaf holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the American University of Beirut and a Doctorate of Philosophy in system science from Portland State University.

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Meet Mary Hazboun

Mary Hazboun a Palestinian Folk singer, writer and artist, born and raised in the city of Bethlehem, in occupied Palestine. She moved to Chicago with her family in 2005. Her war diary was chosen to be in the book “Stolen voices” which was published in 2006 and narrates her day to day firsthand experience during the second uprising. Graduated with a Masters degree in Women’s & Gender Studies from DePaul University in June 2017, she is currently working on a book project; a Palestinian memoir that brings forth her personal narrative and drawings which highlight the nuanced systems of oppression she struggled against as a Palestinian woman living for 21 years under the military occupation of Israel, and in the diaspora for the past thirteen years. Whether it is singing, writing, and/or drawing, her work serves as creative and political platform in which she uses art as resistance as well as a transnational space to reclaim her identity and narrative, link the geopolitics of both places, and bring forward the unheard voices of Palestinian women and their complex stories of living under occupation and in the diaspora.”

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Meet Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb

Ahlam Muhtaseb is a professor of media studies and the interim director of the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at California State University, San Bernardino. She earned her M.A. in Government Relations and her Ph.D. in Computer-Mediated Communication from the University of Memphis, Tennessee. Her research interests include digital communication, social media, and diasporic communities. She has published her scholarship on digital communication and other communication sub-topics and has presented her scholarship at national and international conventions and scholarly meetings. Her most recent project is the documentary 1948: Creation & Catastrophe, a film about the year 1948 and its catastrophic consequences which originated from her fieldwork in the Palestinian refugee camps in the U.S., Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. In addition, most of her recent research focuses on digital media and social movements online (cyber-activism), and Arab and Muslim images in the media.

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…also joining the conference are Behnam Ghragozli, Dr. Jess Ghannam, Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Dr. Souheil E. Elia, Estee Chandlar, Jaime Veve, Jamal Dajan, Khalid Hijazi, Lamis Deek, Manal Deeb, Mark Kleiman, Othman Akel, Saleem Shehadeh, Yasmeen Zahzah and Dr. Norman Finkelstein.

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