Palestine Foundation Presents its First Annual Banquet
Confirmed Guests: Susan Abulhawa and Adam Abel
Keynote Speaker : Dr. Joseph Massad
Professor of Modern Arab Politics and intellectual History at Columbia University
Featuring: Amer Zahr, Master of Ceremonies with
Nisreen Hajaj, Palestinian folkloric singer
Sunday, November 17
Westridge Golf Club
1400 La Habra Hills Drive
La Habra, CA 90631
Tickets : $100
Available at :
Novelist, Poet and Activist
Susan Abulhawa is a novelist, poet and activist. Her debut novel, Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury, 2010), was an international bestseller translated into 28 languages, making her the most widely read Arab author of all time. Her second novel, The Blue Between Sky and Water (Bloomsbury, 2015), was likewise translated into 20 languages. Her forthcoming novel, Against the Loveless World, will be published by Simon & Schuster in August 2020. Abulhawa has published a poetry collection, My Voice Sought the Wind (Just World Books, 2012), several anthologies and a multitude of articles and essays in both print and online media. In 2001, she founded Playgrounds for Palestine (PfP), a children’s organization dedicated to upholding The Right to Play for Palestinian children throughout Palestine and in refugee camps elsewhere. To date, PfP has built over 50 playgrounds and supported various recreational and educational programs for children.
Palestine Writes: Palestine Writes will be the first Palestinian literature festival in the world, outside of Palestine. The festival will bring Palestinian writers from around the world, together with their contemporaries in Black and Indigenous communities in the United States, to discuss and explore new dimensions to old questions about the intersections of art, books and music, international solidarity, social justice, and popular mobilization. The goal of this festival is to center Palestinian creativity and cultural productions and to expand Palestine’s cultural footprint in the United States.
Co-founder and Development Director of Skateqilya
Adam Abel is a New York based artist working with photography, video and film. His photographs, videos and installations have been exhibited throughout the U.S and internationally. Adam’s practice for the last eight years has focused on exploring narratives from Palestine. He has spent significant time living and filming in the West Bank for his upcoming feature documentary, Qalqilya , as well as producing a nine-channel video installation called Palestine Interrupted . Adam completed an MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons, The New School For Design, and received his B.A. in Studio Arts from Wesleyan University. As Development Director, Adam oversees all aspects of programming, fundraising and outreach for SkateQilya.
SkateQilya is a youth empowerment program using skateboarding and art to teach community building and leadership skills to Palestinian girls and boys in the West Bank. Our mission is to create visionary leaders for Palestine’s future and a better world. Launched in the summer of 2016 as a free summer camp in the city of Qalqilya, SkateQilya has grown into a year-round educational program and the first co-ed athletic program in the northern part of the West Bank.
While skateboarding is the container for our program, SkateQilya’s workshops also include photography and video, conversational English, and community building and leadership training. Our programming is centered around values of mutual respect, trust, and shared responsibility. We emphasize peer-to-peer learning so that the relationship between student and teacher becomes integrated, creating a model for self-sustainable community building. SkateQilya’s work is focused in the northern West Bank, which is a more conservative part of Palestine that is often out of reach by most NGOs. Our main facility is a full concrete skatepark we built in 2017 in the village of Jayyous. Our growth is a result of strong partnerships with local organizations. These include youth community centers, universities and the Ministry of Education. In 2018 we became a US 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. SkateQilya was founded by Mohammed Othman, a Palestinian human rights activist and our Executive Director; Kenny Reed, a retired American professional skateboarder and our Skate Director; and Zaid Arikat [Outreach Coordinator] is a Phoenix based skateboarder and a recent Masters graduate of the The Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Raised by Palestinian parents in Northern California, Zaid’s first experience in Palestine was volunteering at SkateQilya’s summer camp in 2018. Forging an immediate bond with the rest of the team, Zaid’s work was not done. He has continued to contribute to the organization, including returning in the summer of 2019 to help run the summer camp. As the newest member of the team, Zaid helps SkateQilya with international outreach, media presence, and organize new and innovative workshops.