Tenth Annual Al-Awda Convention
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Convention Panelists, Speakers and Other Presenters

Alison Weir is the President of the Council for the National Interest and Executive Director of If Americans Knew, founded after traveling as a freelance reporter throughout Palestine in early 2001. She writes and speaks widely on Palestine and on US media bias, her articles appearing in such publications as The New Intifada, Censored 2005, CounterPunch, San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. She has given talks on Capitol Hill, the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (one broadcast on C-Span), at numerous universities, and at Asia Media Summits in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. For her work she has received both awards and attacks; the ADL lists If Americans Knew among the top ten "anti-Israel" organizations in the U.S. and lists Weir personally among the top five such individuals. In 2004 Alison was inducted into honorary membership of Phi Alpha Literary Society, founded in 1845 at Illinois College. The award cited her as a: "Courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights. The first woman to receive an honorary membership in Phi Alpha history."

Nayef Hashlamoun is from Hebron city in Palestine. He worked for REUTERS for 20 years as a journalist and photographer. Founder/CEO of ALWATAN Center for Media and Development in Hebron, a trainer in photography, media and conflict resolution, also in charge of relief and development projects for the benefit of Palestinian people. Nayef graduated from Yarmouk University in 1984 with a Bachelor degree in journalism and mass communication. He had further taken graduate courses in peace and conflict resolution at the American University in Washington, D.C. and School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont, USA. He undertook several positions among which are president of Hebron UNESCO Club, vice president of the Palestinian Domestic Election Monitoring Committee and a co-director with Philip Rizq to make a documentary film named as "This Palestinian life' to tell some of the Palestinian stories. He has given lectures and done workshops in the USA, Turkey, Jordan and Palestine. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. Award of "The Best Photojournalist 2009" Arab Youth Media Forum.Amman, Nov 2, 2009. Nayef Hashlamoun has published and edits many books in media and culture. His current research interest is in cross-cultural, the new media and nonviolence as advocated by Gandhi and Marten Luther King.

Dr. Jamal Nassar is Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, San Bernardino. He was born in Jerusalem, Palestine, received a B.A. from Jacksonville University in 1972, a M.A. from the University of South Florida in 1974 and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1978; immediately afterwards, he joined the faculty at Illinois State where he served as chair of the Department of Politics and Government until accepting the post at CSUSB in 2007. His specialty is Middle Eastern politics.

Dr. As'ad Daoud Hess-Linckost is a neuroscientist specializing in the biochemistry of water consumption. He is a Researcher, a Professor at the Univesity of the District of Columbia, and an Activist for Right of Return. His research addresses effects of previously under-reported water toxins, specifically metals that are shown to cause significant cognitive and neurological impairments. This is an important issue for Palestinians, given the water quality and grossly unfair water distribution restrictions we face. Dr. Hess-Linckost maintains residences in McLean and Luray Virginia, and graduated from George Mason University earning a PhD in Developmental Biopsychology. He is published widely, including Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Physiology & Behavior, among others.

Dr. Jess Ghannam is an accomplished Palestinian-American professor who is active in numerous non-governmental organizations and in carrying out humanitarian work, particularly in the Gaza Strip. He is a clinical professor and the Chief of Medical Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco, and also practices at the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since the early 1990s, Ghannam has worked extensively in the field of medical development in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. He is a board member of the Gaza Community Health Clinic, and has established medical clinics in towns and cities across the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City, Khan Younis, Jabalia and Deir el-Balah. He is also the co-host of "Arab Talk with Jess and Jamal", a San Francisco Bay Area radio talk-show about Middle Eastern Affairs with fellow Palestinian-American commentator Jamal Dajani. Currently he serves on the Board for the Arab Film Festival, The ACCC, and The MLFA, and is the Chair of the National Board of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb is a professor of Communication Studies. She holds a doctorate in Computer-Mediated Communication and a Master’s in Government Relations from the University of Memphis. She teaches classes in media studies and public relations with focus on media in the Arab and Muslim worlds, Muslim women, government relations and activism, and social justice. Her research interests include her ethnographic study of the Palestinian refugees’ narratives of genocide, Arab Americans’ use of digital media, and Muslim Prayers as community building. She is also working on a documentary, 1948: A History Revisited, on the year 1948 and its catastrophic consequences on the Palestinian people. Her publications appeared in several journals and books such as the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and New Directions in Teaching and Learning, and Interpersonal Relationships and Computer-Mediated Communication.

John Parker is the West Coast Coordinator of the International Action Center. He has participated in building solidarity trips to Africa and the Middle East including trips to Gaza, Iraq, Sudan and Iran to help build the movement against U.S. intervention and expose U.S./Israeli war crimes and acts of genocide. John is also on the steering committee of the Southern California Immigration Coalition in Los Angeles and recently helped sponsor a national tour stop in Los Angeles with Cynthia McKinney against U.S. war.

Sherna Berger Gluck, retired California State University Long Beach faculty member, is one of the founders of the US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel campaign and of the (California) Israel Divestment Campaign, for which she serves at the statewide coordinator. A long time political activist, Gluck was the English editor of Al­miraat, the Los Angeles Arab-American bi-weekly founded by Michel Shehadeh. She is the author of An American Feminist in Palestine: The Intifada Years (Temple University Press, 1994), of numerous articles on Palestinian women and is the producer of programs on Palestine for KPFK/Pacifica’s Radio Intifada.

Larry Christian is a long time activist in the anti-imperialist and social justice movements in the San Diego area. He was active in the GI Movement in the '70's and in the Southern Africa solidarity movement in the '70's and '80's. He was a co-founder of the San Diego Ad Hoc Committee for Justice (for the LA8) in 1987. From 1988 to 2011, he was active in the Middle East Cultural and Information Center. He is presently President of KARAMA, the Arab and Islamic World Information Project and is active in BDS San Diego.

Jinane Abbadi is a Moroccan born multidisciplinary artist residing in San Diego California. Her interests include colonial and postcolonial studies, Orientalism, and the issues of colonial power dominance and their influence on identity and creativity. Jinane received her Bachelors and Masters degree in fine Art and interdisciplinary studies from San Diego State University. She has been working in the areas of painting, printmaking, and bookmaking and has been assisting in Brighton Press studio in San Diego since 2004.

Lorain Rihan is a Palestinian artist and activist living in San Diego, CA. She studied Art and Women Studies at San Diego State University. Lorain was the co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine at San Diego State University and currently serves on the national coordinating committee of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition as an elected representative of the San Diego chapter of the organization.

Dr. Zahi Damuni is a co-founder of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition and a long time activist for the Palestinian cause. Until recently he served on Al-Awda's coordinating committee as an elected representative of the organization's chapter in San Diego. He also served on Al-Awda's executive committee as the organization's national treasurer. Before relocating to San Diego in 2002, Dr. Damuni was a tenured professor at Penn State College of Medicine. He currently manages a small biotech research supply company which he established in San Diego.

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