Al-Awda 6th Convention - 60th Year of Al-Nakba
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Bishop Atallah Hanna (Jerusalem)

Born in the village of Rami in Galilee, Archbishop Theodosios “Atallah” Hanna is a distinguished Arab nationalist and spiritual leader for Palestine. He is Archbishop of Sevastia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He is also the designated spokesperson for the Greek Orthodox Church for all of occupied Palestine.

Archbishop Atallah Hanna earned masters and doctorate degrees in religious studies, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He taught about Arab civilization and the history of the church, and serves as spiritual leader for many youth. His writings have been published widely in local, national and international journals and magazines. He is active in inter-Christian as well as Christian-Muslim activities. Archbishop Atallah Hanna has traveled widely to speak in international forums, colleges and to human rights organizations about Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and the role of the Christian Arab community. The Archbishop is a member of the Arab Nationalist Congress as a representative of Palestine, and has received numerous awards for his work to strengthen Arab unity and for being a powerful spokesperson for the Palestinian Arab cause.

Supreme Justice Dr. Sheikh Taiseer Al Tamimi (Jerusalem)

Dr. Sheikh Al Tamimi was born in the old city of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in 1952. He attended Al-Azhar Al-Sharif University in Egypt, where he graduated in 1975 with a Degree in Religious and Civil Law. He obtained his Master of Arts Degree in Jurisprudence and Legislation from Al Najah University (Faculty of Islamic Creed) in Nablus, Palestine.  He worked in Sharia courts as a judge, inspector and director for the courts, and then became the deputy for Palestine's supreme judge. He was assigned as Palestine's Supreme Judge of Sharia Courts in 2002. 

In 2003, Sheikh Tamimi was assigned as the Head of the Higher Council of Sharia Jurisdiction and Head of the Supreme Sharia Court in Palestine. He is also the Head of the Inter-religious Dialogue Committee in Palestine and Head of the Committee for Defending the Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem. Sheikh Tamimi is the Head of the committee for defending and protecting Al-Khalil City. In 2006, he obtained his Doctorate degree in Islamic comparative Jurisprudence. He is outspoken regarding the Palestinian Right to Return.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta 

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta is General Coordinator of the Right of Return Congress, and is the Founder and President of The Palestine Land Society, London. He is a world-renowned researcher on refugee affairs, and the author of numerous articles and books on Palestine and Palestinian refugees, particularly "the Atlas of Palestine 1948" and the "Return Journey" atlas. Dr. Abu Sitta is a former member of The Palestine National Council.

Dr. Ghada Karmi

Dr Ghada Karmi is a leading Palestinian activist and writer. Currently she is a research fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem but was forced to flee as a child in 1948 to Britain, where she became a physician, an academic and writer. She has held a number of research appointments on Middle Eastern politics and culture at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), Durham University and Leeds University. In her previous post as Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International affairs, she led a major study on Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation. She is a well-known commentator on British radio and TV. She gave the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide, Australia, in October 2007.

Her publications include Jerusalem today: what future for the peace process? (Ithaca Press, 1996) and The Palestinian Exodus 1948-1998 (with Eugene Cotran, Ithaca Press, 1999). Her memoir, In Search of Fatima: a Palestinian Story, published in 2002, won wide critical acclaim. Her latest book, Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine, (Pluto Press (2007), analyses the case for a unitary state solution to the conflict.

Dr. As'ad Abu Khalil

As'ad AbuKhalil was born March 16, 1960 in Tyre, Lebanon and grew up in Beirut. He received his BA and MA from The American University of Beirut in Political Science. He came to the US in 1983 and received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. He taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. He also served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC. Dr. Abu Khalil has served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, an experience that served only to increase his disdain for mainstream US media. He is now professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley.

Dr. Saree Makdisi

Dr. Makdisi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His scholarly fields of study include the culture of modernity, especially as it developed in relation to the changing dynamics of British imperialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the aftermath of that culture in the contemporary Arab world. In addition to numerous articles and books in his scholarly fields, he has written and spoken extensively on the question of Palestine. He has also had numerous radio interviews and television appearances, and has published commentaries on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a number of major newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, An-Nahar (Beirut), The Nation, and the London Review of Books, as well as the Los Angeles Times, to which he is a frequent contributor. His most recent book is Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, offering what Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu calls "a compelling account of the lives of ordinary Palestinians suffering under occupation.”

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Palestinian-American journalist and former Al-Jazeera producer. He has taught Mass Communication at Australia's Curtin University of Technology, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle. Baroud's work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Japan Times and Al-Ahram Weekly. He has been a guest on numerous television programs including CNN International, BBC, ABC Australia, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera and many others, and has published two books: Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion and in 2006 The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle.

Haneen Zoabi

Ms. Zoabi is from Nazareth, and is a member of the political bureau of the Arab National Al-Tajamu' party in Zionist-occupied Palestine. She served as a lecturer at Mar Elias College in Ibillin, Palestine.

Dr. Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappé is professor of History at Exeter University in England. He is one of the world's leading historians of the Middle East. Among his publications are: Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1988), The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1992), The Modern History of Palestine: One Land Two Peoples (2003), The Modern Middle East (2005) and The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006). He is the fulcrum of a group of historians and political scientists at the Cornwall Campus at Exeter University working on 20th century ethno-politics. He has published extensively on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and his experiences have resulted in some very incisive thought on what it is to be a historian and the methodology of historical enquiry.

And back by popular demand . . .

Dr. Nabil Azzam

Dr. Azzam is the conductor and founder of the Multi-Ethnic Star Orchestra (MESTO). He is accomplished in both classical European and Middle Eastern musical styles. He graduated with a B.A. and B.Mus. from the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, an M.A. in Musicology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and earned his doctorate in music from the University of California in Los Angeles.

In 1977, Azzam established and chaired the first conservatory of music in his birthplace, Nazareth. He has been acknowledged by several heads of state for his peace efforts and has taught at UCLA, the University of Redlands and UCSB. He founded MESTO in 2001 because of his firm commitment to building bridges of cultural tolerance and understanding between East and West through music.

Maestro Nabil Azzam is a seasoned conductor, talented composer and arranger as well as a versatile violinist and virtuoso Arabic 'Ud instrumentalist.

He is currently writing two books: The Composer of Egypt: M. Abd al-Wahhab, and The Complete Collection of Songs: A tribute to Abd al-Wahhab, with an introductory analysis and commentary.


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