Palestine Day
Monday, November 9, 2020 to Sunday November 15, 2020

42nd Annual Palestine Cultural Festival

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About this event

Palestinian-American Coalition of San Francisco hosts an annual Palestine Cultural Day festival. This year, given the pandemic, we are offering a week-long virtual program to celebrate our culture and heritage.

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Schedule

See below for the lineup of presenters for each day — everything from folkloric dance, music, food, poetry and so much more!

Opening Night with Poetry Readings and Q&A

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye

Poet, Songwriter, and Novelist

Naomi Shihab Nye has spent more than 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. The Young People's Poet Laureate of the U.S. through the Poetry Foundation (Chicago), Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity. In 2020 she received the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Book Critics Circle. She is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry for adults and children include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (a finalist for the National Book Award), A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, Transfer, You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006), Mint Snowball, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, Come with Me: Poems for a Journey, and Honeybee (awarded the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category), and The Tiny Journalist. Her collections of essays include Never in a Hurry, and I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are you Okay? Tales of Driving and Being Driven. Her fiction books for young people include Habibi, There Is No Long Distance Now, and The Turtle of Oman. The Turtle of Oman was chosen a Horn Book Best Book of 2014, a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association, and was awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. Her picture books include Baby Radar, Sitti's Secrets, and Famous. She also edited nine poetry anthologies including I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You, Time You Let Me In, This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps, and What Have You Lost? Her book The Tiny Journalist (about Palestine) won the Texas Institute of Letters Poetry Award in 2020. Her most recent book is Cast Away: Poems for Our Time. Her next book will be Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems (Greenwillow, 2020).

Remi Kanazi

Remi Kanazi

Poet and Writer

www.remikanazi.com

Remi is a New York based poet and writer. He is the author of Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up From Brooklyn to Palestine and Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine as well as the editor of Poets For Palestine. His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including NowThis, The New York Times, Salon, Al Jazeera English, and BBC Radio. His poetry has taken him across the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, and he has appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International. He is a Lannan Residency Fellow and an Advisory Committee member for the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Duraid Musleh

Duraid Musleh

Poet and Writer

Duraid Musleh is from Ajoul, a village north of Ramallah. He grew up in Al-Bireh (twin city of Ramallah). He works in the high tech industry of Silicon Valley. He started to write poetry in high school and read many of the famous contemporary Arab poets such as Mahmoud Darwish, Nizar Qabbabi, Muthaffar Al Nawab and many others. He serves on the board of Zawaya and lives in San Francisco.

Lubna Morrar

Lubna Morrar

Poet and Activist

Lubna Morrar is a Palestinian, organizer and poet, currently living in Oakland, CA, and she considers herself a native of both places. She holds a BA in sociology and a minor in Arab Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) From San Francisco State University. The poet and her work were featured on the popular Arabic news network, Aljazeera Arabic and English, Current TV, KPFA, and Democracy Now! Not only an artist, Morrar has also been recognized as a significant constituent in the greater Palestinian movement, both locally and Internationally. Where she became heavily politicized and a leader within the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS). She is an active member of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), where her work consists of anti-colonial frameworks around Palestine, political prison, and youth-movement building. Morrar leads major projects from PYM, both on a national and transnational level of organizing, and has been part of delegations to South Africa, Palestine, Brazil, Canada, and across Turtle Island. She comes from a long line of political activists, especially as the women in her family and camaraderie have instilled in her a strong political and liberated consciousness of race, class, and gender.

Najwa Baba

Najwa Baba

Palestinian American Coalition of San Francisco Board Chiarperson

In 1974, at the age of eight, Najwa Baba immigrated from Ramallah to Texas. She lived there until 1990 when she married her husband and moved to San Francisco and has been here since. She has devoted much of her life to volunteering for a variety of non-profits, starting as PTA Vice President in 1996, and later becoming President of the group in 1998. Najwa has served as Secretary on the board of Ramallah Club of San Francisco, has remained a board member since 2006 and has chaired many other events at the club. She has been the San Francisco correspondent for Hathihe Ramallah Magazine since 2008 and currently serves on the Human Service Network, the Strategic Planning Committee as well as the Credentials Committee for the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine. She has been the Chairwoman of the food committee for Palestine Cultural Festival since 2010, has worked on the Medical Mission since it started in 2011 and was the chairwomen of the San Francisco Convention that was held in Cancun, Mexico in 2016 all while maintaining a job for a credit card processing company.

Sam Hindi

Sam Hindi

Former Mayor of Foster City

On November 3, 2015 Sam Hindi was elected to serve a four-year term on the City Council. Sam ran on a platform that included creating a vision and developing a long term coordinated strategic plan to achieve a sustainable future for Foster City, economically, environmentally and socially. Maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for Foster City residents and creating an environment that attracts and helps businesses thrive are two of Sam's top priorities. Sam emigrated from Lebanon in 1983 in pursuit of his education and the American Dream. He studied Business Administration at CSULB, and started a courier company in 1988 and built it into a multi-million dollar company serving nine western states and beyond. Sam chose Foster City as his home in 1993 when he moved to the bay area to expand his business. Sam's love and commitment to Foster City translated in his volunteering in leadership roles in various organizations including: Vice Chair for Foster City's Parks and Recreation Committee, Chair of the Board for the Foster City Chamber of Commerce, Team leader for the Community Emergency Response Team CERT, and Boy Scout troop 175. Currently, Sam owns Hillsdale Arco, ampm, and Hillsdale Arco Auto Repair in Foster City. He believes and treats his customers as family, friends and neighbors. Sam and his wife Soha have three children: Rania, Rami, and Jenean each born and raised in Foster City.

Laila El-Haddad

Laila El-Haddad

Author and Food Justice Advocate

www.lailahaddad.com/about

Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian American journalist, food justice advocate and public speaker. She is author of the memoir Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting and Everything in Between and co-author of the award-winning documentary cookbook The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey. She frequently speaks about the intersection and the negotiation of identity, food and politics. Through her work as a writer, storyteller, culinary ethnographer and documentarian, she provides much-needed insight into the human experience of the region. El-Haddad received her B.A in Political Science and Comparative Areas Studies from Duke University in 2000 and her Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents from Gaza, she currently lives in Clarksville, Maryland, with her husband, Yassine Daoud, and their four children.

Reem Assil

Reem Assil

Chef and Activist

Reem Assil is a Palestinian-Syrian chef based in Oakland, CA. She is the owner of Reem’s California, inspired by her passion for Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Barely a year later, Assil opened an Arab fine dining concept, Dyafa, in partnership with Michelin-award winning chef Daniel Patterson, earning it a place on Bib Gourmand’s List in its first year. Reem has garnered an array of top accolades, including being named a James Beard semifinalist in the Best Chef: West in 2018 and 2019, Thrillist's "2018 Chef of the Year," San Francisco Magazine’s “2018 Chef of the Year," San Francisco Chronicle's “2017 Rising Star Chef,” and most recently, Star Chefs "Rising Star Chef 2019." Reem’s California was also named one of Food & Wine’s "2018 Top 10 Restaurants of the Year.” Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem worked as a labor and community organizer at SEIU 1877 and East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE). Reem has spent more than a decade training organizers and leaders all over the country with multiple social justice non-profits. Reem worked with Bay Area’s esteemed cooperative bakery Arizmendi Bakery & Pizzeria, Grace Street Catering, Local Flavors, and several local chefs before opening Reem’s. She is a graduate of the competitive food business incubator program, La Cocina, Centro Community Partners, and ICA Fund Good Jobs.

Interviews with leaders in the Palestinian Art Community

Belal Khaled

Belal Khaled

Calligraphist, Muralist, Digital artist, Photographer, and Videographer

www.instagram.com/belalkh

Belal Khaled, was born in Gaza City, studied interior design at al-Aqsa University. Calligraphist, digital artist, photographer, and videographer. He began learning calligraphy at 14 and started creating graffiti art in 2010. He was one of the first graffiti artists in Palestine and is also the founder of the Gaza Graffiti Team. In 2015, he painted the largest mural in Palestine called "Childhood besieged." He has also drawn murals in Istanbul, Egypt, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and more. In 2016, he painted the largest Arabic calligraphy mural in the Uskudar area of Istanbul. His work has been published in local and international news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Aljazeera, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. He currently works for a Turkish News Agency as a Sr. Videographer.

In 2020 he founded Tensash, which means never forget in Arabic. Tensash is a project to digitally color photographs taken during the early days of the Nakba. Khaled hopes to help people develop an intimate connection with the people in the photographs by adding color to their faces, clothing, objects and more. He colors these photographs for the world to see but this project is specifically designed to help Palestinians stay connected to their land and ancestors.

Faisal Saleh

Faisal Saleh

Founder of Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge, Connecticut

www.palestinemuseum.us

Faisal Saleh is founder and executive Director of Palestine Museum US, a 6,000 square foot exhibit space dedicated to preserving Palestinian cultural history and telling the Palestinian story through the arts.He was born in El-Bireh in the West Bank a few years after the 1948 Nakba when his family was forced out of the village of Salamah (5 miles east of Jaffa). Saleh came to the US in 1969 to complete his secondary education and attend college. He pursued a career in the human resources technology field and after 40 years of entrepreneurial work he turned his attention to creating the first Palestinian museum in the western hemisphere. He holds a BA degree from Oberlin College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. In his free time he pursues his passions for tennis and photography.

Dabkeh History, Performance and Lesson

Al Juthoor

Dabkeh with Al-Jathoor

www.facebook.com/AlJuthoorDabkeTroupeSf

Wael Elbhassy is the choreographer and founder of Al-Juthoor, which means “roots” in Arabic. The ensemble will offer a choreographed theatrical presentation of the popular dance, dabkeh which is customarily a part of any social or celebratory event, such as parties and weddings. It is performed as an improvised, communal line dance that young and old take part in, with the leader at the head of the line directing the variations of steps. Dabkeh groups that present staged versions of this folk dance are common in the Middle East as part of state-sponsored or community folk dance groups. In the Palestinian territories these groups are often formed in refugee camps or cultural centers, as a means of preserving aspects of Palestinian culture and as a statement of resistance against oppression. Palestinians in the diaspora also use dabkeh as cultural preservation, while bringing awareness to the Palestinian cause. Al Juthoor, founded in January 2005, is a dance company whose mission is to present and preserve Palestinian dance, music, and culture and bring awareness to the Palestinian cause. Members of the group have grown up with dabkeh as a part of social life, and devote time for freestyle improvisational dabkeh dancing at the end of each of its weekly rehearsals. Al Juthoor is among the few professional Palestinian folkloric dance companies in the United States and thus, is in great demand for performances by the Arab community.

Diyala Shihadih

Diyala Shihadih

Palestinian American Coalition of San Francisco Board Member

www.pac-sf.org

Diyala Shihadih is a first-generation Palestinian-American, born and raised in the Bay Area. She is a PhD Candidate in metabolic biology and has been a community organizer since the age of 15. Her work is firmly rooted in working with, advocating for, and educating the greater Arab community; whether that be educational accessibility, developing social and political consciousness, or understanding our identities as Palestinians in diaspora.

Comedy Night

Amer Zahr

Amer Zahr

Comedian, Speaker, Writer and Academic

www.amerzahr.com

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. He founded and produced the first-ever “1001 Laughs Ramallah Comedy Festival,” a production in Palestine that featured 10 comedians and 7 shows in August 2015. The festival entertained over 2,000 locals and was funded by the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, a branch of the United States Department of State. Amer, as the producer of the festival, received great acclaim and much media attention from the following outlets: CNN | CNN Arabic | BBC Arabic | Haaretz | Al-Hurra | Palestine Today | Wattan TV | MAAN Network | 972 Mag | Palestine News Network | Sky News He is also the producer of the annual “1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival” in Dearborn, Michigan at the Arab American National Museum. Amer recently completed production on his first documentary film, “We’re Not White,” a comedic and informative approach to the Arab-American struggle to get a box on the United States Census Form. He is also the author of the well-read blog “The Civil Arab,” as well as his first book, “Being Palestinian Makes Me Smile,” a collection of his writings relating to being Palestinian. Amer holds an MA in Middle East Studies and a JD (law degree), both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He writes and speaks widely on political and social affairs, and has appeared on radio and television, including ABC’s “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” Some of his writings have been featured in major publications, including Time magazine, and Al-Jazeera.

Marena Riyad

Marena Riyad

Actor and Comedian

www.facebook.com/marenariyad

Marena Riyad is a Palestinian American Actor and Comedian from Dallas, TX. She is a refreshingly unique perspective on observational comedy as a Palestinian-Texan Muslim Woman. A runner up for the Funniest Comedian in the Heartland and Semi-Finalist for Funniest Comedian in Texas, Marena's silver-tongued comedy serves up a platter of gender role deconstruction with a side of truth and controversy that's bound to have you coming back for seconds.

Mike Easmeil

Mike Easmeil

Mike Easmeil, a comedian/writer of Palestinian heritage, is excited to once again be a part of the NYAACF. A veteran of stand-up comedy, Mike first performed 16 years ago at Groucho's Comedy Club in Virginia, while completing his Communications Degree. His clean, clever comedy pokes fun of himself, his family, and life's absurdities. In addition to owning a restaurant, being a husband and a father of three, Mike performs regularly at charity functions and comedy clubs on the East Coast. A regular on stages in New York City, Mike has also performed internationally and on some of America's most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.

Sammy Obeid

Sammy Obeid

www.sammyko.com

Lebanese-Palestinian-Syrian-Italian-American, born in Oakland, California, Sammy Obeid is best known for his 1,001 day streak of consecutive comedy performances. It began on December 26th, 2010, and concluded on September 21st, 2013- four days after an appearance on TBS's Conan. Breaking the old world record on Day 731, Sammy set the new one at 1,001 Arabian Nights of Comedy.

Over the course of the streak, he appeared on NBC's America's Got Talent and advanced to the Las Vegas round, and became the first comedian to perform on The Food Network. Splitsider conducted an extensive interview with him entering the home stretch. LA Weekly praised Sammy's "sheer force of will" in performance and lifestyle, and LA Mag recommended his show highly. He was profiled in TIME Magazine, followed soon after by an article in the New York Times. Published on his final day, it describes his material as "full of wordplay" and "clever misdirection."

Chunks of his streak were spent as the youngest member of both the CoExist Comedy and Axis of Evil: New Generation national tours. Capping the streak, his debut album, Get Funny or Die Trying, was named a Best Comedy Album of 2013 by iTunes. Not slowed, Sammy has now embarked on a national college tour performing for hundreds of students a week.

Sammy has founded his own comedy enterprise, KO Comedy. He's hard at work on both a book and documentary about his 1,001 Nights, each with the witty advice and deep-insider view found on his blog.

>Majdy Fares

Majdy Fares

Comedian and Writer

www.facebook.com/majdycomedy

Majdy grew up in Dearborn, Michigan and currently lives in Washington D.C. Majdy recently left a 12 year career in medical sales to try his hand as a comedy writer.

Interview with Celebrities

George Kurdahi

George Kurdahi

TV Presenter

Kurdahi started his career with the newspaper Lisan al Hal in 1970, then he worked for Télé Liban in 1973 until the start of the Lebanese civil war, when he immigrated to France. In 1979, he joined Radio Monte Carlo in Paris, where he was appointed Editor-in-chief. In 1992, Kurdahi moved on to run Sharq Radio Station in Paris and remained there for around two years. In 1994, he was recruited to head MBC FM in London. In 2004, Kurdahi moved to the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation for one year, before being asked by MBC to return as the presenter of his old program and several other programs. In his move to LBC to present “Iftah Albak”, Kurdahi became one of the prominent TV presenters in the Arab World. Furthermore, advertising spots on his shows reached record proportions, both in popularity as well as ratings. In 2012, Kurdahi joined Al Hayat TV to present the TV-show “ Who Wants to be A Millionaire”,"Al-Mosameh Karim" and "Hafez wala Fahem".

George Kurdahi has also launched his own brand of perfume called G.K

Farouk Shami

Farouk Shami

Palestinian-American Businessman

farouk.com

Farouk Shami was born in Beit Ur al-Tahta, a village near Ramallah in the West Bank. He is an American-Palestinian businessman and founder of the hair-care and spa products company, Farouk Systems located in Texas. Shami has worked for decades in the field of hair-care product development, and attended cosmetology school in Arkansas. He invented the first ammonia- free hair color, after developing an allergy to the chemical that initially led doctors to encourage him to leave his profession.

His company, the Houston-based Farouk Systems, currently employs 600+ people in the US, and exports its line of hair and skin care products under the BioSilk, SunGlitz and Cationic Hydration Interlink (CHI) brands to over 106 countries worldwide.

On May 1, 2011, Shami made an appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice, when the show's contestants were given a project in which they promoted Farouk Systems products. He appeared again in the 4th episode of All Star Celebrity Apprentice.

Rasha Hussein

Rasha Hussein

Software Engineer

Rasha is from Tulkarm, Palestine. She is a Software Engineer at Netflix, based in San Francisco. Previously worked at Quora and Udacity to make the online education platform available in Arabic, as part of launching the one million Arab coders initiative led by the ruler of Dubai.

She co-founded a co-working space in Palestine that hosted tech companies like Google and Microsoft, and investors from around the Arab world. Organizing tech events and startup weekends that facilitated startup thinking among young Palestinians.

As a student in Birzeit University she volunteered to tour Palestinian schools to teach kids how to use the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) laptop to learn math, reading and coding basics.

Majdi Gaith

Entrepreneur

Majdi Gaith is a Palestinian-American, born in San Francisco and raised in the Napa Valley. He holds a BA in Political Science, along with course work in Arabic and Hebrew from UC Berkeley. Majdi spent three of his most cherished years living between Occupied H2 Hebron (Al Khalil) and the Old City of Jerusalem. He also worked in Abu Dhabi for two years post college. He currently works at Facebook within the Developer Operations team. His current interests include Palestine, learning Portuguese, new food concepts, value investing, gold trading, and sports activities. Majdi is also the co-founder of two food start-ups: Afghan Burrito— A casual Mexican-Afghan fusion eatery currently open in Oakland; Seedough’s —An Eastern Mediterranean Bakery offering authentic Palestinian Kunafa, Istanbul Baklava and Syrian Booza (Ice Cream), and Seedough’s, which is expected to launch in Berkeley sometime in 2021.



Celebrate with Music

Naima Shalhoub

Naima Shalhoub

Vocalist, Composer, Performing Artist, and Educator

naimashalhoub.com

Naima Shalhoub is a Lebanese Arab-American vocalist, composer, performing artist, and educator based in the Bay Area. Her multidimensional work explores the borderlands of belonging, remembrance, freedom, and the expansive quality of the voice - its power for healing and energizing social justice movements. Her first full-length studio album, Siphr, was released on August 6th, 2020.

Her debut album, Live in San Francisco County Jail, was recorded alongside an audience of incarcerated women with whom she had been facilitating weekly “Music and Freedom” sessions for one year (many of whom participated in the performance). Produced in solidarity with movements to end the prison-industrial complex, the recording embodies Naima’s deeply-held belief that "it is an artist's duty to reflect the times" (Nina Simone).

In addition to performing regularly from nationally-acclaimed venues to grassroots community event spaces, Naima has an MA in Postcolonial Anthropology and is a seasoned Restorative Justice practitioner and circle-keeper with experience in public schools, Juvenile Halls, and communities from California to Kenya. She currently is the Restorative Women and Girls Coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). She also performs for theater productions, fundraisers, and presents at conferences such as the National Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and TEDxLAU in Beirut.

Excentrik (Tarik Kazaleh)

Excentrik (Tarik Kazaleh)

Multi-Instrumentalist, producer and MC

www.excentrik.net

Tarik “Excentrik” Kazaleh is a Palestinian American multi-instrumentalist, producer and MC from Oakland, CA. Considered one of the “Godfathers” of Arab hip hop, he is one of the founders and the producer of the seminal hip hop group, Arab Summit alongside Narcy, Omar Offendum and Ragtop. Kazaleh’s diverse collaborations have included many in the global jazz and hip hop scenes and he is currently promoting Naima Shalhoub’s first studio record, “Siphr” which he produced in addition to playing Oud and Guitar in her band. His latest solo album will be released in December.

Politics in the U.S. and Palestine

Rashiday Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib

U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district

Rashida Tlaib is a well-known progressive warrior and, in her own words, “a mother working for justice for all.” Her two young sons are at the root of her unwavering passion to help change lives for the better. She is the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in Detroit, the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents.

Rashida made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature. She is beloved by residents for the transformative constituent services she provided, and for successfully fighting the billionaires and corporations that tried to pollute her district. When families get to know Rashida, they have no doubt that she will work tirelessly to knock down barriers for real change, and whether by policy or action, she will roll up her sleeves to make sure her residents are cared for, no matter how big the challenge.

When billionaire slumlord Matty Moroun refused to follow the law and get polluting semi-trucks off neighborhood streets, Rashida organized residents with the We Have A Right To Breathe campaign and forced Moroun to fulfill his obligations to protecting public health. When large piles of black dust started showing up on the Detroit riverfront and blowing into homes and parks, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told residents everything was fine, Rashida collected samples and got the substance tested herself - exposing the cancer-causing “petroleum coke” as a threat, and getting it removed.

As an attorney at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, Rashida took the movement to the courts, fighting racist emergency managers, abusive state agencies, and leading the fight for community benefits agreements that promote equitable development. Rashida knows that effective advocacy requires an all-out approach, fighting in the community, in the legislature, and in the courts every day against injustice and inequality, so that every single person in this country has a chance to thrive.

She is currently the Congresswoman for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, which includes the city of Detroit and many surrounding communities.

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi

Director and Senior Scholar in the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the College of Ethnic Studies-San Francisco State University (SFSU)

amed.sfsu.edu/content/rabab-abdulhadi-profile

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi is the founding Director and Senior scholar of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies Program at San Francisco State University. Before joining SFSU, she served as the first Director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and taught at Yale, NYU, the American University in Cairo and Birzeit University.She has many scholarly awards and community honors, including Yale’s Sterling Fellowship, the New Century Scholarship and the Alex Odeh Award. She was also honored by the Arab Feminist Union in Palestine and named a Bay Area Visionary by the National Women’s Studies Association. She is the co-author and lead editor of several works, including Mobilizing Democracy: Changing US Policy in the Middle East. She also initiated Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice” (that challenges colonial narratives on Palestine and calls for decolonizing the curriculum and ending the erasure of Palestine) and co-organized several international conferences. She is also involved in the Black Lives movement and memorializing the Sabra and Shatila Massacre.

Loubna Qutami

Loubna Qutami

Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles

Loubna Qutami is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Qutami is a former President’s Postdoctoral Fellow from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (2018-2020) and received her PhD from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside (2018). Qutami’s research examines transnational Palestinian youth movements after the 1993 Oslo Accords through the 2011 Arab Uprisings. Her work is based on scholar-activist ethnographic research methods. Qutami’s broader scholarly interests include Palestine, critical refugee studies, the racialization of Arab/Muslim communities in the U.S., settler-colonialism, youth movements, transnationalism and indigenous and Third World Feminism.

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