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Steering Committee

Basma Khader Abu Sway
Basma Khader Abu Sway is a community development specialist and human rights activist especially in the areas of women’s and children’s protection and empowerment. She represented Palestine in several national, regional and international bodies, and is currently the chairwoman of and senior researcher for CRMA for Business Solutions. Basma also serves on the board of directors of Dalia Association and Farashe Center for Healthy Living.
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Jabr Qudeh
Jabr Qudeh is the Gaza Director of MA’AN Development Center. He has 21 years of professional experience as a development specialist and civil society expert in Palestine focusing on emergency humanitarian assistance, democracy and governance, and community and civil society development. Jabr has a BA in Sociology (1988) from Birzeit University in the West Bank.
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Hadeel Qazzaz
Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz, PhD, was born in Gaza Shati refugee camp. She received her Ed.D. from Leeds University, is a specialist in gender and development, and is currently working as a community impact planner for United Way of Calgary and Area. She is a board member of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committees and the General Union of Palestinian Women, Ramallah Branch. She has served as director of the Palestinian American Research Center in Ramallah and worked as the program manager and deputy director of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Ramallah for ten years.
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Ibrahim Shatli
Ibrahim Al-Shatali is a researcher and social activist born in Gaza city 1979 from a refugee family from the Palestinian city of Al-Majdal in southern Palestine. Ibrahim believes in social justice and love, he is keen on working with all people without discrimination. He has numerous work papers and research on Palestinian and Arab youth action. Ibrahim actively participated in several local, regional and international conferences, and along with colleagues, he has led and participated in many community initiatives.
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Siham Rashid
Siham Rashid is a feminist activist whose writings include analysis on the situation of Palestinian women, Jerusalem, and the role of the international media in their coverage of the occupied Palestinian Territories. She is directly involved in several civil society coordination initiatives and is one of the founders of Sawa Rape Crisis Center in Jerusalem. Currently, she is a strategic development advisor at Mada al-Carmel, an applied social research NGO in Haifa.
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Amal Zaqout
Amal Zaqout is currently a program officer for Premier Urgence-Aid Medicale International in Gaza. She received a B.Sc. degree in education and mathematics from Ein Shams University in Egypt. From 2004-2007 she lived in Yemen coordinating a rural development project for youth and women and has also worked for CARE International, Islamic Relief and the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA). Amal is an expert in research and data management.
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Haneen Riziq Al-Sammak
Haneen Riziq Al-Sammak is a Palestinian refugee from Ashdod; her husband and children are refugees from Jaffa. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a professional diploma in Neuro-linguistic Programming. Haneen has 17 years of experience working with local and international institutions, including Save the Children, Palestinian Center for the Resolution of Community Disputes, Society’s Voice Foundation, Islamic Relief UK, and Ard Al Insan.
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Abed A Khooli
Abed Khooli is an ICT expert with over 20 years practical experience in a wide range of information systems and applications. He assumed various roles and worked for different sectors including non-governmental organizations, educational, private sector, governmental and international entities. Abed worked on projects ranging from web development to system analysis, proposal writing, software design and engineering, technical management and need assessment with over 7 years as knowledge management and IT consultant for the UNDP governance program.
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Dr. Nora Lester Murad
Nora Lester Murad, PhD, is a writer of fiction and social commentary living in Palestine. Her blog, "The View From My Window in Palestine" ( addresses issues of development, international aid, and daily life under military occupation. She has published in The Guardian, Aljazeera, Mondoweiss, Jadiliyya, Electronic Intifada, OpenDemocracy and more.
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Heba Hayek
Heba Hayek was born in Gaza and is currently a student of English Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza. She has been active in community initiatives since she was 12 and has been selected to participate in many projects aimed at the creative development of children and youth. Heba brings a positive attitude to her work believing that valuable lessons can be learned from the struggle of living under military occupation.
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