National, international speakers invited!

The American Muslims for Palestine has invited dozens of renowned and well-respected local, national and international speakers. We will continue to update this list as speakers confirm their attendance.

Omar Offendum

omarOmar Offendum is a Syrian-American Hip-Hop artist - born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington DC and living in Los Angeles. He has been featured on several major news outlets (Aljazeera / PBS / LA Times / Rolling Stone / VICE / NY Times / The European), toured the world to promote his ground-breaking music, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various humanitarian relief organizations, lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions, and most recently been involved in creating several critically-acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa.

Dr. Mads Gilbert

mads gilbertDr. Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor, activist and politician Dr. Gilbert has treated Palestinians injured in Israeli assaults on Gaza at al-Shifa hospital. In 2008, he arrived on emergency assignment for the Norwegian Aid Committee with the surgeon Erik Fosse to support the humanitarian effort at al-Shifa Hospital during Operation Cast Lead, a period when foreign journalists were barred from entering the Gaza Strip. As international media reported from outside the conflict zone, Gilbert maintained frequent contact with Norwegian media, as well as segments of the world press, including CNN, BBC, ABC and Al Jazeera. He was at al-Shifa again during Israel's last assault on Gaza in July and August that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and injured at least 11,000

Abrar Rageh

RagehAbrar A. Rageh is an American-Egyptian junior scientist in ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota. She is socially and politically active locally, nationally and internationally. Despite her presence in Minnesota during the start of the “Arab Spring," her ties to the Arab world kept her constantly aware of situations on the ground. Abrar has held leadership positions in organizations including Session: Middle East, Egyptian Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Student Association, Multicultural Student Association, and she particpated in Model Arab League. Abrar’s dream is to see a democratic Arab world with many bridges to the rest of the world.

Hatem Abudayyeh

abudayyehHatem Abudayyeh is the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, a grassroots organization that strives to strengthen the Arab community in the Chicago area. Mr. Abudayyeh is also actively involved with the US Palestine Community Network (USPCN). 

Oussama Jammal

jammalOussama Jammal is the Secretary General of the US Council of Muslim Organizations, a national coalition of several national organizations. He is also the director of the Muslim American Society - Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, an organization dedicated to empowering the Muslim community to engage in civic affairs. He is also the vice president of the Mosque Foundation. 

Mazen Mokhtar

mohktarMazen Mokhtar is the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) National, a member of the New Jersey Chapter, and a member of the Board of Trustees of MAS. He serves as a lecturer at Masjid Al-Huda in New Brunswick, NJ and the Institute of Islamic Studies in East Windsor, NJ. Mr. Mokhtar holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and currently owns and runs a New Jersey based computer consulting business.

Dr. Khaled Abughazaleh

abughazalehDr. Khaled Abughazaleh is the head of the Palestine Children's Relief Fund's Chicago chapter. He is also the secretary of the board of directors for the national organization. Dr. Abughazaleh travels to Palestine to lead teams of maxillofacial and reconstructive surgeons, who perform life-altering operations on Palestinian children with deformities. 

Dr. Ahmad Tibi

TibiDr. Ahmad Tibi is a Palestinian member of the Knesset, serving as the Deputy Speaker. Dr. Tibi is the leader of the Arab Movement for Change (Ta'al). Dr. Tibi currently is pushing for a new Basic Law calling for “a full civic partnership and recognition of Arabs as a national minority.” He rose to prominence after serving as a political advisor to the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat. Dr. Tibi is also a trained physician.

Sheikh Omar Suleiman

suleimanSheikh Omar Suleiman is the director of the Islamic Learning Foundation as well as a beloved instructor at Al Maghrib Institute. He has a large following, especially among youth, because of his many relevant lectures on video. Sheikh Omar is also a resident scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center, an instructor and academic advisor at Mishkah University and an instructor at Bayyinah Institute.

Rafeef Ziadeh

rafeefRafeef Ziadeh is a Palestinian performance poet and human rights activist based in London. Her performances of poems like ‘We Teach Life, Sir’ and ‘Shades of Anger’ went viral online within days of their release. She received an Ontario Arts Council Grant from the Word of Mouth programme to create her debut spoken-word album Hadeel. Since releasing her album, she has toured many countries, performing poetry and conducting workshops. She was chosen to represent Palestine at the South Bank center Poets Olympiad in 2012.

Rafeef’s debut ablum Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names of their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel over Gaza.

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery is an “academician by profession and politician by necessity." He served on the Foreign Relations Committee as a member of Parliament, before the coup. Dr. Dardery holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburg; his dissertation focused on “Euro-centrism vs. Islamism”. In 2005, he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Tamim Barghouti

Dr. Tamim Al-Barghouti is a Palestinian poet and political scientist. Al-Barghouti comes from a literary family. His father is the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, and his mother is the Egyptian novelist and scholar, Radwa Ashour. Al-Barghouti is the author of four poetry collections: meejana (Ramallah 1999), Al-Manzar (Cairo 2000), Qaluli Bethebb Masr (Cairo 2005), and Maqam Iraq (Cairo 2005). He is also the author of Benign Nationalism: Egyptian Nation State Building under Occupation (2007) and has recently published a book titled The Umma and The Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East.

Mohamed Zeyara

Mohamed Mohamed Zeyara, with more than 1 million "likes" on his Facebook page, is a public figure educating the public about Palestine. He was born in Canada but raised in Gaza, where many of his family still reside. Mr. Zeyara lost some family members in Israel's latest attack on Gaza. Mohamed Zeyara is a Muslim youth advisor, filmmaker, and mostly known for his online educational and motivational videos. Most of his knowledge is acquired from the 8 years of experience living in Gaza City during his adolescence. His videos have been watched by millions of Muslims and non-Muslims across the world. Inspiring youth with motivational and inspiring stories. He completed his Pre-Medical Sciences and is currently on his path to finishing his medical degree.

Ghada Owais

ghada owaisGhada Owais is an anchorwoman and reporter for Al Jazeera Arabic. She is known for her tough, no-nonsense style of reporting who holds officials accountable. She is also known for special programming and coverage, such as the Lebanese dialogue in Doha in May 2008 and coverage from Khartoum in June 2008. Ms. Owais traveled to Gaza to report during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli assault in December 2008-January 2009 that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. Ms. Owais is a war correspondent, also covering the revolutions in Syria and Yemen.

Miko Peled

Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist, author, and karate instructor. He has written the book, "The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine," which highlights his transforamtion from a Zionist to a Palestine solidarity activist. Mr. Peledd has travelled extensively, giving talks about his experiences to audiences across the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Mohammad Abbasi

AbbasiMohammad Abbasi has had over ten years of business development experience with emphasis on leadership and team building while coaching, consulting and training business associates and sales forces nationally for the second largest Real Estate Company in America. Prior to that, he also has over seventeen years of sales experience focused on high productivity while striving to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and quality of life.

Mohammad Abbasi is socially active, as well. He has helped launch several mosques and schools in New Jersey. He is also a Friday Khateeb and lecturer since 1990 and has raised funds for countless Islamic projects nationwide since the 1980's. He is a lecturer and trainer in the area of leadership, and organizational development and is active in interfaith and law enforcement since the early 90's.

Mustafa Barghouti

mustafa barghoutiMustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian physician, activist, and politician who serves as General Secretary of the Palestine National Initiative (PNI), also known as al Mubadara. He has been a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Palestinian Parliament) since 2006 and is also a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council. In 2007, Barghouti was Minister of Information in the Palestinian unity government.

In 1991, Barghouti was a delegate to the Madrid Conference, which was held with the aim of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the First Intifada. Barghouti was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 by Máiread Maguire, who had won the prize in 1976

Ramah Kudaimi

RamahRamah has worked at several grassroots activist organizations including CODEPINK, the Washington Peace Center, and the Arab American Action Network. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. Her writing has been published by Al Jazeera English, The Progressive, Truthout, and more.

Dr. Manal Fakhoury

ManalDr. Manal Fakhoury is the owner and director of Fakhoury Leadership International., which focuses on empowering youth in leadership training and success principles. Dr. Fakhoury has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree as well as an MBA. She is the chairman of United Voices for America, a civic engagement organization working to increase the participation of people of color, minorities and youth in the political process. She serves on several boards and is the president of Toastmasters United. Dr. Fakhoury lives with her husband and five children in Florida. 

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha

sh. kifah mustaphaSheikh Kifah Mustapha is the Imam and the Associate Director of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, IL, and a teacher of Islamic Studies at Universal High in Bridgeview.
He also is the appointed representative for the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Lebanon (Darul Fatwa) on behalf of the Lebanese Community in the USA.

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha serves as the:
• Chairman of the Illinois Council of Imams and Scholars.
• President for the Shura of Islamic Family Counselors of America.
• Chairman of the Quran Institute of Chicago MAS.

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is a member on the Advisory Boards of:
• The Mission and Spiritual Care for Advocate Health Group in Illinois
• The Council for The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation
• The American Islamic College in Chicago.

Mohammed Kaiseruddin

mohammed kaiseruddinMohammed Kaiseruddin is the Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. He was one of the founders of CIOGC and was elected its first chairman in 1992. Currently he is also the vice chairman of the Downtown Islamic Center and the Chairman of Board of Trustees of the IMAN Fund. Dr. Kaiseruddin is the past presdient of Muslim Community Center (MCC) and has served the Chicago Muslim community in various capacities for the past 40 years. He is called upon to give Friday Khutbahs and speak on Islamic topics. In addition, his interests include Islamic education, intra-faith and interfaith relations and civic engagement. Professionally, Dr. Kaiseruddin has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and is a Manager at a Consulting Engineering Company. He is married with four children.

Dr. Rashid Khalidi

rashid khalidi_alex_levacRashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1974.  He is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993. Dr. Khalidi's current book is "Brokers of Deceit: How the US has undermined peace in the Middle East," published by Beacon Press. Other titles include "Sowing Crisis: American  Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East" (2009); "The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood" (200 He teaches courses on Modern Middle Eastern History; The United States, the Middle East and the Cold War; Islamic Movements in the Modern Middle East; The Modern History of Palestine; and Nationalism in the Arab World.

Taher Herzallah

taherTaher Herzallah is the national Campus Coordinator for the American Muslims for Palestine. In this capacity, Mr. Herzallah acts as a liaison between students in Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Assocations on campuses across the country. He helps these groups procure grants, materials and speakers. He also is instrumenntal in helping students set up programs and activities. Mr. Herzallah is also one of the 'Irvine 11," a group of students who were arrested and prosecuted for expressing their constitutionally protected rights of free speech and political dissent when they walked out of a speech given by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine in 2010. 

Imam Zaid Shaker

zaid shakirImam Zaid was born in Berkeley, CA and accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He obtained a BA with honors in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University.

Shakeel Syed

shakeelCurrently a national board member of AMP and Executive Director at Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. Formerly Executive Board Member at ACLU, Board Member at Interfaith Peace Builders, Board Member at U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.

Naeem Baig

 baigMr. Naeem Baig is Vice President for Public Affairs of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). He is also serving as the Executive Director for “ICNA Council For Social Justice”. Mr. Baig served as the Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America from 2000 to 2004, and later from 2006 to 2008. He was recently elected to serve on the National Board of ICNA for the session 2010 - 2012. Mr. Baig played a major role in strengthening ICNA's Interfaith Relations Department. During his time as the Secretary General, ICNA became member of many Interfaith organizations, like Religions for Peace USA and National Muslim Christian Initiative. Mr. Baig served as the consultant on the 'Study on Christian-Muslim Relations', sponsored by the Department of Interfaith Relations of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Currently, he co-chairs the 'National Muslim-Christian Initiative'." He is also member of the Taskforce on Global Initiative on Faith, Health and Development.

Abdelfattah Morou

Abdelfattah Mourou is a Tunisian lawyer and politician and has a bachelor’s degree in law and another one in Islamic sciences. Murou is a cofounder of the Tunisian Islamic Tendency Movement, which adopted the name Harakat al-Nahda (Renaissance Movement) in 1989 and he is one of its influential leaders.

Sana Said

Sana Jamal Said was born in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago attending her elementary and highschool at Universal School, a local Islamic school graduating at the top of her class. She matriculated into UIC's GPPA pharmacy program and is currently pursuing her PharmD from the College of Pharmacy at UIC. Since her youth, Sana has been an active member and volunteer at the Mosque Foundation and other community organizations taking a special interest in women's and youth causes. She is a regular organizer of the FNL weekly program for youth at the Mosque Foundation. Her current research pursuits revolve health outcomes for underprivileged Arab American women and children as well as a health outcomes project for women and children living in Palestinian refugee camps.

Josh Ruebner

 Josh Ruebner is the author of Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace and National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine, that works to change U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law and equality. 

Josh is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs for Congressional Research Service, a federal government agency providing Members of Congress with policy analysis. He holds a graduate degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He has appeared on television stations such as NBC, MSNBC, and al-Jazeera; has been interviewed on dozens of radio and television programs; and his writings have appeared in such publications as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Detriot Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Middle East Report.

Laila el-Haddad

laila el_haddadLaila El-Haddad is a Palestinian freelance journalist, author, blogger, and media activist from Gaza City. She is currently based in the United States. El-Haddad is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between (Just World Books, 2011) and co-author of the The Gaza Kitchen (Just World Books, 2012). She is also a contributing author of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict and a policy advisor with al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. El-Haddad writes principally for the al-Jazeera English website and the Guardian.

Rafeeq Jaber

Rafeeq JaberRafeeq Jaber, a long-time activist and well respected leader in the Muslim community, currently is the Regional Director of the Greater Chicago Area for the Muslim Legal Fund of America. Mr. Jaber is a co-founder of the Council of American Islamic Relations; the Chicago Center for Muslim Civil Rights; the United Muslim American Association and of a post 9/11 Muslim Christian dialogue group. He also currently sits on the board of the Spartan Educational Foundation in Oak Lawn, IL. 

Mr. Jaber is the proprietor of Jaber Financial Services. He was the president of the Board of Directors of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, IL, as well as a member of the board for several years. Mr. Jaber also was national president of the Islamic Association of Palestine. 

Sheikh Amin Al-Ali

amin aliSheikh Amin Al-Ali is the Imam of the Islamic Community Center of Illinois

Safaa Zarzour

Safaa ZarzourSafaa Zarzour, of the Zakat Foundation, holds a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University School of Law, a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Arkansas State University.

Mr. Zarzour is currently an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School teaching courses in Education and Islamic Law. For over a decade, he served as a teacher and then principal at Universal School, one of the largest PreK-12 Islamic schools in the United States and continues to serve as the vice chairman of the Board of Directors at Universal School.

In addition, Mr. Zarzour is a Board Member of the Council of Islamic Schools of North America (CISNA), and serves as the Program Chair of the ISNA Education Forum.Working with the Chicago community in the area of education, Mr. Zarzour is also a member of the Board of Advisors of St. Xavier University School of Education and member of the Board of Directors of the Governor State University Foundation.

Along with his role in the education realm, Mr. Zarzour is active in interfaith circles. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Bernadine Center at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he serves along with distinguished faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. Mr. Zarzour is the forme secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America.

Dima Khalidi

KhalidiDima Khalidi is a co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, a network of lawyers, journalists and advocates who help student and others who are under attack because of their activism. She received a master’s degree from the University of London in international and comparativelaw with a focus on Islamic law. She has worked with the People’s Law Office in Chicago, and the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. Prior to studying law, she spent two years working in the West Bank at Birzeit University on a project studying the role of customary/tribal law in Palestinian society. 

Kristin Szremski

Kristin Szremski is an award-winning journalist, spending more than 20 years as an investigative reporter and editor. Ms. Szremski has been published nationally and internationally. Her work has appeared on Al Jazeera English, Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, San Francisco Examiner, Mercury News, and  online at the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Dallas Morning News, among other news outlets globally. She has also worked as a correspondent for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald, among others. She is a member of the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, Association of Women Journalists, Investigative Reporter and Editor, the Chicago Headline Club and the Muslim American Association of Journalists.

Dr. Osama Abu Irshaid

osamaDr. Osama Abu Irshaid, AMP board member, is the founder and editor of Al Meezan newspaper, a national newspaper, published in Arabic. He is also a highly sought after political analyst and commentator. He lectures frequently on Middle East and American politics. Dr. Abu Irshaid has also authored and co-authored several books, articles and studies, published in English and Arabic, on issues relevant to the Middle East and its politcal climate. He is the co-author of the controversial study: "Hamas: Ideological Rigiditiy and Political Flexibility," which was published by the United States Institute of Peace in 2009.Abu Irshaid is a regular commentator on Palestinian and Middle Eastern affairs as well as on American domestic and foreign policy on various Arabic satellite networks, such as Al Jazeera, Syrian TV, Al-Alam, Abu-Dhabi, and Alhiwar TV.  Dr. Abu Irshaid completed his PhD at Loughborough University, in the United Kingd

Nihad Awad

nihad awadNihad Awad is the executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights organization  in the United States. In his capacity as the director of CAIR, Mr. Awad has developed relationships with several key political and legal agencies, including being a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program”, which welcomes foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics visiting the President of the United States. Numerous law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies—including Nike and DKNY—have benefited from CAIR educational seminars on Islamic traditions and culture. In addition to resolving employment discrimination issues involving American Muslims, Mr. Awad has also conducted over 100 public relations and media training seminars nationwide.

 

 

Othman Atta

othman atta

Milwaukee attorney Othman Atta is the executive director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, where he has served in various positions for the past 30 years.

In this capacity, Mr. Atta is expanding programming and outreach, especially for younger members. He is also focused on collaborating more with local and national organizations as well as finding ways to serve Milwaukee’s growing immigrant population.

Mr. Atta was born in Palestine. He received his degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University Law School. He is an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights and often is a guest lecturer for the American Muslims for Palestine. Mr. Atta also advocates on behalf of other social justice causes and in 2001, he received the Wisconsin ACLU’s Civil Libertarian of the Year award.

Dr. Hatem Bazian

Hatem BazianDr. Hatem Bazian is the chairman of the American Muslims for Palestine, a national, grassroots organization, whose mission is to educate the public about issues related to Palestine and its rich, cultural heritage. He is also a senior lecturer in the departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as an adjunct professor of law at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law from 2002 to 2007. Dr. Bazian is an adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley. Dr. Bazian is a co-founder and academic affairs chair at Zaytuna College of California, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in America. In 2009 at Berkeley, Dr. Bazian founded the Center for the Study and Documentation of Islam Phobia, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of the ‘othering’ of Islam and Muslims.
 
Known for being an organic intellectual, a term used for academics directly connecting their research to the people, Dr. Bazian has played a significant role in almost every human and civil rights movement in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as nationally and internationally, including the defense of Affirmative Action in California, American with Disabilities Act, the anti-Apartheid and anti-globalization movements, and Central American solidarity struggles.
 
He is the author of the book “Jerusalem in Islamic Consciousness: A Textual Survey of Muslim claims and rights to the Sacred City.