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.

Um Kamel al Kurd

ummkamel1Umm Kamel al Kurd lived in a tent after Israeli authorities and Jewish settlers threw the Al Kurds out of their family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Even though the IOF destroyed her tent time and again, Umm Kamel remained steadfast in her faith and in her resistance.

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.

Lamis Deek

Lamis DeekLamis Deek, an attorney and human rights advocate specializing in defending Arab & Muslim community members, activists and organizers against governmental attack. Lamis is a long time member of Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Arab Muslim American Federation, and the National Lawyers Guild. She is co-founder of the US Palestine Community Network.

Iqbal Al-Assaad

IqbalIqbal Al-Assaad, a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon, graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar as the youngest medical practitioner in the world.

Iqbal, who finished secondary school at the age of 12, won an academic scholarship from the Qatar Association for Education, Science and Social Development to study medicine at Weill College in Qatar, one of the top ten medical schools in the world.

She currently is serving a residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Cleveland, OH. 

Upon completing her medical studies, Ms. Al-Assaad hopes to return first to Qatar to practice medicine. Ultimately, she would like to be able to open a practice in Lebanon to treat Palestinian refugees. Currently, Palestinian refugees are prohibited from working in many sectors of Lebanese society, therefore Palestinian doctors are not allowed to work in public hospitals. 

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. 

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.

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.

Reverend Donald Wagner

Reverend Donald Wagner was the co-founder and director of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding and previously served Presbyterian churches in New Jersey and Evanston, Illinois, where he resides. His books include: All in the Name of the Bible (editor, 1986), Peace or Armageddon (with Dan O’Neill, 1993), Anxious for Armageddon(1995), and Dying in the Land of Promise: Palestine and Palestinian Christianity from Pentacost to 2000 (2000). In addition to serving on the board of Friends of Sabeel - North America, which he helped to found in the early 1990s, Don has provided leadership for groups such as the Holy Land Trust, Pilgrims of Ibillin, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, and Youth Advocates. He has led numerous study groups to the Middle East and works internationally to educate Christians about the problems of Christian Zionism.

Ilan Pappé

Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian and socialist activist. He is a professor of history with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university's European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.

He is the author of The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of Palestinians in Israel (2011); The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006), The Modern Middle East (2005), A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (2003), and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1988).

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 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. 

Max Blumenthal

max blumenthalMax Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a writing fellow for the Nation Institute. His newest book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is due out in October and will be featured at the conference. Blumenthal's first book Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.

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 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

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.