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Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision
Wednesday, March 17th 2004 3:00-5:00 pm
Washington, District of Columbia

Jerusalem Women Speak:
Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision

Three women – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish – who are living the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will share their experiences and hopes for a just peace.

They are mothers, daughters, wives, and grandmothers. They have suffered loss of life, homes, businesses and are all exposed to random violence.

In spite of this, these three women who have never met are willing to travel together on a national speaking tour for 17 days (March 17-April 2) to talk about the situation they face. They are here to demonstrate that peace is possible between Palestinians and Israelis despite the ongoing violence

This is a unique opportunity to hear the personal side of this painful conflict from women whose lives have been shaped by the ongoing violence and occupation.

* Nahla Assali, Muslim Palestinian, Age 65, Co-founder and Chair of Project Loving Care
* Dr. Nuha Khoury, Christian Palestinian, Age 41, Deputy Director of Dar al-Kalima Academy
* Michal Sagi, Jewish Israeli, Age 35, Member of Checkpoint Watch

Interviews, talk show appearances, and community presentations are currently being scheduled. They may be arranged by contacting Partners for Peace.

Partners for Peace is an NGO based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to help bring about a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is its seventh tour since 1998.

Tour schedule

Washington, DC - Wednesday, March 17
Charlottesville, Virginia - Thursday, March 18
Lynchburg, Virginia - Friday, March 19
Charlotte, North Carolina - Saturday-Monday, March 20-22
Atlanta, Georgia - Tuesday-Wednesday, March 23-24
Birmingham, Alabama - Thursday-Friday, March 25-26
Asheville, NC - Saturday-Monday morning, March 27-29
Greensboro, NC – Monday, March 29
Raleigh, NC – Tuesday, March 30
Richmond, VA - Wednesday-Thursday, March 31-April 1
Washington, DC - Friday, April 2

Speaker Bios

Muslim Palestinian Participant
Nahla Assali

A Muslim Palestinian, Nahla Assali was born in West Jerusalem in 1938. In 1948, after the Deir Yassin massacre, her father sent the family to live in Damascus. They were never allowed to return to their original home in West Jerusalem. She is a refugee registered with the United Nations.

Ms. Assali received her BA in English Literature from the American University of Beirut and her MA from Indiana State University. She recently retired from Birzeit University’s Department of English Language and Literature after working for more than 25 years as a lecturer. She lives in Beit Hanina between Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Ms. Assali works for children’s rights in her position as co-founder and chair of Project Loving Care, a child sponsorship program initiated in 1968. Ms. Assali is also co-founder and chair of the Saraya Centre for Community Services, which provides training for women and informal education for children.

She writes, "What we actually need is a ‘fair hand’ to take hold of Ariadne’s thread and unravel all the complexities of the situation."

Christian Palestinian Participant
Dr. Nuha Khoury

A Christian Palestinian, Dr. Nuha Khoury was born in Jerusalem and lives and works today in Bethlehem. Her family’s roots date back to the early Christian community in Palestine. She is the Deputy Director of the Dar al-Kalima Academy, where she administers programs, raises funds, and gives lectures to visiting groups on the current political situation, Islamic history, and Palestinian women.

Dr. Khoury received her PhD in Islamic History from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1996. Between 1997 and 1999 she taught at Bethlehem University.

Dr. Khoury is a member of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Palestine and Jordan and a church elder at the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. She organized and ran the Palestinian area studies section of the Friends World Program at the Middle East Center in Jerusalem.

Her father died tragically in January of 2004 when he was denied passage past a checkpoint on the way to the hospital because he did not hold a "sickness permit" to attest to his massive heart attack. Even his American passport was not able to get him to a Jerusalem hospital. She notes that her father’s story "is only one among hundreds of thousands of stories."

Jewish Israeli Participant
Michal Sagi

A Jewish Israeli, Michal Sagi is the daughter of Israeli-born parents of European descent. She was raised in Haifa and currently lives in Jerusalem.

For the past seven years, Ms. Sagi has worked at Melitz, an organization providing informal educational services to Israelis and Diaspora Jews. For seven years prior, Ms. Sagi worked at the Jewish Agency for Israel to promote solidarity in the Jewish community throughout the world.

Last year Ms. Sagi participated in the Palestinian-Israeli delegation for dialogue, "Nonviolent Women Leadership," sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the British government.

Ms. Sagi is actively involved with Checkpoint Watch, a women’s human rights monitoring group which reports on its observations at Israeli military and police checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. She writes, "I am going out to the checkpoint to protest and to show both Palestinians and Israelis that there is a different voice calling to keep human rights and remove checkpoints."

McDowell Hall Formal Lounge, American University 4400 Massachusetts Avenue Washington District of Columbia 20024 

Susanne Waldorf

Sponsored By:
Partners for Peace Women and Gender Studies Center for the Global South Arab Studies Program Peace and Conflict Resolution Program University Chaplain's Office