Friends of Al Rowwad USA Board
Nancy Lee Farrell, President
Nancy is a retired elementary school teacher and home hostel manager. She is currently a substitute teacher in Tacoma, Washington. She is involved in many activist organizations in Tacoma. She volunteered at Al Rowwad in October 2002, helped organize Dr. Abusrour's first U.S. speaking tour in 2004, and in 2005 the first Al Rowwad's Children's Theater performing tour in the Northeast USA.
Dorothy C. Buck, Ph.D., Secretary
Dr. Buck has a Ph.D. in Religion and Literature and is a licensed mental health practitioner and pastoral counselor. She has an active interest in supporting education for Palestinian Arab Christian and Muslim children in the Holy Land, facilitates the Partner Parish Committee for St. Pauls Parish in Cambridge, MA with Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Beit Sahour, Palestine and on two pilgrimages, in 2011 and 2013, she included visits to the Aida Camp and al-Rowwad on the group itinerary. Her enthusiasm for Dr. Abusrour’s vision of the Arts as a means of Beautiful Resistance is in part due to her many years as a professional Classical Ballet performer and teacher. Her interest in the three Abrahamic faith traditions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism has led her to publish many articles and books on Inter-faith topics and to the revival in 2002 of the Badaliya Interfaith Prayer Movement in the spirit of it’s founder, Louis Massignon. Partnered with the Peace Islands Institute, this Muslim and Christian faith sharing group gathers monthly at St. Paul Parish in Cambridge, MA.
A. Paul Cravedi, MA, Treasurer
Mr. Cravedi has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard. He currently owns and manages several executive office centers in the Boston area. He has been a committed social activist since his college days where he served as president of the Georgetown University Community Action Program (GUCAP) which engaged over 1,000 student volunteers in various social service programs in Washington, DC. His interest in Middle East peace developed when his best friend became the Director of Middle East Peace for the American Friends Service Committee. He has served on several committees related to Middle East politics and has visited Palestine on three occasions. This offered him the opportunity to visit the Aida refugee camp and meet Dr. Abed Abusrour and the Al Rowwad Children''s Theater and Cultural Center. He has been an active Al Rowwad supporter since 2010.
Gary is a semi- retired civil engineer. He first encountered Aida Camp in March 2002, during the Israeli assault on Bethlehem and has been involved in Al- Rowwad since then. Worked with Carla, Gale and Nancy on first Al- Rowwad tour. Gary is also involved in UUJME (Unitarian- Universalists for Justice in the Middle East), Friends of Sabeel- Colorado, and local Denver-Boulder groups involved in justice and environment issues.
In 2002, he was volunteer staff to Palestine Water Authority assessing IDF damage to West Bank water systems and arranging for repair/replacement parts. Living in Palestine, he managed the design of a 50 –km water system intended to distribute water within Gaza. Since 2008, Gary has been doing part-time consulting on the development of industrial / commercial projects in Egypt, Senegal, Mauritania, Kuwait, and Iraq. In 2013, Gary was in Hebron for 3 months, working on an industrial wastewater solution for that city.
Across Puget Sound from Tacoma, WA
Sallie is a secular Jew who spent most of her working years in social services and interfaith work, most often combining the two; she retired in 2010 from Associated Ministries in Tacoma, Washington, having spent 21 years as the Director of a program that organizes volunteers to paint the homes of low-income seniors and people with disabilities. She currently focuses most of her time and energy on Palestinian human rights and civil rights, primarily with the Jewish Voice for Peace organization. She visited Al Rowwad in 2010 during a 5-week trip to Israel and Palestine, having met Dr. Abusrour on his trip to the U.S. in 2004. Since then she has been enamored with Al Rowwad's work to give children fun, life-affirming and meaningful experiences showing them that there is more to life than living under Occupation and that there is a positive and 'Beautiful' way to confront and change the world. She also appreciates and uses videos produced by Al Rowwad in her work to inform people about life under Occupation, especially the film Bethlehem Checkpoint, 4a.m., because it shows the context within which Al Rowwad is doing such amazing work.
Carla has been active in social justice for over 30 years. She is committed to base-building that holds racial justice at its center, and is on the national leadership team of Showing Up for Racial Justice (www.showingupforracialjustice.org) that works to engage more white people in change- making with a racial justice lens. She helped coordinate Al-Rowwad's first US tour and welcomed Dr. Abusrour to Louisville in 2016 for successful fund-raising events.
Rick has been a labor and human rights activist for many years. He has worked on many grassroots campaigns, including founding the first statewide living wage campaign for human service workers in the country. Rick is an adjunct faculty member teaching courses in leadership, grassroots politics, and community organizing at the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has received many awards for his work, including a Peace and Justice Award from the City of Cambridge and a community service award from the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children. Rick got involved in the cause of Palestinian rights in 2007 after visiting the West Bank with his 12-year-old son. He founded the “It is apartheid Collective” in 2008 to try to find creative ways to tell the story of Palestinian suffering despite a mainstream media that ignores or distorts the truth. Rick’s dad became a refugee from Vienna after fleeing the Nazi Holocaust in 1938. Rick founded the Friends of Al Rowwad USA in 2008.
Zach spent two months in the Palestinian Territories working with Alrowwad and other Palestinian organizations on developing his thesis work which concerned geopolitics and the implications of non-violent resistance in architecture in the West Bank. The project culminated in an art installation, exhibition, and book which were used for the purposes of broadcasting Al Rowwad's message and expanding the influence of Beautiful Resistance. Zach is currently a practicing architect and artist working in New York City
Dr. Hassan Fouda
Dr. Fouda is a retired scientist and manager at Pfizer, Inc. Global Research and Development. He was also a Board Director of Tandem Lab, a contract scientific research corporation. Dr. Fouda is based in Kensington, California. Hassan is a life-long human rights activist and is currently on the Steering Committee of Northern California Friends of Sabeel and is a Board Director of The Tree of Life Foundation (www.tolef.org), of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (www.ICAHDUSA.org), and of The Council for National interest (www.CNIonline.org). Hassan co-led 10 different fact-finding delegations to Palestine-Israel. He also visited all the neighboring countries where he met and interviewed many government officials, opposition leaders and opinion makers.
Lisa Gay Hamilton
Lisa is an American film, television, and theater actress known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice, and for her critically acclaimed performance as young Sethe in Jonathan Demme's film adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved. Her theater credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Henry IV Parts I & II (Lady Hotspur), Athol Fugard’s, Valley Song and The Ohio State Murders. Lisa was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson’s, The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean. Hamilton played the role of Melissa in Men of a Certain Age, an hour-long comedy-drama starring Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula that ran from 2009 to 2011.
Leonardo is a Palestinian American originally from Bethlehem. Currently living in Silver Spring, Maryland, he works with an international development organization in Washington, DC with focus of child development and protection. Previously, Hosh worked with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) in Jerusalem, Palestine. Prior to that, Hosh worked with the Palestinian NGO Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ). He has a Master’s degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California at Davis.
Robin is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA in Los Angeles. His books include the prize winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009); Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (1990); Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class(1994); Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (B1997), which was selected one of the top ten books of 1998 by the Village Voice; Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn (2001); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002). He also edited (with Earl Lewis),To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, 2000). His most recent book is, Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (2012). Kelley’s essays have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Nation, U.S. News and World Report, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Color Lines, New Politics, Boston Review, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and New Labor Forum, to name a few.
Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich, and he wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln, both critically acclaimed movies. For his work, he received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013.
Ralph McCoy retired from 40 years in the practice of Pathology in 2008. Most of that time was spent in the Duke Healthcare System. During his medical career, he published over two dozen medical journal articles, he served as President of the Medical Staff in a healthcare facility staffed by over 300 physicians and he served as President of the North Carolina Society of Pathologists. He donated time to medical practice in Nepal and to the Alaska Native Health Service. After retirement, he became interested in the Israeli/ Palestine conflict and occupation. He and his wife, Emily, traveled to Israel and to the West Bank. There they joined a multinational group planting over 4000 olive trees on Palestinian land where the tree had been destroyed or confiscated. It was while there that he met Abdelfattah Abusrour and visited the Al Rowwad Cultural Arts Center. In November 2012, he and Emily were included in a delegation to Gaza, an extremely rare opportunity in the past decade. They were there at the beginning of Israeli Operation Pillar of Cloud, which resulted in over 1300 air strikes on that tiny parcel of land all within the period of a week. He is a member of the Abrahamic Initiative for the Middle East (AIME) and the North Carolina Coalition for Peace with Justice (CPWJ) where he has served on the board of directors. He is also deeply involved in social justice issues in his own community and throughout North Carolina.
Al Miller is the founder and former Artistic Director of The Theater Project in Brunswick, Maine. He received his BA from Williams College. He went to Beirut, Lebanon to teach at International College in the fall of 1960, returned to the States in 1963 and studied at The University of Michigan. After receiving his MA, he taught high school English in Massachusetts for two years then returned to the International College in Beirut to chair the English Department. For the following five years, he developed a trilingual theater program at the school and mentored new teachers. After settling in Brunswick, Maine in 1972, he founded The Theater Project, a community theater with programs for elementary, middle and high school students, developmentally challenged adults and for a senior reader's theater group. In addition, he continued outreach throughout the state and beyond. The Theater Project also has an adult acting company. Miller has been a clown and a mime, has written several plays, is a story-teller, and has taught workshops throughout New England, New York and Michigan. Internationally, he has taught workshops in Poland, Lebanon and Palestine. He continues to teach, direct, write and act and hopes to develop a new clown show.
Gale Coursey Toensing
Gale is a staff reporter for the Indian Country Today newspaper in Falls Village, Connecticut. She supports the Palestinians’ struggle for their national, human, and civil rights, and all other indigenous peoples around the world in their fight against colonization and oppression and for their human rights, their ancestral lands, and their self-determination.