Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jerusalem Women discuss issues 3-28 to 4-16, 2005

PARTNERS FOR PEACE 1250 4th, SW, Suite WG-1 Washington, DC 20024 For More Information Contact

Michael Brown or Amanda Frie Phone 202-863-2951 Cell Phone 202-215-9057 Michael Brown

202-316-5838 Amanda Frie
E-mail partnersforpeace@yahoo.com
Web www.partnersforpeace.org

Jerusalem Women Speak:Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision
March 28-April 16, 2005

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 with audiences all over the United States.They are mothers, daughters, wives and working professionals and all involved in their own way in resolving the conflict.Diana Kattan - Christian Palestinian living in East Jerusalem. Her family home was seized during the 1948 war. Holds an MA in English Literature from Hebrew University. Speaks English and Arabic.Nina Mayorek - Jewish Israeli living in West Jerusalem. Left Poland in 1968 to escape anti-Semitism. Relatives perished in Treblinka during the Holocaust. Is Senior Biochemist in the Dept. Of Human Nutrition and Metabolism at Hebrew University. Speaks English and Hebrew.Aitemad Muhanna - Muslim Palestinian living in Gaza Strip. Grew up in Shati refugee camp after parents fled the village of Masmeia, now in Israel in 1948. Just started a PhD program in Development Studies at Swansea University. Speaks English and Arabic.More complete bios at the end of press release. They have witnessed the deterioration around them over the past four years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, but have also seen the recent renewed efforts to rekindle talks. All have made a commitment to address American audiences about their hopes for the future and what must be done to improve today’s tenuous situation.These three women are willing to travel together on a national speaking tour for 20 days (March 28-April 16) to address realities of the conflict ­ loss of family homes, persecution, occupation, suicide bombings, and the separation barrier currently being constructed in the West Bank. They are here to demonstrate that peace, while difficult, is possible. The response to the tour in past years has been remarkable. Audiences have been fascinated andthrilled to hear their stories and see that even today in the midst of the ongoing conflict there arePalestinians and Israelis willing to travel together to talk about their lives, their fears, and theirhopes for a better and peaceful future.These are not internationally recognized women, but within their own communities they are doing impressive work. We refer to them as extraordinary ordinary women. If there is to be a real and warm peace they are the ones who will make it happen. Interviews, talk shows 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 the ninth tour since 1998. Tour ScheduleWashington, DC ­ March 28-30Sarasota, FL ­ March 31-April 1Iowa ­ April 2-4Minnesota ­ April 5-8Wisconsin ­ April 8-11South Bend, IN ­ April 12Chicago, IL ­ April 13-14Washington, DC area April 15-16Speakers’

BiosDIANA KATTANChristian Palestinian ParticipantA Christian Palestinian, Ms. Kattan lives in East Jerusalem and holds an MA in English Literature from Hebrew University. During the 1948 war, Ms. Kattan’s family took refuge in a church as the family home in West Jerusalem was seized. In a highly unusual process, Ms. Kattan’s grandfather slowly was able to buy back his own home. Today, however, Ms. Kattan lives in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. After a two-week trip in 2004 she returned at 3:00 am to find the separation wall looming directly opposite her home. She is now cut off from friends and family by the barrier which wends its way through the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem. Ms. Kattan is the Centre Director for the Martin Luther Community Development Centre, which offers educational, vocational, and recreational programs. She is also active with the Sabeel Ecumenical Centre for Liberation Theology. She writes, "Having been born in the west side of Jerusalem and yet working and living in the east side, I strongly believe in the importance of a just and enduring peace for Jerusalem. It should be a city for two nations and three religions."

NINA MAYOREKJewish Israeli ParticipantA Jewish Israeli, Ms. Mayorek is Senior Biochemist in the Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism at the Hebrew University. She and her husband moved to Israel in 1968 to escape the anti-Semitism of the Polish government of that time to which her parents lost their academic positions. Earlier, her aunt and grandmother perished in Treblinka during the Holocaustand her grandfather died in one of Stalin’s concentration camps. She lives in West Jerusalem and is a member of the Israeli women’s human rights organization Checkpoint Watch, which participates in weekly observations at checkpoints in the West Bank. She usually monitors checkpoints around Nablus. While Ms. Mayorek has pursued a research interest in diabetes, she has also steadily promoted better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. From1996-1998 she was the coordinator of Israeli volunteers at a Palestinian school in El-Khader. Later she was a lecturer on Women and Family Health at the Ibda Community Center in Bethlehem’s Deheisheh refugee camp. She is here in the United States to "persuade public opinion that the ongoing policy of Israelicolonization and supremacy in the West Bank is devastating for both Palestinians and Israelis."

AITEMAD MUHANNAMuslim Palestinian ParticipantA Muslim Palestinian, Ms. Muhanna is the first tour participant from the Gaza Strip. She grew up in the Shati refugee camp after her family fled the village of Masmeia, now in Israel, in 1948. She has just begun a PhD program in Development Studies at Swansea University. Educated in UN schools, Ms. Muhanna is now a development professional with over 10 years ofexperience in gender and participatory approaches to development issues. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights, having worked to lessen domestic violence in Gaza and to establish both a women’s micro-credit coalition and a coalition to eradicate poverty in Gaza. Ms. Muhanna is troubled that much of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is viewed as a religiousstruggle pitting Muslims against Jews. She has been engaged in the Palestinian national struggle for 20 years and hopes to build a future in which a Palestinian state and an Israeli state work together on the basis of equal rights and cultural diversity and without religious discrimination. She notes, "I believe that the Palestinian and Israeli people have to live as two equal nations cooperating together rather than fighting against each other."

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