The first ever official “Mubarak Awad Day” is here! How will you celebrate?

For decades, people all over the world have been inspired by the creative, bold, and loving nonviolent example of Nonviolence International’s founder Mubarak Awad. After being expelled from his home in Palestine, Mubarak has lived in the United States. The Israeli government didn’t know what to do with his impactful nonviolent activism, but even exile could not stop this force of nature. 

While he is celebrated widely among those who follow movements for either active nonviolence or Palestinian humanity, many of his neighbors have been unaware of his impact. As one small and meaningful step towards correcting the record, his adopted hometown of Gaithersburg, Maryland has declared the first ever Mubarak Awad Day!

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, this August 22nd, the City Council and Mayor of Gaithersburg, in an official act of government, declare their “heartfelt gratitude” to Mubarak.

(We celebrate both Mubarak’s 80th birthday and his lifelong commitment to active nonviolence!)


Globally respected leader, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, celebrated and challenged all of us to make full use of this rare and precious opportunity. He said,

This is a great and well-deserved honor. All of us who have worked alongside Mubarak know of his loving spirit and creative active nonviolence. It is wonderful to have the government of Gaithersburg join us in celebrating his accomplishments.

Now the question must be asked…

How can we best celebrate Mubarak Awad Day?

I suggest three ideas that, if implemented widely, will have a real and lasting impact:

  1. Learn about Mubarak’s life story. You can start with this video. Then check out the links and short quotations below.
  2. Take Action - Tell at least two people who don’t yet know about Mubarak that we are approaching the first ever “Mubarak Awad Day” and that you are celebrating by spreading the word a) about the power of active nonviolence, b) the ongoing suffering / resistance of the Palestinian people, and c) by protecting his legacy.
  3. Protect his legacy by donating to NVI. Any amount would be most appreciated, but to celebrate this momentous occasion we are particularly looking to inspire large multiyear gifts that can help transform the power of the organization he founded. Together, in his honor, we must find a way to rise to the challenges before us. Consider adding NVI to your will to celebrate his legacy and make real his vision of a peaceful world where the worth and dignity of all people everywhere is protected.

(It's official! Mubarak Awad Day is coming. How will you celebrate?)


As word of this recognition spread, the NVI community reacted with overwhelming joy.

Mubarak inspired many people who inspired others and thus the ripples of his impact spread. 

(Read these powerful testimonials and then keep scrolling so you don't miss the fun photos, impressive links, and the under 2 minute video where a young leader explains how meeting Mubarak changed her life.) 

Basp Bayingana Simon Peter, Ugandan Solidarity leader, wrote, "Thank you Mubarak for all the efforts in founding NVI which has been the engine in supporting social movements and activists across the world in waging against various forms of systemic injustices."

Daniel Roth, Executive Director of our wonderful partner Center for Jewish Nonviolence, declared, "Mubarak, we are celebrating you today! Your example has been an inspiration to generations of activists - including me - and you're work has had profound impact on so many people around the world. Thank you for everything you have done, taught us, and for all that you will do in the years to come! Happy birthday, Mubarak!"

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Founder, Palestine Museum of Natural History, shared, " I have known Mubarak for >25 years. I wrote about him and his work in my book on Popular Resistance in Palestine. I once told him he is like many prophets: more appreciated outside of their own communities. He just shrugged it off with his usual humility and kindness."

George Lakey, legendary nonviolent activist and trainer, said, "Huge thanks, Mubarak, for giving us such a warm and human example of what courage looks like. I'm one of the many you've inspired."

Rivera Sun, acclaimed author and nonviolence trainer, wrote, "Mubarak's steadfast commitment to justice and nonviolence is an inspiration to so many from all corners of the globe, from all walks of life. I am grateful for all that he brings to our troubled world.

Jamila Raqib, Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution (the group carrying on Gene Sharp's work), said, "I’ve had the great pleasure of crossing paths with Mubarak numerous times over the years as a beneficiary of his decades-long friendship with Gene Sharp. Mubarak is truly one of a kind - an inspiring, wise, committed teacher of nonviolent resistance, and a friend and supporter to so many of us. During the Celebrating Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance Conference in Bethlehem in 2005, he made sure to highlight and promote diverse voices, including mine as a young woman new to the work. He encouraged me to take the stage to present to an audience filled with my nonviolent heroes, an experience that shaped the work I’ve done since then, and one that will stay with me. Mubarak, thank you for your friendship and support to Gene, to the Albert Einstein Institution, and to me. Looking forward to continuing to learn from you and to be inspired by you for many years to come."

Rev. Amy Yoder McGloughlin, leader with our amazing partner, the US Advisory Committee for Hebron International Resource Network, wrote, "Thank you for all the ways you have modelled nonviolence in the Palestinian struggle for liberation. Your example inspires and challenges us all."

Michael Conklin, 3d Thursdays for Palestine advocacy group, said, "We seek the peace that surpasses all understanding as we embrace the darkest hours before the dawn. With Gratitude for Mubarak’s legacy."

Peter Weinberger, NVI Board member, told us, "Mubarak has been a mentor and friend to me for almost 30 years. I am deeply grateful for his constant encouragement and support. I am happy to celebrate this day in his honor."

Sami Awad, founder of our impressive partner Holy Land Trust, said, "It is without a doubt that if it was not for Mubarak, I would not be who I am now. He is the one that introduced me to the power of nonviolent resistance and I loved joining and participating in the activities he held, but there was a bigger reason why I even started joining the actions he was leading in the early 80's in Palestine when he opened the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence. He had a red motorcycle that he would have me ride on the back of when he went to many of these actions. I was the only 12 year old I know who had such a cool uncle. So yes, the motorcycle had a big part to do with it as well."

Oriel Eisner, On-the-Ground Organizing Director CJNV, wrote, "Happy Birthday Mubarak! Eid Milad Saeed! It's an honor and privilege to be connected to you in this work. You are an inspiration!"

Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, said, "Deep appreciation for you, Mubarak, and your strength in pursuing nonviolent resistance from Palestine to the world. You have been an inspiration to me and have always been grateful for the opportunity to have learned from you." 

Katherine Hughes Fraitekh, Director of our awesome partner Solidarity 2020 and Beyond, shared, "Dear Mubarak, you were a seminal part of my life and key to my understanding of nonviolent resistance. I tried to visit you during my first trip to Palestine on a delegation during the First Intifada, but the Israelis were terrified of your power and the power of the nonviolent struggle in Palestine that you were helping train and lead, so they deported you. When I got back to Washington, DC, I contacted you and interviewed you for my Masters Thesis on The Palestinian Intifada as a Model Nonviolent Movement for Self Determination. I've followed your work ever since and so appreciate your lifelong commitment to peace with justice in Palestine and many other communities and NVI's fiscal sponsorship of Solidarity 2020 and Beyond! Happy 80th birthday!!"

Asna Husin, Former Director of NVI-Indonesia, said, "Mubarak is a man of generosity and great insights. He helps everyone who approaches him for assistance. His words are always soothing and insightful. He was once on the island of Sabang in Aceh for advanced mediation training for young Ulama leaders of Aceh. After patiently listening to their difficult experience of Aceh conflict (1976-2005), and how they had to convince young Acehnese not to get guns to fight the Indonesian military, Mubarak shared his own experience living in the Israeli occupied Palestine. He also informed them how he started his nonviolent movement. The Ulama leaders could not believe what he went through during his years in Palestine. One leader said to him: “Our experience is nothing compared to yours. Yet, you are so forgiving and hopeful.” Mubarak reminded his audience that your religion Islam teaches forgiveness and your Allah is al-Rahman (Most Compassionate, Most Forgiving). “We have the ability for unlimited forgiveness. It is our strength and not our weakness.” Regarding hope Mubarak said then: “Hope is a delightful dream, it strengthens our spirits and soul.”

Saeed URI, former NVI Intern, wrote, "Your commitment to nonviolence and faith in humanity has had a profound impact on the world. The success of the organizations you've led is clear, but it is the change you catalyze in every individual you interact with that is remarkable. Happy Birthday!"

Michael Nagler, founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, shared, "Dear Mubarak, I am indebted to you -- like everyone on the planet! -- for your tireless witness. There's a Jewish myth about 69 people whose justice keeps G_d from destroying the world. You are one of them!"

Sandra Schwartz, Former Office Manager, said, "I only worked for NVI for a little over a year, but your story, your courage, and your kindness have never left me. Thank you for your never ending quest for a just peace for Palestine and Israel. Your tenacity and faith that there is an answer even in the darkest times, help to give me hope for a better world."

Frederick and Laura Ann Zahn, wrote, "Birthday greetings to Mubarak from the Zahns as we are Blessed to know your mother's prayers and faith live today. Blessed to know you by way of your big brother, Bishara. Blessed to witness the strength of the NVI ministry. Blessed to learn from your vision of peace for God's children, Blessed to have celebrated your return to Bethlehem. Blessed to have had you share with our mission team."

Edy Kaufman, Retired Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, shared, " Jonathan Kuttab and myself joined you yesterday celebrating Mubarak Awad and wishing him a long, active and healthy life. The nicest way to remember him was when Jonathan to me read chapter 15 of his wonderful life story aloud, where Mubarak - as usual- is challenging authority, Israeli or anywhere else. So our best wishes to him, Nancy and to all of his good friends like you who have helped him build dreams and realities."

Rand Engel, Former Director of Balkan Sunflowers, wrote, "Mubarak, happy birthday! Thank you for a life of profound service, for being a fearless avatar of decency and justice, while at the same time a personal model of humility. Thank you again for your visit to a Balkan Sunflowers Learning Center in 2010."

Elin Ross, former NVI staff, said, "I think of Mubarak (or MEA as we always referenced him at NVI!-) almost daily as I make my own decisions as a leader...not that we would make the same choices every time but as a touchstone to remind me to consider different perspectives. This is his gift, you don't have to agree with him, having him in your life simply means that he comes to mind regularly and his lessons challenge you to be open to the possibility of alternatives. I also have to think about him every year because we are birthday twins!-) Happiest of birthdays to a mentor, a leader and ultimately a friend."

Larry Zweig wrote, "Nonviolence creates REAL power ... sometimes Silence creates the LOUDEST explosions."

Dr. E. James Rajasekaran said, "The present world needs leaders like Mubarak to spread the message of peace as in many parts of the world, people face destruction which totally wipeout peace in the society on the whole."

Jenny Thomas wrote, "So thankful for the work and influence of Nonviolence International and Mubarak’s vision and courage!"

Jennifer Duskey said, "Thank you for all the help you gave Mennonite Church USA with our resolution to work for peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. Happy birthday!"

Roseanne Weinstein wrote, "So many memories-So long ago…..Always believed he was special." 

Fr. Harry J Bury told us, "When I was abducted in Gaza in 2005, it was followers of Mubarak who got me free."

Genie Silver shared, "I have not met Mubarak but from what I’ve seen and read it’s clear he’s a very kind and humble person who practices nonviolent civil disobedience as the only way to gain freedom, justice and peace for the Palestinian people in their homeland and everywhere. As a psychologist and professor he practices and teaches how to make lives better and to help those in pain. We need more people like Mubarak in the world."

Elizabeth Yates wrote, "I am acquainted with some of the Awad family in Bethlehem. I appreciate especially the non-violent resistance. I work personally with Daoud Nassar and family on behalf of their Bethlehem farm the Tent of Nations. God bless you as your work continues."

Tom Getman, Former Senate staffer and Palestine NGO director/and Geneva UN humanitarian representative, shared, "I owe a huge debt to Mubarak for two reasons. 1. He brings a strong sense of the Spirit of Peace's presence and courage whenever he is in a room where some of us are gathered for advocacy for all suffering and oppressed people. But especially he strengthens us with his wisdom for the sake of Palestinians under the heavy hand of Apartheid in Israel-Palestine. And 2. Mubarak's relationship in the visit to Palestine with our mutual friend Desmond Tutu led The Arch to speak a dart of fire to me at my presence at the liberation of the last segregated beach in South Africa. He said, ""You are now dismissed from working in South Africa with my thanks for the anti-apartheid legislation/law and prayerful non-violent participation. But we are now on our feet with Madiba soon to be freed. If you really want to prove your bona fides on human rights and that of the NGOs with whom you work you must turn your eyes to the Palestinians who are suffering more than we ever have." That was the word of authority inspired by Mubarak's hosting The Arch that changed my life and that of my family for the last 35 years including my wife and I working in Palestine and striving in the UN for peace with justice. Shukran ekter Alhann Wah Salaan, Mubarak and Nancy."

Karim Crow, Former Director NVI's Islam and Peace Program, wrote, "Dr Mubarak Awad has been a notable influence upon myself. It was through my father Professor Ralph Crow that I first met Mubarak and Nancy, in 1989 when my parents moved to Washington DC from Beirut, and Ralph began participating in activities of Nonviolence International. (Ralph had worked with Mubarak before when he helped organize the first conference on nonviolent action in the Arab world in Amman (Jordan) in the late '70s.) From 1996 til 1999 I directed the program on 'Islam & Peace' at NVI, and made several extended journeys with Mubarak to MENA to promote our initiative. One incident made a lasting impression : around 1997 Mubarak and myself flew from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, with Mubarak carrying a number of delicate glass globes and vases crafted in Turkey that he intended to give as gifts to relatives and friends in Palestine. After we cleared passport control, collected our bags, and were on our way out of the airport, we were stopped by security police who questioned us about where we had been. One of them demanded to see the packages Mubarak was carrying, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and paper for protection. He took each one and placed it on the ground and stamped his boot crushing it into small pieces. I watched incredulously one by one, and grew angry. I started to protest at this gross abuse obviously intended to humiliate him personally, but Mubarak grabbed my shoulder and said, "Its all right, let it go." I saw his face smiling in controlled emotion : I saw nonviolence in action. We never spoke about it again. Mubarak Awad -- while others complain of injustices yet shrug helplessly, He says: "Let's Do something, Let's try this..." May you celebrate your 80th in love and joy, and always keep Hope alive in your heart ! Praying for your health and good spirits, my dear friend."

Rusty Nelson said, "In 1988, I joined the late Kathleen Donahoe on the staff of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane. Having only heard Mubarak on NPR interviews, I was surprised she had the temerity to invite him to speak in Spokane and amazed that he came and interacted with our emerging activists and rigid skeptics in homes and classrooms, 5 to 10 persons at a time. Many of us were just beginning to comprehend the scope of the Palestinian struggle and the capacity of nonviolent action. Accompanying Mubarak on this little tour gave me a crash course in peace advocacy, something I really needed as my wife Nancy and I would lead PJALS for 20 years. I hope there are times I employed the patience, tact, and care Mubarak demonstrated during that visit. He remains among my tiny pantheon of heroes."

Sucy Varughese wrote, "Your zeal for Palestinian Justice, Freedom and Dignity is inspirational."

Karsten Mathiasen said, "Huge thanks, Mubarak, for giving us such a warm and human example of what courage looks like. I'm one of the many you've inspired."

Laura Barnitz, NVI's First Staff person, wrote, "I was studying international relations and peace and conflict resolution at American University when I met Mubarak who had just recently been exiled by the Israeli Government. In those days the first Intifada was beginning to take shape, and the parade of leaders and activists who visited him was impressive but more so was his consistent, kind treatment of everyone, even those who were not practicing nonviolence. Mubarak's perseverance and ability to not take himself too seriously were life lessons I am forever grateful for, but most of all I treasure his genuine friendship. Happy Birthday!

John Salzberg said, "Happy birthday, Mubarak! In appreciation for your valient efforts in advocating Palestinian human rights!"

Betty Sitka, Former NVI staff, wrote, "Mubarak Awad expanded my worldview and empowered me to believe that I can make an impact on the world! I am so grateful for his dedication to freedom and liberty, to his belief in the capacity of humanity to share love and light as a way to heal ourselves! His dedicated friendship with Prof. Abdul Aziz Said of AU compounded his impact on countless, teaching the next generation about possibilities of Nonviolence! I adore you and thank you!!!"

Stellan Vinthagen, Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance, said, "For me Mubarak has been a role model and inspiration since the 1980s, literally showing how spreading research, training and knowledge about nonviolent resistance to a population that suffer under domination and occupation, can be a a great source of mobilization, resistance and hope. It is a clear sign of the importance of Mubarak's work that Israel felt forced to throw him out of Palestine. That, however, did not stop him, instead he escalated his work from the US and on an international level, continuing to have an impact on new generations of nonviolent freedom fighters. To me Mubarak embodies the Palestinian "steadfastness" or Sumud. When I then finally met him 2016 at a conference on nonviolent activism in the US, it was a huge honor. During a dinner I told him about my admiration of his work, but he was not very interested in hearing about that. Instead he responded in a characteristic humble and respectful way, giving me a Palestinian keffiyeh as a sign of his appreciation of my solidarity work for Palestinians through the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. It is people like Mubarak who make it possible to imagine a new world."

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, President, Minaret of Freedom Institute, wrote, "Whenever anyone asks,'When will the Palestinians have a Martin Luther King (or a Gandhi)?', I answer we have many, foremost among them being Mubarak Awad."

Joe Eldridge said, "Mubarak has had his eyes firmly fixed on simple fairness for his people all his life - an effective and determined advocate who has bent the moral arc of the universe toward justice. There should be a Mubarak decade."

John Mbaziira wrote, "The unfortunate bit is having not had an opportunity before to interact with Mubarak himself. Still, the good news is that I have been mentored and groomed in Nonviolence and civil resistance by the people whom Mubarak inspired and nurtured, and by their confessions, I believe the values, principles, and discipline which I have carried on and continue to carry would be no different from what I would take if I were to get that opportunity to be mentored by him. Thank you, Mubarak, for inspiring the world, we celebrate you. Happy Birthday!"

David Ritchie said, "Mubarak, my friend, your life is an inspiration to all who hope to make the world a better place. Thank you for all you have done for humanity."

Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, wrote, "In his words and actions Mubarak Awad has demonstrated not only that "the pen is mightier than the sword", but also that the "heart is stronger than the fist" and that peace is the true and inherent essence of humanity - not war. In difficult times - when fear, hate, nationalism and armed violence fill the media channels, it is vitally important to dispel this with the positive examples and power of non-violence advanced by Mubarak Awad and other non-violent champions."

Max Obuszewski, Peace Activist said, "While Mubarak was expelled, I did visit his nonviolence center in Palestine while on a human rights visit in the mid-1980s. May his vision last through the ages."

Lynnea Bylund wrote, "On the auspicious occasion of Mubarak Awad's 80th birthday, we in harmony with the nonviolent community celebrate and pay tribute to his lifelong dedication to the principles of nonviolence. Often hailed as today's Gandhi and King for the Palestinian people, Mubarak Awad's enduring commitment to peaceful activism has left an indelible mark on hearts worldwide. His powerful example, born from a spirit unyielding even in the face of adversity, continues to inspire generations, reminding us all that love and compassion are forces capable of remarkable change. As we join in commemorating the first ever Mubarak Awad Day, declared by his adopted hometown of Gaithersburg, Maryland, we convey our deepest gratitude for his extraordinary contributions to fostering a more just and harmonious world. Happy 80th birthday, Mubarak Awad!"

Pastor Carolyn Morton, Poor People's Campaign leader in Alabama, said, "Thank you! Mr. Mubarak Awad, for sharing the blessings of your teachings and faith through wisdom of study on Nonviolence and resistant Nonviolent as well. And social justice movement and humanity around the country! I am a faith leader, a Activist, peace maker,and a Peace Builder, social justice Activist! My heart and doing this work in the community combined 15 years on behalf of Samford Commnity Outreach Nonviolence Movement! I Celebrate you and Congratulations to you, and your proclamation! Thanks, again and Be Blessed."

David Hartsough, co-founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce and World Beyond War, wrote, "Happy Birthday Mubarak!! You have been and are a gift to our planet. Your commitment to helping people understand and realize the power of Nonviolence and nonviolent movements and spread the seeds of nonviolence in Palestine and around the world helps give us all HOPE that we can help create a world with peace and justice for all, that We Shall Overcome!"

Art Laffin, Longtime nonviolent activist, member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, and co-editor of Swords Into Plowshares, said, "Mubarak, HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY!!! I give thanks to God for the great gift of your life, your friendship, and your exemplary and courageous commitment to the way of nonviolence struggle in resistance to State-sanctioned violence, no matter the cost. Thank you for showing the world that nonviolence is the best and most meaningful way to resolve conflict! Deo Gratias for your 80 years of life and for all you have done, and continue to do, to help create a nonviolent world."

Tiffany Pache (Danitz) wrote, "I have so many fond memories of Mubarak that it is difficult to pick just one. Instead, I'll express my gratitude for teaching me to meet people where they are with patience and agape."

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb said, "Dear Mubarak, Your article in the Fellowship about hospitality in Palestinian culture transformed my understanding of Palestinian spirituality. And seeing the intergenerational impact of your work has also been profound! Thank you for your ongoing legacy."


Please add your voice to this global celebration by filling out this simple Google Form. 

Mubarak says, "Thank you to our many friends and fellow peacemakers who sent greetings for my birthday. I am very humbled and grateful to have so many friends. Your messages increased my commitment to peace and nonviolence."


(In under two minutes, Meg Wilder explains how meeting Mubarak when she was just 19 years old changed the direction of her life.)


 

(Even when silenced, Mubarak's powerful loving voice will be heard!) 


(With a commitment to active nonviolence and justice for all, Mubarak confronts occupation forces.)


(To enjoy the great story behind this photo, please click here.)


Learn more about Mubarak's life and work at the links below. 

Did you know he co-taught a course on nonviolence with a Jew in Haifa?

Here he is reflecting on his long friendship with Gene Sharp.

Along with Jonathan Kuttab, Mubarak answers tough questions asked by a Jew. 

Mubarak lovingly remembers Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Mubarak celebrates the life of NVI co-founder. Abdul Aziz Said. 

Lessons in Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance From the First Intifada: An Interview with Mubarak Awad

Latest posts

US Boats to Gaza helps Freedom Flotilla Effort to Break the Siege

 

Media Release
April 4, 2024

The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) will sail in mid April with multiple vessels, carrying 5500 tons of humanitarian aid and hundreds of international human rights observers to challenge the ongoing illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. This is an emergency mission as the situation in Gaza is dire, with famine setting in in northern Gaza, and catastrophic hunger present throughout the Gaza Strip as the result of a deliberate policy by the Israeli government to starve the Palestinian people. Time is critical as experts predict that hunger and disease could claim more lives than have been killed in the bombing.

Getting humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza is urgent, but it is not sufficient. We must end Israel’s unlawful, deadly blockade as well as Israel’s overall control of Gaza. Allowing Israel to control what and how much humanitarian aid can get to Palestinians in Gaza is like letting the fox manage the henhouse.  And yet, this is what the international community of states is allowing by refusing to sanction Israel and defy its genocidal policies in order to ensure that enough aid reaches the trapped, beleaguered and bombarded civilian population.

The Cyprus maritime corridor, the U.S. floating pier project, and symbolic air drops of food are all distractions from the fact that these methods of aid delivery are insufficient, and still leave Israel in control of what aid can get to the Palestinian people, all while Israel actively prevents thousands of aid trucks from entering Gaza through the land crossings.

On January 26 the International Court of Justice ruled that, ‘the State of Israel remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said Order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.’ On March 28, the ICJ ordered additional preliminary measures, which included requiring the Israeli forces to stop “preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance” to Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel has long violated its responsibility as occupying power to ensure the health and wellbeing of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Now, it is engaging in full scale genocidal conduct in Gaza and using starvation as a weapon of war. Israeli military and political leaders have repeatedly declared their intention to collectively punish the entire population of Gaza, including by denying them food, water and other life-sustaining aid. We therefore reject Israel’s control over the humanitarian aid that can enter Gaza and reject any Israeli inspection of our cargo.For everyone’s safety and to ensure aid is delivered to those who need it, the FFC is bringing hundreds of international humanitarian observers, from many countries and different backgrounds.

“The International Court of Justice’s preliminary measures ordered against Israel are very clear” comments Ismail Moola of South Africa’s Palestine Solidarity Alliance, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. “The court’s ruling requires the whole world to play their part to stop the genocide unfolding in Gaza, including unobstructed access to vital aid. While our governments fail to lead in these urgently required humanitarian responses, people of conscience and our grassroots organizations must act to take leadership. When governments fail, we sail!”

###

Many supporters of Nonviolence International are joining this aid effort as volunteers.

If you want to donate, please donate here.

(Please see this page for background information, resources, and action steps on Palestine / Israel)


NVI fiscally sponsors groups that work to help Gazans. Please support them.

If you want to hear news and views directly from Gaza, please check the website and social media sites of  We Are Not Numbers.

US Boats to Gaza is a member of the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition. They seek to bring humanitarian aid by sea to Gaza and break the siege. Learn more about their important work below. 

Here are some photos from the big recent Washington, DC event for Palestinian humanity that was part of much larger global effort.


Don't miss this important event!

 

 

In this time of enormous unnecessary suffering, it is vitally important that people of good will everywhere raise up the humanity of Palestinian people.

NVI is grateful to the co-founder of our wonderful fiscally sponsored partner, We Are Not Numbers, Ahmed Alnaouq, who brought this short moving video clip to our attention.

Don’t miss US Representative Rashida Tlaib saying the name and last words of WANN writer, Yousef Dawas.

Then take a moment to watch her powerful video here.


We Are Not Numbers is featured in this moving piece in "In These Times."

“I yearn for our voices to echo across the globe with the truth, reaching out to those who seek it.”

SHERELL BARBEE FEBRUARY 7, 2024

https://inthesetimes.com/article/letters-from-gaza-genocide-palestine-culture-


 

We are thrilled that Ahmed's powerful voice was included in the Washington Post.

Here is his excerpt and a link (behind a paywall) to the full article, which includes other perspectives - several not rooted in personal experience or basic human compassion for the suffering of others. When militarists are welcomed into the mainstream press, the media doesn't feel a need to provide "balance." But, for some reason, the few times that Palestinian voices are heard, they present another perspective that often negates Palestinian humanity. 

The slaughter must end

Ahmed Alnaouq: Last week, Israel bombed my family home in Gaza, killing my father, as well as two brothers, three sisters and all of their children, in an instant. One friend described their bodies as “bags of meat” — an arm here, a leg there.

I write to you in mourning. Even now, we Palestinians are not granted the luxury to grieve. Instead, we are burdened with the responsibility to talk, to communicate the extent of our suffering and the injustice wielded against us.

So, first, I must say this: We demand an immediate cease-fire. We demand a lifting of the Israeli siege of Gaza and the restoration of electricity, fuel, water and food. And we demand unimpeded humanitarian access in line with international law.

Today, the word “genocide” is being widely used. I can’t think of another word that captures the magnitude of what Israel, a nuclear-armed military power, continues to unleash on a captive population of children and refugees. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the quiet part out loud: “Gaza won’t return to what it was before,” he said. “We will eliminate everything.”

But we Palestinians already knew what Gallant had in mind. Corralled in Gaza for the past 17 years, burdened with mass unemployment and poverty — even before white phosphorus filled the skies, or before we lay crushed beneath the rubble — we could not breathe. We were held captive like prisoners who had never committed a crime or shot down when we attempted to peacefully protest our incarceration.

Our 1 million children have never traveled outside Israel’s militarized cage and know nothing but the buzz of drones in the sky tracking their every move.

In the past week, I have lost everything. But I do not seek revenge. There is no “military solution” here, only a collective responsibility to finally grant Palestinians what they have demanded for decades, what they are owed: justice, freedom and their very basic rights as human beings.

Ahmed Alnaouq is the head of We Are Not Numbers, which pairs Palestinian writers with mentors overseas.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/02/gaza-ceasefire-civilian-military-humanitarian/

Click here to donate to support NVI's fiscally sponsored partner WANN.


Ahmed was also featured in this recent New York Times piece

After the Israeli military killed his older brother in an airstrike in Gaza in 2014, Ahmed Alnaouq says, he almost lost his will to live. “I sank into a deep depression,” he told me in a recent phone call. But an American friend convinced him to write about his brother and channel his grief into something productive. Together, they founded We Are Not Numbers, a project that trains young writers in Gaza and publishes their personal essays in English.

The name is a nod to how numbing numbers can be. The higher the death toll, the less we are inclined to care, since the scale of human suffering can feel overwhelming. Statistics don’t trigger empathy and action. Personal stories do.

“This project changed my life because for the first time, I thought that some people can care about us,” Mr. Alnaouq said, describing the response it got outside Gaza.

We Are Not Numbers began as a way to memorialize the dead, but it quickly turned into a lifeline for the living. For young people in Gaza, stuck in a political system with few rights and a blockaded economy with few jobs, it provides a vital outlet for self-expression...

“After losing my family, I did not stop believing in what I believe in,” he told me. “I don’t want other people to feel what I am feeling. Not the Israelis, not the Palestinians.”


These very painful, honest, meaningful videos feature WANN's co-founder.

Trigger / harsh reality warning. 


Mubarak Awad speaks on KKFI radio about Palestine

Moussa Elbayoumy, Yara Salamed, and NVI President Mubarak Awad discuss calls for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Hamas war. Moussa is an MD and chair of the board of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas). Yara is studying Law at UMKC and is President of Students for Justice in Palestine there. Mubarak is a Palestinian born in Jerusalem in 1943, influenced by Mennonite and Quaker missionaries. He received bachelors, masters and PhD degrees from universities in the US. He became a US citizen in 1978 and returned to Jerusalem in 1983 to found the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence. He was expelled from Palestine in 1988 during the First Intifada for organizing nonviolent protests against mistreatment of Palestinians by Israeli military and settlers. Back in the US, he founded Nonviolence International. Moussa, Yara and Mubarak are calling for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Gaza war.      KKFI.ORG


Sadly, this short NVI video clip from two years ago is still relevant. 


Refaat Alareer, WANN's co-founder, killing featured in major media outlets. 

CNN

Al Jazeera

Time


In this episode of Mondoweiss’s podcast Culture Editor Mohammed El-Kurd

speaks with journalist and co-founder of We Are Not Numbers Ahmad Alnaouq.


Michael Beer quoted in LA Times article on effective activism. 


Please see these articles: 

Writing while expecting to die “Can you kindly publish the attached stories if I die?” This is what we have been hearing from the young writers we work with from Gaza in the We Are Not Numbers project.

7 steps to end the cycle of violence in Israel and Palestine:
The path to peace requires nonviolent action not just from Israelis and Palestinians, but also Americans, the media, aid organizations and others.
By NVI Founder, Mubarak Awad.  We are pleased to announce this piece was selected as Waging Nonviolence's top story of the year!  https://wagingnonviolence.org/2023/12/waging-nonviolence-top-stories-2023/

When will we learn that violence doesn’t lead to security?
To support Israelis and Palestinians is to insist on their right to equally live in peace and freedom — not help structures of state violence and cultures of militarization.
By NVI Board member, Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Solidarity with Palestinians and Jews Sign on Statement. 

By Jonathan Kuttab, NVI co-founder. Cat Zavis, Jewish Civil/Women's Rights Lawyer, Mediator, and Rabbi: Beyt Tikkun. Michael Lerner, Rabbi and Editor of Tikkun magazine.
Esther Azar, Arab Jewish Trauma Activist, and Rabbi: Trauma Informed Rabbinics.


Recent attacks by Israel on Gaza and Hamas fighters on Israel are tragic and will not resolve bring peace and justice to all.

NVI believes that nonviolence is the only way to end the savagery, brutality and cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

NVI urges all parties to cease all military attacks and prevent further escalation of violence that will only harm innocent civilians on both sides.

Call for an immediate ceasefire and end to all violence, including an immediate halt to attacks towards Israel and Israeli military attacks on Gaza.

Urgent humanitarian action is needed, including the establishment of a humanitarian corridor inside and out of Gaza, for the safe movement of people and the delivery of essential supplies. This includes opening Erez and Kerem Shalom / Abu Salem crossings to allow for the movement of people and goods and remove the ban on access to the sea. 

End violations of international law and impunity, including settlement expansions, forcible transfer, demolitions, settler violence, all part of ongoing and illegal de facto annexation of West Bank territory. Immediately lift all movement restrictions on Palestinian communities in the West Bank to allow the movements of goods and services. 

Take action at the UN Security Council to reaffirm UN Security Council resolutions calling for a nonviolent resolution of disputes, the reversal of the annexation of Greater East Jerusalem and the preservation of the status quo at holy sites.           

NVI supports nonviolent political resolution of the conflict by ending the systemic policies of oppression and discrimination of Palestinians, including the 16-year siege on Gaza and 56-year military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including. East Jerusalem.

We hope you will find this helpful and will share it with others.


US Boats to Gaza is a fiscally sponsored partner of NVI and a member of the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition. They seek to bring humanitarian aid by sea to Gaza and break the siege. Learn more below. 

In this video, Ann Wright, a leader of US Boats to Gaza, Veterans for Peace, and Code Pink interrupts the US Secretary of State to call for a Cease Fire Now. Timestamp 1:45


Check out this powerful video (from before the latest crisis), learn more about their important work, and please consider supporting this creative constructive nonviolent movement


 

Activists discuss global nonviolent movement for Palestinians April 8th

Don't miss this important event!

 

Join us on our youtube live channel, Youtube/nonviolence to watch this discussion of activist leaders on global solidarity and resistance for justice in Palestine.

 


 

(Please see this page for background information, resources, and action steps on Palestine / Israel)


NVI fiscally sponsors groups that work to help Gazans. Please support them.

If you want to hear news and views directly from Gaza, please check the website and social media sites of  We Are Not Numbers.

US Boats to Gaza is a member of the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition. They seek to bring humanitarian aid by sea to Gaza and break the siege. Learn more about their important work below. 

Here are some photos from the big recent Washington, DC event for Palestinian humanity that was part of much larger global effort.


In this time of enormous unnecessary suffering, it is vitally important that people of good will everywhere raise up the humanity of Palestinian people.

NVI is grateful to the co-founder of our wonderful fiscally sponsored partner, We Are Not Numbers, Ahmed Alnaouq, who brought this short moving video clip to our attention.

Don’t miss US Representative Rashida Tlaib saying the name and last words of WANN writer, Yousef Dawas.

Then take a moment to watch her powerful video here.


We Are Not Numbers is featured in this moving piece in "In These Times."

“I yearn for our voices to echo across the globe with the truth, reaching out to those who seek it.”

SHERELL BARBEE FEBRUARY 7, 2024

https://inthesetimes.com/article/letters-from-gaza-genocide-palestine-culture-


 

We are thrilled that Ahmed's powerful voice was included in the Washington Post.

Here is his excerpt and a link (behind a paywall) to the full article, which includes other perspectives - several not rooted in personal experience or basic human compassion for the suffering of others. When militarists are welcomed into the mainstream press, the media doesn't feel a need to provide "balance." But, for some reason, the few times that Palestinian voices are heard, they present another perspective that often negates Palestinian humanity. 

The slaughter must end

Ahmed Alnaouq: Last week, Israel bombed my family home in Gaza, killing my father, as well as two brothers, three sisters and all of their children, in an instant. One friend described their bodies as “bags of meat” — an arm here, a leg there.

I write to you in mourning. Even now, we Palestinians are not granted the luxury to grieve. Instead, we are burdened with the responsibility to talk, to communicate the extent of our suffering and the injustice wielded against us.

So, first, I must say this: We demand an immediate cease-fire. We demand a lifting of the Israeli siege of Gaza and the restoration of electricity, fuel, water and food. And we demand unimpeded humanitarian access in line with international law.

Today, the word “genocide” is being widely used. I can’t think of another word that captures the magnitude of what Israel, a nuclear-armed military power, continues to unleash on a captive population of children and refugees. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the quiet part out loud: “Gaza won’t return to what it was before,” he said. “We will eliminate everything.”

But we Palestinians already knew what Gallant had in mind. Corralled in Gaza for the past 17 years, burdened with mass unemployment and poverty — even before white phosphorus filled the skies, or before we lay crushed beneath the rubble — we could not breathe. We were held captive like prisoners who had never committed a crime or shot down when we attempted to peacefully protest our incarceration.

Our 1 million children have never traveled outside Israel’s militarized cage and know nothing but the buzz of drones in the sky tracking their every move.

In the past week, I have lost everything. But I do not seek revenge. There is no “military solution” here, only a collective responsibility to finally grant Palestinians what they have demanded for decades, what they are owed: justice, freedom and their very basic rights as human beings.

Ahmed Alnaouq is the head of We Are Not Numbers, which pairs Palestinian writers with mentors overseas.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/02/gaza-ceasefire-civilian-military-humanitarian/

Click here to donate to support NVI's fiscally sponsored partner WANN.


Ahmed was also featured in this recent New York Times piece

After the Israeli military killed his older brother in an airstrike in Gaza in 2014, Ahmed Alnaouq says, he almost lost his will to live. “I sank into a deep depression,” he told me in a recent phone call. But an American friend convinced him to write about his brother and channel his grief into something productive. Together, they founded We Are Not Numbers, a project that trains young writers in Gaza and publishes their personal essays in English.

The name is a nod to how numbing numbers can be. The higher the death toll, the less we are inclined to care, since the scale of human suffering can feel overwhelming. Statistics don’t trigger empathy and action. Personal stories do.

“This project changed my life because for the first time, I thought that some people can care about us,” Mr. Alnaouq said, describing the response it got outside Gaza.

We Are Not Numbers began as a way to memorialize the dead, but it quickly turned into a lifeline for the living. For young people in Gaza, stuck in a political system with few rights and a blockaded economy with few jobs, it provides a vital outlet for self-expression...

“After losing my family, I did not stop believing in what I believe in,” he told me. “I don’t want other people to feel what I am feeling. Not the Israelis, not the Palestinians.”


These very painful, honest, meaningful videos feature WANN's co-founder.

Trigger / harsh reality warning. 


Mubarak Awad speaks on KKFI radio about Palestine

Moussa Elbayoumy, Yara Salamed, and NVI President Mubarak Awad discuss calls for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Hamas war. Moussa is an MD and chair of the board of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas). Yara is studying Law at UMKC and is President of Students for Justice in Palestine there. Mubarak is a Palestinian born in Jerusalem in 1943, influenced by Mennonite and Quaker missionaries. He received bachelors, masters and PhD degrees from universities in the US. He became a US citizen in 1978 and returned to Jerusalem in 1983 to found the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence. He was expelled from Palestine in 1988 during the First Intifada for organizing nonviolent protests against mistreatment of Palestinians by Israeli military and settlers. Back in the US, he founded Nonviolence International. Moussa, Yara and Mubarak are calling for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Gaza war.      KKFI.ORG


Sadly, this short NVI video clip from two years ago is still relevant. 


Refaat Alareer, WANN's co-founder, killing featured in major media outlets. 

CNN

Al Jazeera

Time


In this episode of Mondoweiss’s podcast Culture Editor Mohammed El-Kurd

speaks with journalist and co-founder of We Are Not Numbers Ahmad Alnaouq.


Michael Beer quoted in LA Times article on effective activism. 


Please see these articles: 

Writing while expecting to die “Can you kindly publish the attached stories if I die?” This is what we have been hearing from the young writers we work with from Gaza in the We Are Not Numbers project.

7 steps to end the cycle of violence in Israel and Palestine:
The path to peace requires nonviolent action not just from Israelis and Palestinians, but also Americans, the media, aid organizations and others.
By NVI Founder, Mubarak Awad.  We are pleased to announce this piece was selected as Waging Nonviolence's top story of the year!  https://wagingnonviolence.org/2023/12/waging-nonviolence-top-stories-2023/

When will we learn that violence doesn’t lead to security?
To support Israelis and Palestinians is to insist on their right to equally live in peace and freedom — not help structures of state violence and cultures of militarization.
By NVI Board member, Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Solidarity with Palestinians and Jews Sign on Statement. 

By Jonathan Kuttab, NVI co-founder. Cat Zavis, Jewish Civil/Women's Rights Lawyer, Mediator, and Rabbi: Beyt Tikkun. Michael Lerner, Rabbi and Editor of Tikkun magazine.
Esther Azar, Arab Jewish Trauma Activist, and Rabbi: Trauma Informed Rabbinics.


Recent attacks by Israel on Gaza and Hamas fighters on Israel are tragic and will not resolve bring peace and justice to all.

NVI believes that nonviolence is the only way to end the savagery, brutality and cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

NVI urges all parties to cease all military attacks and prevent further escalation of violence that will only harm innocent civilians on both sides.

Call for an immediate ceasefire and end to all violence, including an immediate halt to attacks towards Israel and Israeli military attacks on Gaza.

Urgent humanitarian action is needed, including the establishment of a humanitarian corridor inside and out of Gaza, for the safe movement of people and the delivery of essential supplies. This includes opening Erez and Kerem Shalom / Abu Salem crossings to allow for the movement of people and goods and remove the ban on access to the sea. 

End violations of international law and impunity, including settlement expansions, forcible transfer, demolitions, settler violence, all part of ongoing and illegal de facto annexation of West Bank territory. Immediately lift all movement restrictions on Palestinian communities in the West Bank to allow the movements of goods and services. 

Take action at the UN Security Council to reaffirm UN Security Council resolutions calling for a nonviolent resolution of disputes, the reversal of the annexation of Greater East Jerusalem and the preservation of the status quo at holy sites.           

NVI supports nonviolent political resolution of the conflict by ending the systemic policies of oppression and discrimination of Palestinians, including the 16-year siege on Gaza and 56-year military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including. East Jerusalem.

We hope you will find this helpful and will share it with others.


US Boats to Gaza is a fiscally sponsored partner of NVI and a member of the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition. They seek to bring humanitarian aid by sea to Gaza and break the siege. Learn more below. 

In this video, Ann Wright, a leader of US Boats to Gaza, Veterans for Peace, and Code Pink interrupts the US Secretary of State to call for a Cease Fire Now. Timestamp 1:45


Check out this powerful video (from before the latest crisis), learn more about their important work, and please consider supporting this creative constructive nonviolent movement


 

Mennonite Action Day of Action March 29, 2024

Send Aid Not Bombs, March 25-29, 2024

See a map of actions around the USA

 

For more information check out their website: https://www.mennoniteaction.org/

Donate here. 


 

 

Mennonite Action Prayer Service For Ceasefire in Gaza in the US Congress on January 16, 2024

Don't miss this prominent and positive coverage in the Washington Post. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/01/16/gaza-protest-cannon-building-mennonite-action/


We are people of God’s peace.

Mennonite Action is a movement of Mennonites bonded by a common belief that we must be public about our peace values. We believe that Mennonites have a responsibility to use our voices as powerfully as possible for the cause of peace and justice. We are taking public action as Mennonites. We are mobilizing Mennonites across the US and Canada to demand a ceasefire, end the US and western funded occupation of Palestine, and build for lasting peace.


 “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.  It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.  If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."  -- Howard Zinn

NVI is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for the this important project. Please consider donating here

NVI Supports Philadelphia Interfaith Network for Peace in Gaza

(Please see this page for background information, resources, and action steps on Palestine / Israel)

NVI has helped support the formation of the Philadelphia interfaith group for peace in Gaza named Prayers for Peace Alliance. Check out their new website!

NVI President Mubarak Awad spoke on March 28, 2024, at an interfaith Iftar organized by Prayers for Peace Alliance in Philadelphia.

Please enjoy this inspirational 35 minute speech!

Palestinians and Jews are joining together to invite churches and synagogues to stop the violence in Gaza and work for peace with justice in Palestine/Israel.

 

Prayers for Peace Alliance co-Coordinater, Sam Kuttab, helping lead the walk by Friends of Combatants for Peace in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. USA 25-2-2024


November 19, 2023: Don't miss this powerful article from Daoud Kuttab.

https://milhilard.org/palestinian-and-jewish-americans-call-on-philadelphia-worshipers-to-pray-for-gaza/


On Sunday Nov. 12, 2023, Palestinian-Americans with support from a Friends of Sabeel North America, If Not Now (Philadelphia Chapter), the Alhidaya Islamic Center, and Nonviolence International handed out leaflets at the Elon Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia asking parishioners to pray for people of Gaza and to call on the US government to support a cease-fire.

Palestinian activists displayed signs which said “I’m a Palestinian American Living in the Community. Every 10 minutes a Child is Killed. Pray for Gaza. Stop the Genocide.” Activists from the Alhidaya Islamic Center and If Not Now along with Activiststood in solidarity. The parishioners universally took the leaflets offered and read them. After 30 minutes, the visitors were invited inside in front of the pulpit where the Reverend Waller, warmly welcomed the Palestinian, Jewish and Islamic visitors and proceeded to pray for them, their families, and the people of Gaza for 10 minutes. He concluded by calling for an immediate ceasefire saying that his congregation does not takes sides, just the sides of peace for the Palestinian and Israeli people.

Given the warm response, NVI and these activist groups will continue to reach out to Philadelphia church-goers to pray for Gaza and support a cease-fire.  If you want to get more information, reach out to us at [email protected]

Philadelphians will continue to reach out to other churches on Sunday November 19, 2023. Here is the media release.

 

Two Palestinian-Americans standing outside of the Elon Tabernacle Church

IMG_0642.jpg

Delegation members invited inside to Rev Waller's pulpit

Muslims, Christians and Jews standing outside of the Elon Tabernacle Church


NVI fiscally sponsors groups that work to help Gazans. Please support them.

If you want to hear news and views directly from Gaza, please check the website and social media sites of  We Are Not Numbers.

US Boats to Gaza is a member of the global Freedom Flotilla Coalition. They seek to bring humanitarian aid by sea to Gaza and break the siege. Learn more about their important work below. 

Here are some photos from the big recent Washington, DC event for Palestinian humanity that was part of much larger global effort.


 

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