Palestine Advisory Group

Palestinian Advisory Group

Nadia Hijab is Director of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, and a writer, public speaker and media commentator.  Her first book, Womanpower: The Arab debate on women at work was published by Cambridge University Press and she co-authored Citizens Apart: A Portrait of Palestinians in Israel (I. B. Tauris 1990). She was Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Middle East magazine before serving as a senior development officer at the United Nations in New York. In 2000 she established her own consulting business on human rights, human development, and gender. She has served as co-chair of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and is on its advisory board, and she is a past president of the Association of Arab American University Graduates.

Noura ErakatMis a human rights attorney and activist. She is currently an Abraham  L. Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple University, Beasley School of Law and a member of the Legal Support Network for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights. She has taught international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. Noura is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya.

Most recently she served as Legal Counsel for the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Noura received a New Voices Fellowship to work as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where she helped seed BDS campaigns nationally as well as support the cases brought against two former Israeli officials in U.S. federal courts for alleged war crimes. Prior to attending law school, she helped launch the divestment campaign along with the Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley.

Saïd Ailabouni was born and raised in Galilee, in the city of Nazareth.  He was graduated with a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and received a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  He was ordained in 1979 and served congregations in Racine, WI and Barrington, IL.  From 1997 to 2007, he served in the Global Mission Unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as the Program Director for Europe, the Middle East and Horn of Africa.  During that period, he traveled extensively to support mission personnel and strengthen relationships with church leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and Ethiopia.  Since February of 2007, Pastor Ailabouni has been serving as Senior Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in La Grange, IL.


Nahida Halaby Gordon, MS, PhD. is Professor of Statistics in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.  Prof. Gordon, a life-long Presbyterian, was born in Jerusalem, Palestine, lived through the terror of the Nakba in Jaffa, and is active in seeking peace and justice for the people of the Holy Land.  She presently serves on the Steering Committee of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Executive Committee of the National Middle East Presbyterian Caucus.  In the past she served as a member of the PC (USA) General Assembly Middle East Study Committee.  Professor Gordon lives in Wooster, Ohio where she is Elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Professionally, Professor Gordon is involved in numerous research activities.  She served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Birzeit University, Palestine in 1997 and continues to collaborate in the area of epidemiology in Palestinian children.  Among her publications are those on survival analysis; epidemiology in long-term cancer survivors; the relationship of race/ethnicity and social class with survival after primary breast cancer diagnosis; and health concerns of Palestinian children.

Philip Farah is a Palestinian-American born and raised in Jerusalem.  He attended the Anglican St. George’s School in Jerusalem, and then received a BA in political science at the American University of Beirut in 1973.  He was a teacher at a number of educational institutions in Palestine, including the Lutheran School of Hope and Birzeit University.  He emigrated to the U.S. in 1978, and earned a Ph. D. in economics at the University of New Mexico.  He has lived and worked in several Arab countries and in several states in the U.S.  He is active in Arab-American organizations and with the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle Peace.  He has addressed audiences around the U.S. on Middle East peace issues.  He is currently a senior economist specializing in energy, and lives in Vienna, VA, with is wife and three children.


Jean Zaru was born in Ramallah, Palestine in 1940, eight years before the Palestinian diaspora.   Her life has been devoted to dialogue and non-violent social change.  She has devote her life to the struggle for liberation  liberation for Palestinians, for women, and for all peoples. She has done this through work in her own community, as well as regionally and internationally.   Jean is the presiding clerk of the Ramallah Friends Meeting in Palestine and has served in that capacity for over 17 years.  Recently, Jean spearheaded an effort with an international steering committee to restore the historic Meetinghouse and establish an International Friends Center with the aim of contributing to the building of a culture of peace and nonviolence in Palestine. In addition, Jean serves as a consultant and resource person for many faith-based organizations, including church related development agencies.  She has been the keynote speaker at numerous conferences around the world and her papers have been published in numerous books and journals.  In August 2008, a collection of her writings was published by Fortress Press under the title Occupied with Nonviolence: a Palestinian Woman Speaks.  She continues to struggle for human rights and women’s rights and continues her work in interfaith dialogue with other persons of faith.

Nora Arsenian Carmi is a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem. For almost forty years, Nora has been involved in community-building and empowerment activities through voluntary work in civil society.  She has worked with the National Association For the Visually Handicapped, the Coalition for Jerusalem, the Muslim Christian Commission for the Protection of Jerusalem, the National Coalition for Christian Organizations, Young Women’s Christian Association (YMCA), Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).    A firm believer in a just peace, she travels the world advocating for non-violent resistance as a means of restoring the rights and dignity of all human beings. Nora retired from Sabeel on November 1, 2010 after 17 years of service, the last ten serving as coordinator of local community-building and women’s programs.  In 2008, the Jerusalem Women Organizations awarded Nora a certificate of recognition for her services, and in 2009, Nora was chosen to address Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Jerusalem.

The Rev. Fadi Diab was born in Zababdeh, West Bank where he spent most of his childhood.  He studied at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in Jerusalem in 2001.  Abuna Fadi was one of the authors of the Kairos Palestine document.  He serves as a member of the Palestinian/Israeli Theologians Forum and has presented workshops at the World Council of Churches on the theological understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and has spoken widely in churches in the United States. Abuna Fadi is rector of St. Andrew’s Church, Ramallah.