Ali Abu Awwad
Ali is a leading Palestinian activist tirelessly teaching the life-changing power of nonviolent resistance and reaching out to Jewish Israelis at the heart of the conflict. He is currently finishing his memoir called Painful Hope, an account of his experiences, strategy, and vision for the Palestinian future. In addition to being one of the founders of Roots/Shorashim/Judur, he was recently instrumental in the founding of Taghyeer (Change): The Palestinian National Movement for Nonviolent Resistance.
While in Israeli jail for stone-throwing and illegal political activity during the First Intifada (Palestinian Uprising), Ali demanded to see his mother, who was also imprisoned. During the course of a 17-day hunger strike, he learned the tremendous power of nonviolence. Through voracious reading while still in jail, he became a student of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
During the Second Intifada, Ali was shot by an Israeli in a drive-by shooting and was evacuated to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. While in the hospital, he received word that his beloved brother had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint.
It was in the context of the Parents Circle - Families Forum, an organization that brings together people from both sides who have lost loved ones in the conflict, that he began to learn how to channel his pain and anger not only into nonviolent resistance, but also into reaching over the chasm that divides between Palestinians and Israelis.
Ali has toured the world many times over, telling his riveting story of pain, frustration, bereavement, and personal transformation. Hundred of articles and videos about Ali and his work have touched a worldwide audience.