Hanan Ashrawi

Dr. Ashrawi holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. From 1973-95, Dr. Ashrawi was a faculty member of Birzeit University, held the positions of Dean, Faculty of Arts; Founder and Chairperson, Department of English; and Founder and Head of Birzeit University Legal Aid Committee/ Human Rights Documentation Project.

Throughout, Dr. Ashrawi has been an ardent advocate of human rights and gender issues and has made major contributions to peace making and nation building. She is the recipient of numerous international peace, human rights and democracy awards, such as the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation, the Olof Palme Award, Sydney Peace Prize, the Defender of Democracy Award, the Jane Addams International Women’s Leadership Award, Distinguished Alumna Award of the University of Virginia Women’s Center, and Distinguished Lifetime Achievements AUB Alumni.

She is also the author of many books, articles, poems and short stories on Palestinian politics, culture and literature. Her book This Side of Peace published by Simon & Schuster in 1995, gained world recognition. She has been highly acclaimed for her work both in education and world affairs.

Dr. Ashrawi serves on the Advisory Board of several international and local organizations including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the International Human Rights Council.  She has also received several Honorary Doctorate Degrees from universities in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Arab World, such as The American University of Beirut (AUB), The American University in Cairo (AUC), Saint Mary’s University in Canada, and Smith College in the United States.

Dr. Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi is married to Emile Ashrawi and has two daughters, Amal and Zeina.



General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Does America really ‘share values’ with today’s Israel?

In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.

Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

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