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Panel of Listeners and Testimonies

Panel of Listeners and Testimonies

Panel of Listeners

Rae Abileah, a national organizer with CodePink Women for Peace, a contributing author to 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military, and took part in an Interfaith Peace Delegation to Iran.

Banafsheh Akhlaghi
, Western Regional Director, Amnesty International USA.

Medea Benjamin
, Co-founder of Global Exchange and the women’s peace group CodePink.  She has visited Gaza several times, including leading a 60-person delegation in March 2009.

Father Tom Bonacci, member of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, coordinator of Interfaith Peace Project.

Ben Thornley is representing state Senator Mark DeSaulnier as his policy aide.  He will soon have a degree in public policy from Cal and has worked as a foreign policy correspondent.

Samina Faheem, Director of American Muslim Voice, 2007 recipient of Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize John Guintoli is retired from the grocery industry. He recently received an MA in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Rev. Phil Lawson
, interim senior pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, is Co-Chairman of the Inter-faith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, founder of Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Director of Inter-faith Housing for the East Bay Housing Organization of Oakland. He has been a long history of organizing for civil and human rights.

Alan Lessik, Assistant General Secretary for Goal Leadership at the American Friends Service Committee, coordinating AFSC's programs worldwide.

Rev. Will McGarvey, pastor at Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg, California, Chair of the Justice, Advocacy, and  and Caring Committee of the S F Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA).  He led a team of peacemakers to Israel-Palestine last autumn.

Shadi Rahimi is the Communications Director for the juvenile justice reform nonprofit W. Haywood Burns Institute and its program Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY). She has a Master's from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the co-founder of Seventh Native American Generation (SNAG), which provides media and arts education for youth. She will be accompanying an Indigenous Delegation to Palestine this summer with SNAG, Huaxtec and the Palestine Israel Education Project.

Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy

Marc Sapir, M.D., MPH East Bay physician, former Medical Director of Center for Elders’ Independence, currently leads the Not Another DIME.

Allan Solomonow, Director Middle East Program, American Friends Service Committee

Carolyn Wylie
, Aide to Congress person Jackie Speier’s district office. She earned her Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University.


Amal Sabawi works for the American Friends Service Committee's Palestine Youth Program in Gaza. She will be accompanied by Adham Khalil and Esraa Jasser. Adham is an intern with AFSC program in Gaza, he did work as AFSC emergency coordinator last year and Esraa is participating in the popular achievement program run by AFSC in Gaza Strip as a model of youth civic engagement. Adham's blog is

Ahmad Shakir is mourning the loss of two of his brother’s who were killed in the latest assault on Gaza.

Rishna Gracie is a graduate student specializing in conflict resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies who recently accompanied Global Exchange on a fact finding mission to Gaza.

Sandee Scott is a nurse who accompanied Global Exchange in February, during a fact finding mission to Gaza.

Reem Salahi is a lawyer specializing in national security and civil rights. Reem recently went to Gaza on a fact finding mission with the National Lawyer' Guild. She received her J.D. from the University of California Berkeley, School of Law.

Maya Yechieli Wind, 19, grew up in Jerusalem during the second Intifada. She joined the Shministim in December 2008 and refused to serve in the Israeli army.  She spent forty days in military prison and was exempted in March 2009. Today she works for the Jerusalem organization Rabbis for Human Rights.

Event sponsors

Al Awda – San Francisco, American Muslim Voice, Arab Resource Organizing Center, Bay Area Friends of Sabeel, Berkeley Women in Black, Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Alameda, Break the Siege, Code Pink, Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC, Interfaith Peace-Builders, Israel-Palestine Task Force, California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church, Jewish Voice for Peace, Justice, Advocacy, and Caring Committee of the San Francisco Presbytery, PC (USA), Middle East Children’s Alliance, Middle East Study Group, Alameda, Middle East Study Group, Walnut Creek, South Alameda County Peace and Justice Coalition/Tri-City Peace and Justice, Trinity United Methodist Church, Berkeley