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“From Hashtag to Headlines” Speaking Tour on Gaza Great March of Return

Photo: Ibrahim Zanoun / Ibrahim Zanoun

Palestinian journalist Ahmed Abu Artema travels U.S. to bring attention to blockade

CHICAGO, IL (February 20, 2019) In March of 2019, Palestinian activist and journalist Ahmed Abu Artema will be traveling the U.S. for a speaking tour titled “Hashtag to Headlines: How the Gaza Great March of Return Challenged the World.” The tour will begin on March 1 in Chicago, and will travel to Madison, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, New York, Washington DC, and Atlanta. For a list of tour stops and locations, see below or visit

Ahmed Abu Artema was instrumental in planting the idea for a nonviolent march that led to the Great March of Return in Gaza, where Palestinians march to the boundary fence with Israel to call attention to the blockade and to demand respect for their rights. Over 265 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of these protests and over 14,300 have been injured, over half by live fire. Despite this high cost, Palestinians in Gaza continue to march weekly to demand respect for their rights.

“The Great March of Return brought life back to the national Palestinian cause,” explains Abu Artema. “Occupation disables a generation. Many lost dreams and futures. To see beyond the fence becomes an achievement that provokes the pen and inspires the imagination. I am here in the U.S. to share the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to our homes and live in equality and peace.”

The tour is organized by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that has a long history of working with Palestinians in Gaza, dating back to its relief work following the 1948 War. Ahmed Abu Artema will be joined on the tour by Jehad Abusalim, a Chicago-based scholar and program associate for AFSC. 

“This speaking tour comes at a critical time, as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to the blockade continues to intensify,” said Abusalim. “We are working to lift up the voices of Palestinians in Gaza and to call on those in the U.S. and around the world to join us in demanding an end to the Israeli military occupation and blockade.”

For over 12 years, two million Palestinians in Gaza have lived under an Israeli-imposed blockade that severely limits travel, trade, and livelihood. AFSC’s Gaza Unlocked campaign works to end the blockade.

Abu Artema is available for press interviews. To schedule, contact

Tour dates and public event locations

Chicago: Friday, March 1 at 7pm
AFSC office, 637 S Dearborn Street
Featuring Ahmed Abu Artema in conversation with Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifada, Jehad Abusalim of AFSC, Kristian Davis Bailey, Black for Palestine, Tithi Bhattacharya, International Women’s Strike, Janie Pochel, Chi-Nations Youth Council, and Leslie Williams, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago

Madison, WI: Sunday March 3 at 2pm
First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 Bay Drive
Featuring Ahmed Abu Artema and hosted by Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and First Unitarian Society Social Justice Ministry.

Berkeley, CA: Thursday March 7 at 7pm
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave
Featuring Ahmed Abu Artema in conversation with Jehad Abusalim. Presented by the Middle East Children's Alliance - MECA and AFSC.

San Diego, CA: Saturday, March 9 at 6:30pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, 4190 Front St
Organized by: American Friends Service Committee - US-Mexico Border Program, Council on American-Islamic Relations - San Diego, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego Chapter, Palestinian Youth Movement

Santa Fe, NM: Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm
Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 107 West Barcelona
Hosted by the Red Nation, Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine, Veterans for Peace

Alburqueque, NM: Wednesday, March 13 at 3pm
Albuquerque Mennonite Church, 1300 Girard Blvd NE
Co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque Chapter, Sabeel North America Albuquerque Chapter, and the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center.

New York, NY: Thursday, March 14 at 7pm
Brooklyn Friends Meeting, 110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn
Ahmed Abu Artema will be joined by Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now!
Event will be broadcast live on Facebook

Washington, DC: March 18 at 12:30pm
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC: March 19 at 1pm
U.S. Capitol Hill Visitor's Center, Congressional Meeting Room South (CVC 217)
Congressional briefing

Washington, DC: March 19 at 7pm
Plymouth Congregational Church, 5301 North Capitol Street NE

Atlanta, GA: Thursday, March 21 at 7pm
North Decatur Presbytarian Church, 611 Medlock Rod, Decatur GA
Cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace – Atlanta, Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine/Israel, and Project South

For the most up to date information, visit:

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.


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