RECORDING: May 2021 Escalations - Clashes in Mixed Cities | ...

RECORDING: May 2021 Escalations - Clashes in Mixed Cities | May 19, 2021

May 14, 2021

The week beginning May 10 saw an unprecedented wave of violence and clashes across mixed cities in Israel. Sparked by clashes in East Jerusalem, the spillover ignited a perfect storm of factors brewing within Arab society and in Jewish-Arab relations. Beyond loss of life, injuries, and property, damage to Israel’s social fabric is incalculable. Why now? What happened? 

On Wednesday, May 19 at 1pm Eastern Ola Najami, Director of Safe Communities at The Abraham Initiatives, Ruth Lewin Chen, Director of the Shared Cities Initiative at The Abraham Initiatives, and Naim Obeid, CEO of the Akko Center for Arts and Technology (A-CAT) for a discussion of their experience on the ground and outlook for the work ahead.




About the Speakers

Ola Najami, Director of Safe Communities
Ola joined The Abraham Initiatives in 2015 as the Director of Leadership and Development Initiatives, bringing extensive experience in coordinating projects focused on Arab leadership, inter-cultural dialogue, and women’s empowerment. She is now the Director of the Safe Communities initiative. Prior to joining The Abraham Initiatives, Ola worked at the Women Against Violence Association for eight years, serving as the coordinator of the awareness-raising and representation of women in decision-making positions projects. Ola sees working in an Arab-Jewish environment as one step closer to building a shared society in Israel. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Bir-Zeit University and completed a course in informatics from Technion.

Ruth Lewin-Chen, Director of Shared Cities
Ruth joined The Abraham Initiatives in 2018. Her skillset comes from her experience in directing conflict resolution programs and advocating for the representation of women in decision-making positions in the local council of Mevasseret. For the past decade, Ruth has been promoting a shared society in Israel, mainly through the facilitation of dialogue groups of Arab and Jewish youth in various frameworks (Seeds of Peace, Givat Haviva, YMCA International in Jerusalem, etc.) and by developing knowledge on social movements in Shatil, the New Israel Fund. Ruth studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she received a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Comparative Literature and a Master’s in Organizational Sociology.

Naim Obeid, CEO of the Akko Center for Arts and Technology (A-CAT)
Naim Obeid is a lifelong resident of Akko, Israel, Naim, a sound engineer, is the founder and owner of an acoustic design firm that owns and operates a music production and professional sound studio. Naim is active in many community organizations around the city. He is a board member of the Akko Conservatory of Music and a founding member of "Keshet", an Arab/Jewish community leadership council. In 2015 Naim joined the board of the NICAT organization and played a leading role in the process of building the A-CAT Center. In January 2016 was appointed as CEO of the A-CAT Center.


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