Better Tomorrow - Palestinians in the Diaspora

This photo documentary project serves to document Palestinian individuals living in the diaspora that are doing work in their field to help create a better tomorrow for Palestinians and those effected by the conflict. I started this project in August 2018 during my road trip across America. I received many suggestions for people to meet and document but also did extensive research to find the people that I felt should be included in this project. This is an ongoing project that will take many forms and further develop with time. My goal is to show that work is being done in many different fields for the advancement of the Palestinian people whether it is in preserving the culture, academic work, legal help, etc. Often times these individuals take it upon themselves to do this work without any acclaim or recognition. I hope that this project will encourage others to get involved in the ways that they can.

Mohammed Al-Khatib 

Houston, TX - Athlete
Mohammed Al-Khatib has been training in Houston, TX to be sprinter in the 2020 Olympics representing Palestine. He is from the West Bank in Palestine and has a very interesting story and outlook on life. As I was passing through Houston on my road trip I was able to join him for training and got to speak with him afterwards. (Interveiw coming soon). Follow him for updates on his journey to winning the gold for Palestine! 


 

 

Amira S.

Knoxville, TN - Writer, Acamdic, Artist, Activist, Organizer 
(more information coming soon)


 

 

Dr. Manal Hamzeh

Las Cruces, NM - Academic
Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/Gender & Sexuality Studies at New Mexico State University.


Dr. Hamzeh’s research draws on anti-racist/decolonizing educational and arab feminist theories. Her current research project, Women Resisting Violence/Seeking Justice in the Egyptian Revolution, is a multidimensional/multimedia research project based on Egyptian women’s testimonios about their resistance to state violence since the January 25th Egyptian Revolution. She is also using Chicana/feministamethodologies of testimonios and pláticas to gain insights about the experiences of resilience and activism of faculty-of-color in a Hispanic-serving higher education institution located on/between the borders of the US/Mexico. Her previous research focused on gendering discourses shaping girls’ experiences of their bodies, specifically in relation to physical activity opportunities.

Courses Taught: Transnational Feminism, Arab-Muslim Feminisms, Feminist Research Methodologies; Representing Women across Cultures; and Women & Revolutions.


 

Clarissa Bitar

Los Angeles, CA- Musician & Academic
Clarissa Bitar started playing the oud during her freshman year of college. As a woman musician a lot of men would discredit her  abilities. This just encouraged her further as she enjoys proving them wrong. During her time at the University of California Santa Barbara, Clarissa earned her BA in Ethnomusicology and performed with the Middle East Ensemble for four years. She continues to perform with different groups around California and remains dedicated to practicing and learning old traditional Palestinian songs from her homeland.

“I guess my main goal is not only to be the best performer I can possibly be, but also continue to uphold this tradition and keep it alive and spreading, especially to make it more accessible to Arabs is the diaspora. I love performing and I want to keep doing so because I think it’s important for women to be active and participating in these spaces to not only break some stereotypes but also to keep this tradition alive and find ways to make learning Arabic music more accessible for our community.”


 

 

Lina Habazi

Houston, TX- Artist and Culture Advocate
Lina is one of the seven children in her family. Most are on the path to become doctors but she decided to follow her true passion and include art in her studies. She is a junior at UH studying computer science with a studio art minor.  Lina is focusing on Palestinian art to help her learn about and connect to her culture. She is also a c
ommittee member for annual Houston Palestinian Festival.


 

Abed Hathout

Los Angeles, CA - Music Producer, Musician, Organizer, Entrepreneur
More info coming soon


 

Ahmed Mansour 

New York, NY - Filmmaker


Ahmed Mansour is the director and executive producer of documentary film Brooklyn, Inshallah.  Ahmed first came to New York for leadership program all the way from Gaza, Palestine. After that program was done he had to go back but then he returned for his masters in News and Documentary at NYU. After learning about the dismal turnout of Arab and Muslim voters in America he decided to do something about it because “where is the American democracy in a country that destroyed the Middle East under the pretext of brining democracy” (Mansour). Brooklyn, Inshallah is the story of how Khader El-Yateem, the first Arab American ever to run in a Democratic primary for an open seat on the NY City Council, registered and mobilized over 3,000 Arab & Muslim voters.


  
 

 

Jumana Qawasmi

Chicago, IL - Cultural Advocate, Graphic Designer, Entrepreneur, Organizer

Jumana is the creator of Watan Studio based in Chicago, IL. She works to preserve and teach Palestinian culture through her studio which also includes a library of rare books about Palestine. (more info coming soon)


 

 

Wafa Ghnaim

Washington DC - Culture Advocate, Entrepreneur, Artist & Writer

Wafa is the creator of Tatreez and Tea. Wafa began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother when she was two years old. Throughout her life, Wafa traveled alongside her mother for various exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations around the U.S. from folklore festivals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to elementary schools in southeast Portland, Oregon. She assisted her mother by preparing materials for lectures, modeling embroidery outfits created by her mother, demonstrating needlework techniques at large-scale festivals, and curating exhibits.

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