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Acting in Faith

Acting in Faith

Suffocating indoors under the rain of Israel’s bombs

By: Ayah Bashir
Published: July 22, 2014
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About the Author

Ayah Bashir holds a master’s degree in global politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a member of the Gaza-based organizing committee for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and a supporter of the One Democratic State Group. She has been working with AFSC's Palestine Youth: Together for Change program.

An evening in Bil’in: Some “implications” of non-violent, popular resistance

By: Bilal Taylor
Published: July 17, 2014
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About the Author

Bilal Taylor is a program officer for AFSC. He works with many program staff across the organization. Before joining AFSC, Bilal spent over 14 years working with and for youth in the greater Philadelphia region in various capacities. Bilal is a student of Public Policy, Political Science, and Political Philosophy. In his free time, he can usually be found spending time with his 90-year old grandmother on Long Island, or engaging in his passion for reading 19th century literature (particularly the works of Melville and Dostoyevsky).

Dismantling oppression: A cry for justice

By: Sandra Tamari
Published: July 8, 2014
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Sandra Tamari, a Palestinian Quaker activist, offers her reflections on the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers, the abduction and burning alive of a young Palestinian, the collective punishment and mass arrests of Palestinians by Israel, and the continued siege and renewed attacks on Gaza. 

About the Author

Sandra Tamari is a Palestinian-American and member of the St. Louis Religious Society of Friends. She spends her free time as an organizer with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and a member of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Steering Committee. She holds a Master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. In May 2012, she was jailed and denied entry into Palestine by Israel because of her work to encourage U.S. churches to divest from the occupation.

Patterns of Displacement and Dispossession: Vignettes from a visit to Israel and Palestine

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: June 26, 2014
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This post is the fourth in a series of Acting in Faith entries by members of a May AFSC staff delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Mike Merryman-Lotze is program director of AFSC's Israel-Palestine program and served as one of two hosts for the delegation.

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.  

"Tell America we want to be free": Gaza, then and now

By: Jennifer Bing
Published: June 19, 2014
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This post is one of a series of reflections from 10 AFSC staff members who went on a delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in May 2014. The trip left a huge impression and gave our staff much inspiration to continue to work for justice and peace in the region.

About the Author

Jennifer Bing has worked at AFSC for 25 years, serving in various capacities in its Israel-Palestine programs.  She currently directs the Chicago AFSC Middle East Program and works with the Israel-Palestine joint US program. Jennifer has organized hundreds of speaking tours, conferences, workshops, advocacy campaigns, and educational programs about the Middle East in her tenure with AFSC. Her first visit to Israel and Palestine was in 1982, as a college student on the Earlham College Great Lakes program in Jerusalem.  She returned later to work at the Ramallah Friends Schools where she lived for three years during the first Palestinian intifada (uprising).  She has since led and participated in delegations to the Middle East, most recently in May, 2014.

Does the Spirit drive the work? One Quaker meeting’s response to mass incarceration

By: John & Gail Fletcher
Published: June 12, 2014
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About the Author

John and Gail Fletcher are members of Norman, Oklahoma Monthly Meeting. John is also a member of the AFSC Corporation. They work with their meeting to combat mass incarceration in their state and within South Central Yearly Meeting. Here they are pictured with other members of their meeting with the mass incarceration booth they take around to public events in the area in an effort to educate the community about the issue.

Visualizing Return: A young Palestinian visits her family’s destroyed villages

By: Shirien
Published: June 5, 2014
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About the Author

Shirien works in AFSC's Chicago office as a Middle East Program Associate and is on the steering committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and National Students for Justice in Palestine.

Quakers in Burundi: Offering relief after the flood

By: Madeline Schaefer
Published: June 4, 2014
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About the Author

Madeline is the Friends Relations Associate. She grew up in the beautiful Radnor Meeting community outside of Philadelphia, and attended Friends Schools in the area until the end of High School.  After several years of studying and traveling, she returned to Philadelphia only to immerse herself once again in the stories, the culture and the spirituality of Philadelphia Quakers.  While living in collective house in West Philadelphia, she grew curious about the history of young Quaker activists in the neighborhood, and started an oral history project to find out more.  Madeline is interested in exploring the ways in which life in community can stretch our capacity for compassion and growth.  Her dream is to create more alternative communities of people learning how to live together, creating models for a society fueled by cooperation and love.

A hurricane of Spirit to end the occupation of Palestine

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: May 22, 2014
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About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

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