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Zaru-Mikhail Fellowship

Zaru-Mikhail Fellowship, Middle East Peacebuilding Unit

The AFSC Middle East Peacebuilding Unit has set up the Zaru Mikhail Fellowship to give a young person the opportunity to work in a faith-based peace and justice organization. It is hoped that both AFSC and the Fellow will benefit from this relationship. The Fellowship is to begin January 15. I plan to do the interviews January 8 by phone. This means that I need to receive a resume with a cover letter from interested persons by Friday, December 20 so I can send you an application to fill in and return to me by December 27.

The Fellowship was named the Zaru-Mikhail Fellowship to highlight the contribution Middle East Quakers have made to peacebuilding worldwide, creating a more just and peaceful Middle East, and working for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflict.

Jean Zaru is the Presiding Clerk of the Ramallah Friends Meeting in Palestine. As a Palestinian woman living under Israeli military rule and at the same time finding herself in a traditional culture, her life has been devoted to the struggle for liberation - liberation for her people, for women, and for all peoples around the world. She has done this through her work in her own community and internationally.

For many years, Jean taught in the Friends Girls School in Ramallah, where her husband was the principal. She served as President of the Board of Directors of the East Jerusalem YWCA. From 1983-91 she served as the vice-president of the Worldwide YWCA. Jean served as the member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 1975-83 and from 1981-91 she was a member of the Working Group on Interfaith Dialogue of the WCC. For many years she served as a member of the Council of the International World Conference for Religion and Peace and continues as an active member. Jean is one of the founding members of Sabeel, a Palestinian Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, and is currently one of the Vice-Chairs of its Board of Directors. She has been and continues to be one of the most inspiring and engaging at numerous conferences around the world. Her papers have been published in many books.

Jean serves as a member of the Palestine Reference Group (a group that gives guidance to the work of this coalition in Palestine) of APRODEV (Coalition of European Church Development Agencies).

"Jean’s gentle but incisive spirit has been an inspiration to her many friends For many people around the work, especially in the world church circles, she is the voice of Palestinian humanity." Rosemary Radford Ruether

Hanna Mikhail, a Palestinian Quaker, was born in Ramallah, Palestine. After graduating from the Friends School in Ramallah, he studied at Haverford College (Pennsylvania), where he received his Bachelor in Science in chemical engineering. After receiving his PhD in political science from Harvard University, he taught at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Washington. He left his academic career as a scholar of Arabic Islamic thought to join the struggle for human liberation, social and economic justice between men and women, and freedom for his own people. His doctoral dissertation was updated and published after his death. Hanna was one of the twelve Palestinian (PLO) leaders who disappeared while traveling from Beirut to Tripoli in June of 1976.

"Hanna Mikhail was a true intellectual....a scholar of Arab Islamic thought, that to him furnished a traditional continuity for later generations of Arabs to forge anew their own efforts for national revival and freedom. Hanna Mikhail’s whole life was focused on searching radicalism, unsatisfied with the vulgar clichés of politics and business, unconvinced by empty slogans of triumphalist demagoguery, scornful of lazy incompetence and favoritism. Hanna stood for principles and ideals, not as abstractions, but as concrete manifestations in everyday life, among ordinary men and women, for Arab and Jew alike. He retained his original Quaker modesty and plainness."

Edward Said, from preface to Politics and Revelation by Hanna Mikhail


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4 July 2011
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Zaru-Mikhail Fellowship


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