Featured Peacemaker: Sami Awad
"I now believe that my own liberation as a Palestinian is not only about ending the Israeli military occupation, but also about addressing all aspects of violence - be they political, social, economic or environmental. Nonviolence is not a tactic to be taken out of the box when it seems fit to use. It is a way of life."
- Sami Awad, What One Palestinian Learned From Gandhi, Huffington Post
A peacemaker with a rich and conflict-riddled heritage, Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian who founded and is currently Executive Director of Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian non-profit organization in Bethlehem established to build peace through nonviolence.
Sami, though born in the U.S., is the son of two Palestinians, his mother from the Gaza Strip and his father a man who became a refugee at the age of nine and later founded Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem. Besides this, Sami grew up under the peacemaking influence of his uncle, Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian activist who promoted nonviolent resistance during the first Intifadah and who was deeply influenced by the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi.
Sami has degrees in Political Science and International Relations from U.S. universities but always knew he would return to his homeland to work toward peace. He founded Holy Land Trust in 1998 and has since been working for peace in the Holy Land through nonviolence, both on a local level and a global level, speaking in many different countries around the world, including a trip to India with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
A Jesus-centered peacemaker in one of the most extreme conflict zones in the world, Sami Awad is a powerful force for peace both in the Holy Land and around the world and someone whose life, work, and philosophy it would benefit peacemakers of all walks of life to be familiar with.