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Sami Awad is a descendent of a Palestinian refugee family that was expelled from its home in Jerusalem in 1948. He grew up in Bethlehem under the Israeli military occupation and from a young age took part in nonviolent activism to end the occupation. Like many Palestinians, Sami has lost family members as a result of the conflict in the Holy Land. His grandfather was killed in the 1948 war. Palestinian from Bethlehem, Sami Awad is the Executive Director of Holy Land Trust.
While he holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the American University in Washington D.C. and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas, his philosophical underpinnings for peacemaking were formed and molded by his family.
While Sami has worked all over the world to promote the vision of peace through nonviolence and community-building in places such as India, South Africa, the United States and most recently Erbil, Iraqi-Kurdistan, he remains at work mending historical traumas in the Holy Land.
The experiences of the past that have caused us to become afraid now limit in every single way the possibility of making peace for the future.
Fear is like shackles that are holding me. It's like a prison.
When fear takes over as an individual or a community, it completely limits and closes the possibility for anything moving forward.