Transforming Conflict: Palestinian grassroots movements in Jerusalem

Nov 6 2017


Middle East Institute Ballroom
1319 18th St NW, 2nd floor,
Washington, DC 20036


When conventional politics fail to resolve conflicts, grassroots movements have the potential to act as catalysts for change by harnessing the power of storytelling to overturn prevailing narratives. Using Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a case study, Palestinian activist Fayrouz Sharqawi will discuss how Grassroots Jerusalem, a network of Palestinian communities and NGOs, is working to transform political conflict by harnessing the power of collective action and community solidarity. Fayrouz will discuss in particular the nonviolent protests that occurred in Jerusalem over the summer, including lessons learned and opportunities for the future.

Fayrouz Sharqawi has been the Advocacy Coordinator at Grassroots Jerusalem since 2012. Within this capacity she has led campaigns and supported community events and activities. She provides political analysis, and has a broad and experienced understanding of development and resistance to oppressive policies under the Israeli occupation. She has a BA in Journalism and English Linguistics, and a Masters in Conflict Resolution.

Alexandra Toma (moderator) is Executive Director of the Peace and Security Funder’s Group (PSFG), a network of 67 foundations and philanthropists dedicated to collaborating around a diverse set of peace and security issues. She has over fifteen years’ experience at senior levels of politics, government, advocacy, and philanthropic organizations. Prior to joining PSFG in 2013, Alex was Executive Director of the Connect U.S. Fund, a donors’ collaborative focused on incentivizing collaboration as a tool to meet today’s global challenges. While a Director at the Ploughshares Fund, Alex founded the Fissile Materials Working Group, a coalition that she grew to 80 U.S. and international organizations providing action-oriented policy solutions to combat nuclear terrorism. Alex received her Master’s from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Grassroots Jerusalem is a platform for Palestinian community-based mobilization, leadership and advocacy in Occupied Jerusalem, founded on the premise that the challenges and responses of Palestinian communities must be articulated and led by Palestinians. Grassroots Jerusalem maps and networks to help Palestinian communities in Jerusalem sustainably resist the Israeli policies of displacement, dispossession and disempowerment, by creating their own long term strategy, based on their defined priorities and needs.

This event is co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.