Goodwill Ambassadors to Children of Peace are leading public figures who support our fresh approach to conflict resolution and the protection of all children in Israel and Palestine.
Distinguished in their field or profession, they are uniquely positioned to make direct representations to those with the power to effect change and to help us to give the children in Israel and Palestine a voice.
Shireen Anabtawi grew up in Nablus. She is a former Director of International Cooperation at the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency (PIPA) in Ramallah, and currently works for the Palestinian Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. Shireen is the joint author of “Crossing Qalandiya” with Daniela Norris.
Bassam Aramin was born in a Palestinian village near Hebron. He is a former Fatah fighter who served a seven-year prison sentence after being arrested at age 17 for helping to plan an armed attack against Israeli soldiers. During his time in prison, Mr. Aramin began learning about Jewish and Israeli history, engaged his jailers in discussions over the need for a two-state solution and, questioned the worth of armed struggle.
Eventually, Mr. Aramin came to understand that pain, grief and loss existed on both sides of the conflict, and came out of prison a changed man. In 2005, along with other former combatants, both Palestinian and Israeli, he founded Combatants for Peace. He was recently awarded the 2007 Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism by Search for Common Ground in NY and the Bremen Peace Award, in Germany. In addition to being a founding member of Combatants for Peace, he is the head of the Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue in Jerusalem
We are honoured that this very special man has joined us in our work to protect all of the children in the region. Bassam is married with five children.
Sally Becker became known as the Angel of Mostar whilst rescuing wounded children from besieged areas of Bosnia in the early 90’s. She continued her work throughout the war and is credited with saving hundreds of lives.
When Milosevic ordered his troops into Kosovo she brought aid convoys to both sides and when the borders were closed she crossed the mountains on foot to rescue children trapped in the war zone.
During a mission to help victims of ISIS in Syria and Northern Iraq, Sally began using telemedicine to assist doctors treating children on the front lines, which resulted in improved diagnosis and treatment for thousands of children.
Recognising the urgent need for a solution that can transcend borders, Sally founded Save a Child-Global Paediatric Network, connecting doctors in areas of conflict with 250 specialists ready to assist remotely.
When war broke out in Ukraine in 2022 Sally brought 240 orphaned children and their families to safety.
Paul Haines studied and worked in London as an architect until 1977 before joining the BBC as a Production Designer. In 1998 he moved to Cornwall and in the last eight years has been involved with voluntary work with the NHS (Expert Patients Programme) and in 2014 he was awarded the Cornwall Health Volunteer Award.
From 2010 Paul began distance walking including the Walk to Santiago de Compostela, from Laon; Via de la Plata, from Seville to Santiago de Compostela for the Alzheimers Society in 2012. Then the Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury, via Jakobi in Switzerland, and several walks in Ireland for the Alzheimers Society in 2012. And in 2014 he walked from London to Rome, also for the Alzheimers Society.
In 2015 he undertook his epic six months Walk for Peace on behalf of Children of Peace, walking 1554 miles overland from Rome to Jerusalem.
Mansoor is a project financier whose principal business is funding and developing homeland security technologies, with specific emphasis on stratospheric airships (WorldSpectrum Inc), and a new class of first-of-their-kind underwater resort hotels (Crescent Hydropolis Resorts).
He earned his master’s degree at MIT and Harvard as a neuro-mechanical engineer, with a bachelor’s degree in physics from UVA. In 1997, he negotiated Sudan’s counterterrorism offer to the Clinton administration and jointly authored the blueprint for a ceasefire of hostilities in Kashmir in summer 2000. He is a frequent op-ed and television commentator on national security issues.
Valerie is a trained medical technician and has been certified to perform first aid by the Monaco Red Cross Society. She was born in Luxembourg and hails from Belgium. In 2005, she toured earthquake stricken areas of Kashmir to deliver aid and assess damage to the area. She has one daughter, Aissata, and they are resident in Monaco.
Israeli singing sensation, Liel is set to become one of the world’s major international stars. Liel Kolet was born in a kibbutz in Israel and has dedicated her sensational voice and her music to the cause of peace in her troubled region. Since singing “Imagine” with President Bill Clinton and a choir of Israeli and Palestinian girls, Liel has gone on to sing “We are the World” with President Kohler of Germany and with Richard Gere during his recent peace tour of the Middle East.
Liel is a symbol of peace and reconciliation across the region, having sung with Bono, Elton John and The Scorpions. She has dedicated a beautiful song… ‘Dream of Tomorrow’ to Children of Peace.
Doron B Levinson
Leading Israeli businessman, composer and consultant, Doron’s distinguished military service in the Israeli Army strengthens his position as a spokesman for peace and reconciliation. He was wounded three times during military operations and cited twice on two separate military activities for his distinctive conduct in the battle field. He was released from his active duty in the Israeli Army, after being seriously wounded on his last injury at the “Battle on the Chinese Farm” during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
After a long and complicated period of rehabilitation, he studied law at Tel Aviv University. He practised law at the law firm of Haim Zadok, the former Israeli Minister of Justice, continued his LL.M studies at the University of Michigan and did his Ph.D studies at Toronto University.
In 1992, after the death of his father, he returned to Israel and took on himself to manage the Levinson Brothers Engineers Ltd., a family owned business (established by his grandfather in 1930), which has been involving mostly in international trade and international investments. In 2000, he received the I.U.P.A. Award from the President of Israel for his promotion of Israeli music and culture and for his assistance to Israeli artists.
In recent years Doron has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace in the region. As the chairman of the Agricultural Division at the Israeli Chambers of Commerce, he was a member at the negotiation team with the Palestinians on Trade and Commerce issue. Among other things, he established the “Together as One Foundation”, for the purpose of encouraging social and cultural cooperation between Arab and Jewish youngsters through the “Prayer for Peace” project, which will be implemented in Arab and Jewish schools in the coming year.
Israeli singer, Yasmin Levy, was born in Jerusalem in 1975. She was introduced to Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language dating from the 15th century in Spain, as an infant. Her father, who died when Yasmin was very young, was committed to researching and collecting Ladino music, which Yasmin preserves and revives with her unique and moving singing style today. Yasmin’s wish to promote cross-cultural communication and for people to “have more compassion towards each other and to learn to live in harmony” is reflected beautifully in her music, which fuses Ladino music with the Andalucian Flamenco tradition.
Yasmin’s four albums have confirmed her status as a world music star. Her third album, Mano Suave (2007) featured musicians from Iran, Armenia, Greece, Paraguay, Israel, Turkey and Spain. It also featured a very moving duet with guest vocalist Natacha Atlas, in which Natacha’s Arabic interweaves stunningly with Yasmin’s Spanish vocals. With her most recent album, Sentir (2009), Yasmin has honed a musical vision that integrates effortlessly all of her previous musical preoccupations with fresh, new directions. Sentir was voted one of the top 100 albums of 2009 by The Sunday Times and was one of only 10 world music albums included. She has toured across the globe and won awards for both her songwriting talent and her capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue.
In 2008 Yasmin became a Goodwill Ambassador for Children of Peace, a role she takes very seriously, promoting the charity’s message at every opportunity. She has recently given a workshop in her hometown of Jerusalem at one of our affiliate schools. She brought music, hope and her own desire to work across cultural difference to children caught in the Middle East conflict. Her inspirational success and personal compassion encouraged these children to fight for their future.
Daniela Norris worked for the Israeli Foreign Service for seven years and later was an adviser to the Permanent Mission of Israel at the UN in Geneva. She is now a writer and freelance journalist. Daniela is joint author of “Crossing Qalandiya” with Shireen Anabtawi.
Tara Strong began her acting career at the age of thirteen in Toronto, Canada. She landed several TV, film, and musical theater roles as well as her first lead in an animated series as the title role in HELLO KITTY.
She has mass of film and TV roles to her credit and many voice-overs. Also a strong social media presence with over 400,000 Twitter followers.
The recent rise in violence against Israelis and Palestinians hurts children in both communities – with an increase in post-traumatic stress, morbidity, nightmares. Children of Peace carries out urgent work with our partners – protecting and supporting children. Please support our work and help the #childrenofconflict.
Photo credit: Lyle Hastie - Unsplash