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.
Dalia is a writer and peace activist, born and raised as a refugee in Gaza. With her hopeful and positive attitude to life in a conflict area, Dalia is involved in building meaningful change. She has worked with children of conflict in war-affected and marginalized areas in Gaza strip. And contributed in making change in lives of many young adults, resulting in them taking the lead to build different initiatives. Dalia is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Turkey.
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, an artist and writer, became known as the Angel of Mostar whilst rescuing wounded children from besieged areas of Bosnia. She continued her work throughout the war, organising humanitarian aid convoys and evacuating around two hundred sick and wounded children and their families.
When Milosevic ordered his troops into Kosovo her missions continued, this time across the mountains carrying medical aid for children trapped in the war zone. She was captured by Serb paramilitaries while attempting to bring wounded children and their families to safety and was sentenced to 30 days in prison.
In November 1998, while she was arranging for the children to receive medical treatment abroad, Sally was shot by masked gunmen outside her hotel. She refused to leave without the children, remaining in the area for several weeks until her mission was completed.
She has continued her work whenever possible, opening centres for women and children suffering from trauma and bringing aid to victims of war.
Louise Ellman MP
Louise Ellman MP, is the Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool, Riverside. Between 1981-97 Louise was Leader of Lancashire County Council. A lifelong campaigner against racism, Louise is a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. She chairs the Jewish Labour Movement and is the Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Transport.
Tobias Ellwood MP
Tobias Ellwood was born in New York, USA and grew up in Germany and Austria before completing his studies in the UK. He spent 5 years with the British Army, serving in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Germany, Gibraltar and Bosnia. After gaining an MBA at the City University Business School he spent two years as a Senior Business Development Manager at Allen and Overy.
He is the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East and is currently Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is married and lives in Boscombe, Dorset.
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.
Palestinian peace activist Mahmoud Jabari grew up surrounded by the consequences of conflict. He tells his personal story and explains how enabling kids with the tools of journalism can lead to peace. Mahmoud Jabari is a youth activist and advocate for peace and cross-cultural dialogue, He worked as a freelance photojournalist in the Southern West Bank city of Hebron where he risked his life covering news stories until March 2011. Mahmoud has reported for World Youth News and Al-Jazeera Talk. Many of his opinion articles where published in Harry’s Place blog, Children of Peace News Desk, and the Playa Wire.
Mahmoud served as an elected Youth Mayor of the city of Hebron (2005-2008), and led many social initiatives, including Journalists for Change, which introduces youth to new-media tools and encourages social involvement through media. He believes that youth from all cultures and nations are able to overcome political, religious and cultural borders, and become unified based their common dreams: to create the world in which they’d like future generations to live.
He is actively involved in setting up the US Friends of Children of Peace.
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.