Huwaida Arraf

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Template:TOCnestleft Huwaida Arraf (born 1976, Detroit, Michigan) is a Palestinian Christian human rights activist, lawyer and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) Her profession is attorney and practices law in Ramallah, West Bank. Arraf married Adam Shapiro, another ISM co-founder, in 2002. They met while both were working at the Jerusalem center of Seeds of Peace [1] [2] Huwaida also established the Holy Land Trust and the Rapprochement Centre, one Christian, the other secular.


Arraf majored in Arabic and Judaic studies and political science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She spent a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and studied Hebrew on a kibbutz in Israel. Arraf later earned a J.D. at American University's Washington College of Law. Her focus was on International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, with a emphasis in war crimes.

Seeds of Peace

In the spring of 2000, Arraf moved to Jerusalem to serve as program coordinator for Seeds of Peace, a U.S.-based leftist organization that seeks to coordinate activities between Jewish and Palestinian organizations.

Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem

In 2001 her title at the Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem was the Regional Coordinator.

Co-Chair of Gaza Flotilla

Arraf chairs the Free Gaza Movement,[3] the organization behind the Gaza Freedom Flotillas - a series of groups of ships carrying Pro-Palestinian activists and Islamic terrorists that were organized to break Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. She was aboard the 2008 Free Gaza boat GlobalEx.

In 2009 she was co-chair of the 2009 Gaza Flotilla aboard the boat Spirit of Humanity when she was arrested during the Israeli commando raid and which she violently resisted arrest.

In 2010 she participated in the USTOGAZA Flotilla that was raided by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010.[4]

At the time of the raid, Arraf was aboard the Challenger 1, one of the smallest ships (30 feet) of the flotilla. On Thursday, 3 June 2010, she provided her version of the events on Challenger 1 in an interview on Democracy Now.[5]

Huwaida Arraf on Italian Peace Activist Vittorio Arrigoni Slain in Gaza Strip

Watch original video here here

Huwaida Arraf on ISM member Vittorio Arrigoni Slain by Militant Captors in Gaza Strip Democracy Now!, Apr 15, 2011

The body of 36-year-old Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was found in Gaza shortly after his captors posted video of him blindfolded and bloodied. They had vowed to execute him unless their group's leader was freed from custody by Gaza's Hamas-led government. Arrigoni was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement that use nonviolent and direct-action methods to oppose the Israeli occupation. He had lived in Gaza since 2008 after arriving on a boat carrying humanitarian aid. Democracy Now! interviews Huwaida Arraf, a friend of Vittorio's and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement

In New Zealand


External Links

Video: "Flotilla Passengers Huwaida Arraf of Free Gaza Movement and Retired Army Col. Ann Wright Respond to Israeli Claims on Deadly Assault". hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Democracy Now!. 3 June 2010. 9:57 minutes in. (accessed April 8, 2011)

NPR News Audio Robert Siegal (1 June 2010). "'Freedom Flotilla' Protesters Vowed Not To Use Violence, Organizer Tells NPR". NPR News. (accessed April 8, 2011)

Interview with Huwaida Arraf on Russia Today over her 2010 Gaza Flotilla arrest (accessed April 8, 2011)