Kumi Now with Dr. Lily Habash.

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On Tuesday 5 April, Sabeel hosted its fifth Kumi Now – Palestinian Innovators session with Dr. Lily Habash. Dr. Habash is a younger Palestinian woman who has played many roles in the statebuilding of Palestine. She is a longtime advisor to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She has also been very active in Palestinian civil society and played a crucial role in founding and running many Palestinian NGOs. Dr. Habash is one of the founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiation Support Unit, which aims to bring Palestinians from the diaspora back to Palestine to help with the negotiation process with Israel. Her experience working with the Negotiation Support Unit made clear just how unequal the negotiations are, as the Palestinians are significantly more limited than the Israelis due to the many challenges of living under occupation. She also served in Iraq, Nigeria, and Afghanistan and is now living in Tunisia as she manages an important project in Libya.

Dr. Habash is a very committed Christian human rights activist. She spoke about how her faith and her experiences of growing up in a Palestinian refugee family during the first intifada, her education, her community, and her parents have all formed the person she is. Dr. Habash breaks every stereotype that the world has of Palestinian women.

Through the Palestinian Innovators series, Sabeel wants to give a platform to people who are not well known by the international community – to showcase the amazing people and talent in Palestine.