The experience, wisdom, and connections of well-known global leaders in the Muslim and Arab world—known as the Connection Point Advisory Council—are central to the design and implementation of this project.
Advisory Council Members
Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas (West Bank) is an internationally respected political feminist thinker and advocate for a viable Palestinian state. She is the Director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, former Chair of the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center, a founding Board Member of the Jerusalem Center for Women and of Jerusalem Link, and a board member of Equality Now. In 2002 she addressed the United Nations Security Council, where she was introduced by Gloria Steinem, and received the Ms. Woman of the Year Award.
Suaad A. Allami, LLM (Iraq) directs the Women for Progress Center and its Sadr City Women’s Center, Baghdad’s one-stop shop for legislative advocacy, job training, domestic violence counseling, health care, literacy education, child care, and more. She is one of only two women on the 40-person District Council and chairs its Women and Children Council. She authored the January 2008 By-Laws for the entire Baghdad Province District and Qada Councils. In 2009 she received the US State Department’s Woman of Courage Award.
Hazami Barmada (Syrian-Palestinian) is the president and CEO of Al-Mubadarah: Arab Empowerment Initiative. As a public and cultural diplomacy professional, she focuses on international collaboration and community development with Arab-Muslim global communities. She is a program advisor for the Aspen Institute Global Initiative on Culture and Society, founder and executive director of the Iraqi Orphan Initiative, and founder and president of the American Muslim Interactive Network. In 2010 she received a Breaking Barriers through Travel Fellowship to India, Nepal and Thailand.
Nuchhi Currier (Pakistan/USA) is President of the Women’s National
Democratic Club, based in Washington, DC. She acquired a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University in 2001, with a concentration in International Finance & Business. She has contributed articles for the UN Chronicle and reports for UNICEF and other agencies. Her professional experience includes negotiation of successful commercial agreements with diverse entities, including a global strategic alliance between two major international airlines.
Alia Dajani, LL.B. (Palestinian Territories) is an associate in the Dubai office of Latham & Watkins. Ms. Dajani is a corporate and transactional lawyer with experience in mergers and acquisitions and joint venture agreements. She has experience in drafting agreements such as shareholder, share purchase, investment, and joint ventures. Before joining Latham, she was a trainee at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in London and before that at Al Tamimi & Company in Dubai. She received her LLB with honors from the University of Bristol.
Fatima Gailani (Afghanistan) has served as president of the Afghan Red Crescent Society since 2004. In that capacity, she is an urgent advocate for policies and services that meet the human needs of the least advantaged members of society, including women, children, and people with disabilities. In 2002, she was selected as a delegate to the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Council) and was one of the commissioners who framed the country’s new constitution. She is also a scholar, the author of two books, and a member of the Peace X Peace Advisory Council since the organization’s inception.
Randa Fahmy Hudome, J.D. (Egypt/Iran) is President of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI) and an expert in global markets and the energy sector. FHI provides critical advice and counsel to Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, media organizations, and private sector entities with an interest in energy policy and international business transactions. Her more than 25 years of legal and public policy experience include service in the executive branch of the United States Government as the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy. From 1995-2001 she served as Counselor to United States Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI).
Suraya Pakzad (Afghanistan) is a woman’s rights activist who believes fiercely in the potential of girls and women. While some educated women chose to emigrate when the Taliban came to power, Ms Pakzad began secretly teaching groups of girls to read. In 1998 she founded an NGO, the Voice of Women Organization, that now operates internationally. Recent honors include the Peace X Peace Women, Power, & Peace Award, a US State Department Woman of Courage designation, Afghanistan’s National Medal, and recognition by TIME magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential persons.
Sabira Qureshi, MD (Pakistan) is a human rights and women’s rights activist who has been part of the Pakistani women’s movement for more than two decades, was a member of the first permanent Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women. She works as an independent international development consultant focusing on gender equity, with a personal interest in the issues of women in Islam.
Rula Salemeh (Israel) is a journalist with an international diploma in Computers in Business and Management. During the 1988 -1991 Intifada she was the first Palestinian Correspondent for Qatari Media and in 1993 she helped to found the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation. She has worked for several peace organizations, including Peace X Peace and MEND, and was the Palestinian Producer for Just Vision’s award-winning documentary Budrus. She chairs the board of the Jerusalem Center for Women in East Jerusalem.
Sallama Shaker, Ph.D. (Egypt) is a diplomat and scholar now teaching at Yale University. She has served her country in many roles, including Ambassador to Canada and the first appointed woman Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Americas. From 1992-1994, as a Senior Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center, she did research on the impact of the first Gulf War on the economies of Egypt and Turkey. She has published a book and many articles on the issues of peace and development in the Middle East. She is fluent in Arabic, English, French, Turkish, and Maltese.
Huda Totonji, Ph.D. (Saudi Arabia) is a teacher and art consultant who specializes in incorporating the beauty of a culture or an environment into visual art in public and private spaces. Her work has been displayed in more than 60 exhibitions, most recently at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and featured in the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, Mohammed, Legacy of the Prophet. She was selected as one of the 300 Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow at the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow 2009 Conference in Doha, Qatar.
Necla Tshirgi, Ph.D. (Turkey) is a specialist in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, with particular focus on the nexus between security and development. Since September 2010 she has been Professor of Practice, Human Security, and Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego. From 2007 to March 2009, she was an in-house consultant/Senior Policy Advisor with the Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Earlier she was the Vice President of the International Peace Academy (IPA) (2001-2005).