Born in Jerusalem, Peled’s outlook goes beyond the ordinary perceptions on the Israel Palestine question common in the US. Peled was driven to move outside the acceptable norms of Israeli society and to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative. He has written a book about his journey and the conclusions he has reached so far.
His grandfather was a signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence; his father was a General in the Israeli army; in the 1970’s his father pioneered the Israeli Palestinian dialogue and he met with Yasser Arafat in Tunis in 1983. His sister Nurit lost her daughter in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and is a member of the bereaved families forum.
Peled has been featured in the SD Union tribune several times in connection with his work with Nader Elbanna and through letters to the editor and an Op Ed piece about Gaza as recently as January 2009. He is a regular contributor to online publications like Electronic Intifada and the Palestine Chronicle.
In a recent book published by Dr. Saree Makdisi of UCLA “Palestine Inside Out” Dr. Makdisi quotes Peled’s articles quite extensively. He has been featured on Public Radio in San Francisco and Radio Pacifica in Los Angeles and has also appeared and interviewed numerous times on the subject of Israel/Palestine on local TV stations.
Peled speaks regularly and has given talks and participated in panels on the issue of Palestine/Israel at USD Joan Kroc Institute, SDSU, Southwestern College, Palomar College and in synagogues, churches and local mosques.
Together with Nader Elbanna he has recently established The Elbanna-Peled Foundation, a foundation dedicated to educational and humanitarian support for people in the holy land. They work closely with Rotary International, and are working on a humanitarian mission for Gaza.
In their work together Peled and Elbanna sent 1000 wheelchairs for Palestinians and Israeli children, and have been part of numerous project to help the people of their shared homeland.
Peled is a professional martial arts instructor and owns and operates his own martial arts school. This year he is celebrating his school’s 20th anniversary. Peled’s school, Martial Arts America, is located in Coronado, and it is dedicated to teaching leadership skills-and non violent conflict resolution through martial arts.
Nader Elbanna is a Palestinian-American from Nazareth.
When he was 3 years old he was exiled with his family and forced to live in a refugee camp in the desert of Jordan.
He graduated from the Royal Military College. He then joined and served as a Captain special forces in the Jordanian Army. He was almost killed several times during the war between Israel and Jordan.
Following his service, he became a successful business owner. Nader immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 1990. Indeed he is to be proud of being an American, but is also proud that he came from a holy land upon which God laid His gracious hand and raised His messengers, Mousses, Jesus and Mohammad.
Nader is the proud father of six children and eleven grandchildren, many of whom were born in the USA. Since coming to America he has founded a successful family business in Escondido.
Who know Nader can count on him. If you need to see a “real man cry”, show him a children who need food or a senior who needs medicine.
Nader is interested in continuous dialogue to achieve a just, peaceful, and lasting solution between the Palestinians and Israelis. To do so he pledges to make his voice heard by all people and especially in the United States.
He is a member of numerous civic organizations;
ADC (American- Arab Anti discrimination committee), Member of World affairs council, Member of Rotarian club/International Peace committee, Member of voices of women for Peace , Previous vice president of the house of Palestine in the US, Member of the Islamic center of San Diego.
Rob has been a member of the Del mar rotary club for 10 years and is their immediate past president.
Prior to this he was a member for 10 years of the Kingston, Jamaica Rotary club.
His passion in Rotary is involving young people in Service, and he has been instrumental in chartering New Generations clubs in San Diego and Jamaica. He is the clubs advisor to Rotaract at USD and Interact at Torrey Pines High school.
He is an enthusiastic member of the Rotary district pathways to peace committee, and the District’s Model UN Co-coordinator. Rob also promotes ShelterBox by presenting at club meetings.
He is originally from Ireland, married with two young adults, and has an export business.
Bishop Samir Hanna Kafity was born in Haifa in 1933 and was educated at St. John’s School, Haifa, and at the Friends Boys School, Rammallah. He was accepted by the Council of the EEC as a candidate for ordination in 1952 and he graduated from the Near East School of Theology and the American University of Beirut in 1957. He was ordained deacon in 1957 and priest in 1958 and served first at St. Andrew’s Church Rammallah, then in Beirut at All Saints Church. From 1976-1982 he was Executive Secretary of the Diocesan Council.
In 1982 he was elected as coadjutor-Bishop and was consecrated on the 15th of July 1982. He was installed as Bishop in Jerusalem on the 6th of January 1984. Bishop Samir’s gifts, were mainly in public relations, and in pastoral and administrative innovations. He was able during the fifteen years in office to renovate several church buildings, and build new ones.
He opened St Margaret’s Hostel in Nazareth and dedicated it as a hostel for pilgrims and the conference center. He also renovated and modernized St. George’s Hostel; but he took special interest in completing a third floor for St. George’s College in 1985. He was able to create much interest for the Jerusalem Diocese and St. George’s College in many countries, especially in the USA, Austria, New Zealand and Britain.
He succeeded in renovating and building an extra wing at St. Lukes’ Hospital or the Arab Evangelical Hospital in Nablus and that of the Ahli Hospital in Gaza, both hospitals serving a large Palestinian refugee population. As far as ordination candidates are concerned he believed in taking risks in their choice.
He is known for ordaining many more candidates, than any other bishop before him. However, few of those ordination candidates left and now have secular jobs. He linked the diocese in a partnership association with several dioceses specially in the USA, and also with other churches, like the church of Scotland, the Lutheran Church of Finland, the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in the USA. The Churches of South West Germany are also in partnership with the diocese having a relation and interest in the Schneller Trade School in Amman, Jordan. Samir gained the notice of the Crown Prince of Jordan, Prince Hasan in relation to Christian- Muslim dialogue and attended conferences in Amman, Sudan, and Spain on this important subject. Chairman Arafat made him one of his consultants in August 1988.
Charles Radloff was born and raised in Kingsford, Michigan. He graduated from Marquette University in 1956 and continued his education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he did his Post Graduate Studies. He is married with four children.
He has had a prestigious career in the automotive and electronics industry. He is the retired President and CEO of AKZO Electronic Materials Corporation. Prior to this, he was the President and CEO of Oak Industries Communications and Oak Industries Technology.
In 2001 Charles pursued a volunteer assignment to provide management assistance to Century Electronics, an electronics company located in Amman and Irbid, Jordan.
Subsequent Middle East (Palestine, Israel, Jordan) activities began in 2003 and in the past six years have spent on an accumulated basis in excess of eighteen months in these regions.
The majority of assignments involved assignments from the Office of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Typical assignments have included the following:
- Society of St. Yves, a Catholic Human Rights Legal Center (Jerusalem, Bethlehem). St. Yves provided legal service on a pro bono basis to Palestinians in the Israeli Court system or Ministerial Agencies.
- Several assignments involved preparation of business plans to support funding
appeals to build or renovate facilities for schools churches, low income housing
throughout Palestine and Israel.
- Preparation of personnel policies and procedures, (job descriptions, job evaluation, salary structures, etc, for Latin Patriarchate personnel in Jerusalem.
- Facilitated the importation of 1,120 wheelchairs into Palestine and Israel
- Co-authored multi-media presentation video for Latin Patriarchate
- Authored a Guide Book for the Co-Cathedral for the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, the cathedral in which the Latin Patriarch has his official chair.
- Extensive travel in Israel, Palestine and Jordan including visits to refugee camps in Gaza, Jenin, Bethlehem and Nablus, and other locations (schools, orphanages, and hospitals.
Charles and his wife Ede are members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic organization with the mission to provide assistance to the Holy Land. Charles serves as Councillor-at-Large for the Western Lieutenancy.
“My visit to Palestine / Israel convinced me that we Americans must help and no longer hinder peace in the Middle East. That begins with just relationships among grassroots peoples there and here. The Elbanna – Peled Foundation does just that.”
Charles A. Reilly is a research fellow of the Institute for Peace and Justice and Peacebuilding Lecturer in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego. From 1998-2003 he was the director of Peace Corps, Guatemala, after three years coordinating civil society outreach programs for the Inter-American Development Bank. For many years he served as representative for Brazil, Mexico, and Vice-President of the Inter-American Foundation.
He began his Latin American development work as the founding director of Maryknoll’s Center for Integral Development in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. With a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago, he has edited or written six books and numerous articles and chapters. His most recent book, Peacebuilding and Development in Guatemala and Northern Ireland (New York: Palgrave, 2009), draws lessons from the uneven implementation of those two peace processes for other conflict settings, and indulges his avocation for exploring poetry and politics.
Previous books include New Paths to Democratic Development, Inquiry at the Grassroots and with Martin de la Rosa, religion y politica en Mexico. Reilly has taught at Georgetown, UCSD, Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala, the University of Ireland at Galway, the Catholic University of Bolivia and the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil.
A Palestinian American Muslim woman who was born in Amman, Jordan on 1975. At the age of 14, Rania with her family immigrated to the United State in 1990. As failure was not an option, Rania worked very hard in adapting to the new American culture and language. First , Rania lived in Eugene, OR and then moved to San Diego, CA. At the age of 17, Rania graduated from Patrick Henry High School with a 4.0 GPA. Shortly after, Rania attended Grossmont Community College with a full paid scholarship all the way to graduating from San Diego State University with B.S. in Business Management and A.S. in Business Administration.
As Rania was attending full time school, she worked full time in “Elbanna Factory Distributors” her family owned business. Elbanna Factory Distributors, Inc. was located in San Diego County. EFD, Inc. was established in 1991 by her father Nader Elbanna and his three children. The first three years of the business was a struggle and hard work. However, as Rania focused on the success of the business along with her family, EFD showed tremendous success in the wholesale and distribution business of industrial, safety and medical products. Along the road, Rania was the right hand to EFD, Inc. At the age of 19, Rania’s signature was on a contract with the United State Navy Exchange for a total of $3,000,000. This contact was completed to the satisfaction of the Navy and further extended for two more years due to EFD, Inc performance. Rania’s determination to succeed had moved the family business from a $20,000 net worth in 1996 to $ 7,000,000.00 in 2006
She was involved in five large business litigations related to breach of contacts and prevailed on all of them due to her impeccable work habits and sharp attention to details. On July of 2006, Rania was accepted into law school at Concord University of Law School. However, after finishing her first year of law school, Rania had no choice but to temporarily stop her school due to an unexpected pregnancy with her 5th child.
Growing up in two different cultures, Rania was faced with many challenges that were related to her identity. As a result of years of hard life experiences, and attending powerful flagship graduates program that were specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of her life, Rania created new possibilities for her life. What inspired her the most was the creating of the possibility of genuine PEACE. At that time she was pregnant with her third child who she named Salam “Peace” as her inspiration. She was determined to spread peace around her anywhere she goes.
On a personal level, Rania was married on to Dr. Nahidh Hasaniya. Dr. Hasaniya is a well respected Pediatric Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Rania has 4 amazing boys and one beautiful princess. Currently, Rania and her family had temporarily relocated to Gadsden, AL due to her husband’s work. At this time, Rania has froze all of her business careers and her higher education until her five children grow up to be successfully independent on their own. If one thing Rania will teach her five children, she want to teach them not to hate…
Rania is proud to be of service and support to the establishment of Elbanna-Peled Foundation in order to bring peace and justice for all. In the memory of Smadar Elhanan and Abir Aramin and to all the innocent children who died due to hate, Rania stand for here possibility of peace of one day soon.
At one time, Arnie considered himself to be a good example of the “typical” American.
He grew up in a small farm community in Indiana, did two tours of duty with the U.S. Navy in Viet Nam, earned his B.S. Degree in Finance from San Diego State University, is a member of a main-line Protestant church, and is married with children.
According to Arnie, his “typical” background is why he hopes his passion for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine (The Holy Land) will be taken seriously when he speaks with others about his personal experiences and knowledge of the conflict.
Like too many Americans, as he grew into manhood, Arnie had little-to-no life-experience or interaction with people of Jewish or Arabic ancestry. After visiting the Holy Land in 2000, that all changed. Arnie became a serious student of the issues and challenges that surround Israelis and Palestinians.
Arnie encourages all people to be curious, and to be assertive in investigating the facts and history of the conflict. He contends that if one does the research and invests the time to learn the details, the “typical” American will experience a huge shift in understanding and appreciation of those (Jews & Palestinians) promoting true peace with justice for all peoples concerned.
During his search for truth and information regarding the conflict, Arnie was moved and “blown away” by his encounter with the partnership of Nader Elbanna and Miko Peled. Nader and Miko’s background stories were so divergent. Yet, their genuine friendship and commitment to educate the “typical” American, their determination to promote justice, peace and humanitarian aid for Israelis and Palestinians made a lasting and heart-felt impression on Arnie. He knows that while some folks don’t want to hear the truths shared by Nader and Miko, he also knows that their approach is authentic and one that will ultimately make a significant difference.
For that reason, alone, Arnie considers it a privilege to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Elbanna-Peled Foundation.