Ali Abu Awwad
"I didn't know what to do with the pain and there wasn't an outlet for the grief. The Forum is a means of helping yourself in addition to being a means of resistance. It is a different kind of revolution for my people. This is how I view it. You are eventually drawn into this and begin to believe in the principles of what you do. I now feel that I have the capacity to face anybody in any discussion, regardless of his rhetorical abilities. I now believe this is the way to establish our rights."
Ali Abu Awwad grew up in a politically active family and was active in resisting the Israeli occupation during the first intifada. He was arrested for his resistance activities, which included throwing stones, participating in demonstrations and being a member of a political party, Fatah. He was sentenced to ten years in Israeli prison, however he was released after four years after the signing of the Oslo accords. During the second intifada, Ali was shot in the leg by an Israeli settler and went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. While there, he received the news that his brother had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint at the entrance to their village. Ali and other members of his family later joined the Bereaved Families Forum where they are active in spreading a message of reconciliation and non-violence to Palestinians and Israelis. Ali Abu Awwad is featured in Just Vision's documentary film, Encounter Point; to view one of his scenes click here.