Global Board of Advisors
Amherst, New Hampshire, USA
Yusuf Abudi was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian parents from the village of Ain Arik in the West Bank. Yusuf immigrated to the United States in 1979.
Yusuf is the Founder and CEO of Abudi Consulting Group, LLC, a management consulting and training firm that serves mid- to large, global organizations. Yusuf is also the Founder of Abudi Photography, LLC, specializing in fine arts photography. Yusuf is co-author of Best Practices for Managing Business Process Improvement Projects: Six Steps to Success, J Ross Publishing, 2015.
Yusuf has been active in a number of initiatives to promote Palestinian culture and history as a means to change the narrative within the United States.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
Majd Aburabia' was born and raised in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, before locating to the USA as a teenager. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology and a Masters of Education degree from Boston College, Massachusetts. She then attended and graduated with a medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hills. Majd is board-certified in general surgery, and is a practicing breast oncology surgeon, based in Dearborn, Michigan.
Hazza' M. Abu Rabia'
West Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Dr. Hazza Abu Rabia was born in the holy city of Nazareth, and he finished his high school education at the school of Nazareth. After completing his undergraduate studies at University of Athens he returned to Jerusalem where he worked as a translator and a tour guide.
In 2003, he received his M.A. in Islamic Studies from Hartford Seminary, and another M. A. in Judaic Studies from the University of Connecticut. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Hartford in Educational Leadership.
Currently Dr. Hazza Abu Rabia is the Professor of Arabic Culture and Society in the Department of International Studies at Central Connecticut State University, and in the language department at University of Connecticut. He was a visiting professor in five universities, including the Ivy league educational institution Dartmouth college, which consistently ranks among the world's greatest academic institutions.
Abu Rabia’s teaching interests include Arab Culture and Society in the 21st Century, development of the Islamic Society, and ethnic violence in the Arab World. He has developed new courses at the University of Hartford and won the University Teaching Award in 2014.
Abu Rabia’s primary research interests include the influence of religion and Media that shape the Arab Culture identity. Dr. Abu Rabia is editor, coeditor and author of seven books, and he published numerous academic articles.
Eman Khadra Ansari
Boston, Massachusets, USA
Eman was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Palestinian parents. In 1948, her mother, born in Haifa, and her father, born in Safad, had to relocate with their families to Damascus, Syria where her grandfather became the commissioner-general for the UNRWA. They later moved to Saudi Arabia, where Eman was raised. She graduated from King Abdul-Aziz University Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences in 1996. After her internship, she married her classmate, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, and moved to the US in pursuit of postgraduate medical training. She completed a residency in Pediatrics at Tufts University Medical Center and two fellowships in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She received a master’s degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health. She is currently a practicing physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where her interest recently evolved into the area of Humanism and Professionalism with a focus on the role of Arts and Humanities in Medicine. She is the mother of four children and leads the Parents' Network on Diversity at her older daughters’ independent school in Boston and is a member of its corporation. She is also a member of Families Organizing for Social Justice (FORJ) at her younger daughter’s Newton Public School.
Marie Dillon Dahleh
Born and raised in New England, Marie’s association with Palestine began in 1985 when she met and later married a fellow graduate student of Palestinian heritage. Over the last 30 plus years, she has travelled many times to Jordan and Palestine with their two children in order to introduce them to their late father’s family and his culture.
Marie holds a BA degree in Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College and an MA and PhD from Princeton University in Applied and Computational mathematics. She has dedicated her career to engineering education working at several institutions including The University of California at Santa Barbara and Harvard University. Currently she serves as the Department chair for Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at Aurora University in Aurora Illinois where is responsible for increasing the engineering offerings.
Sayumi Takahashi Harb
Sayumi Takahashi Harb serves on the Global Advisory Board of the Palestine Museum US. An independent scholar and research consultant specializing in Asian Art, film, and literature, she has also worked in public relations for arts and cultural institutions. A graduate of Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, she recently completed a project translating picture books from the Edo period from the Pulverer Collection at the Smithsonian, and is currently the Principal of the Japanese Language School of Greater Hartford. She is particularly passionate about strengthening cross-cultural ties between East and West Asia, and helped to organize a three-city concert tour of the U.S. for the Museum featuring Palestinian-Japanese soprano Mariam Tamari. Harb is also active in the performing arts, serving as a violinist with several orchestras in the CT/NY region.
Maha was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Shukri and Helen Dalal. In her early teens, she lived briefly in Beirut, Lebanon where she experienced first-hand the beginnings of the civil war. Later she moved with her parents and siblings to the U.S, where most of her formal education took place. For the past 20-plus years, she has resided in Munich, Germany. A major outcome of her “nomadic” life is that she is fluent in Arabic, English and German.
Maha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Miami. Her scientific research is documented in numerous publications. Maha’s leadership experience is focused on educational governance. She was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Munich International School in Germany. Moreover, she was the chair of the same board for the majority of her 6-year double term. Since 2006, Maha has been a trustee of the MIS foundation, an endowment fund, which supports the education of youth in the areas of art and culture.
In her spare time, Maha is an avid reader of literature and a keen observer of current events. She is also an enthusiastic cook and amateur choral singer. Through her contributions to the Palestine Museum US, Maha hopes to underscore, in the words of Edward Said, the power of culture over the culture of power.
Berkley, California, USA
Noor Mohammed was born in the Middle East in 1985 to a Palestinian mother and Iraqi father. Growing up in Montreal, Canada, among a diverse ethnic and cultural community, she was very proud of her Palestinian maternal ancestry. After two trips to Palestine as a teenager, she became very eager to both learn more and spread awareness and education on the plight of the Palestinian people. As a board member to this museum, her role is dedicated to its mission- to empower our audience with the knowledge and inspire critical dialogue.
Noor currently lives in California’s Silicon Valley and works in the biotechnology industry. Her research is focused on utilizing biosensor integrated microfluidics to characterize stem cells for regenerative medicine applications- an effort involving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) .
Noor earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Physiology from McGill University in Montreal, her Masters in Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Montreal and is currently pursuing her Phd in Bioengineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Born in the US, June Rugh first became aware of the Palestinians when living in Lebanon as a young girl, seeing the Palestinian refugee camps first-hand. Her father, a professor of education at the American University of Beirut and an educational consultant for UNRWA, shared his experiences with her—including the fact that the refugee camps had first been considered only temporary. On returning to the US, June was struck by the fact that even her most progressive peers seemed to have very limited, Western-media-influenced views of Palestine and the Palestinian people.
June has long been involved in practical activism for Palestine, including co-managing the only Palestine Film Festival held in the Northwest, working with the Palestine Online Store, co-founding Team Palestine—a soccer team consisting solely of players of Palestinian heritage—and volunteering for human rights organizations, such as the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
With a B.A., M.A., and Ph.C. in literature and critical theory, June has worked as a technical editor and writer for Microsoft Corporation, Dell EMC, Amazon Web Services, Prowess Consulting, and Aptara Corporation, producing technical documentation and marketing materials, and managing community forums for technology users. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and editor in the areas of technical documentation, business communications, public relations, marketing, and social media.
Diane Mogannam Straetker
San Jose, California, USA
Diane was born in Binghamton, NY to Palestinian parents. Her mother was born and raised in Ramallah and migrated to the US in 1956. Her father was born in the US to a Palestinian father from Ramallah and a Lebanese mother from Broumana. She graduated from University of California - Berkeley in 1982 with a degree in Sociology and minor in Computer Science. After working for 10 years in computer programming, technical support consulting, software instruction, and OEM marketing, Diane chose to stay home and focus on raising her four children. She worked as a volunteer teacher at her children’s elementary school and for their sports teams. Diane is a longtime member and supporter of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), holding various positions from president of the local school to positions at the district level. She has organized many events for the PTA, including fundraisers. In 2014, she served as campaign manager for a San Jose mayoral candidate through the primary elections.
Currently, Diane is the sole owner of MIT Properties, LLC, which owns and manages seven rental properties in San Jose, CA. She also serves as Vice-President of Health and Community Services for the PTA at the district level.
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Amie Weiss is a western classical violinist and educator who spent 6 months living and working in the Occupied Palestine Territories as an instructor at the Al Kamandjâti Music Association in 2011. During that period, she lived in Ramallah and traveled weekly to Jenin, Qalandia refugee camp, Dheir Ghasana and elsewhere to give lessons to children. Aside from touring activity, she now also co-directs Periscope for Arts, a small international collective of arts practitioners engaged in cultural diplomacy projects. Their initiatives aim to promote social cohesion, ongoing intercultural exchanges and broader access to the arts.
In addition to European classical music, as a conservatory student, Amie studied Hindustani music intensively with Sitarist Hasu Patel. She was later selected to participate in a 2004 Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, exploring musical traditions and exchanges along the ancient Silk Road routes with musicians from Western and Eastern/Middle Eastern traditions. She has since continued to collaborate with musicians from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and regions, including Palestine, Morocco, Syria, Armenia, Kazakhstan, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, Japan and China. In Ramallah, she had the privilege of playing with singer Oday Al-Khatib and a number of other Palestinian artists.
Amie holds violin performance degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, Conservatorio di Brescia and ESMuC (Barcelona), and a Master's in Translation Studies from the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).