NextGen Voices: Views from the Gaza Strip

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Oscar Anas Sanchez once attested, “In a world which presents such a dramatic struggle between life and death, the decisions we make about how to conduct our lives, about the kind of people we want to be, have important consequences. In this context, we must stand on the side of life…one that works for justice, not for the big victories, but simply because engaging in the struggle is itself worth doing.”

YPFP, UNRWA-USA, and Friends Committee on National Legislation are taking a deep dive into the world's most protracted refugee crisis, as we hear the first-hand experiences of the NextGen leaders who have lived through it.

One of the many lessons the Israel/Palestine conflict has taught us is that a division in a vision can be more destructive than a civil war. This destruction has been evident within Israel and Palestine since 1948 with the beginning of the war over territory. While this conflict is simple in nature, the politics and culture surrounding the region has caused it to become the most complex protracted conflict the world has ever seen. 


When: November 16 | 6:30-8:30PM

Where: WeWork, M St.



Abby Smardon, Executive Director of UNRWA USA National Committee 

 Since the end of 2010, Abby Smardon has served as UNRWA USA’s Executive Director, where she oversees projects to raise critical funds and awareness in the United States for UNRWA's work. She travels extensively throughout the region to facilitate and evaluate humanitarian projects to benefit refugees. 



Laila Mokhiber, Communications Director of UNRWA USA National Committee

A fourth generation Arab American of Lebanese and Palestinian descent, Laila currently serves as UNRWA USA's Director of Communications. Prior to joining the dream team, Laila worked at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Both positions illustrate Laila’s passions: humanitarian concern for the people of Palestine and the fight for social justice. 



Kate Gould, Legislative Director, Middle East Policy of Friends Committee on National Legislation

Kate Gould serves as the Legislative Director for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest. She is one of just a handful of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. lobbying to advance human rights objectives and support diplomatic solutions to resolve disputes between the U.S. and Iran and the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel-Palestine. She is a Political Partner with the Truman National Security Project and serves as a board member of Churches for Middle East Peace.



Sanam Masroor, YPFP Refugee Assistance Program

A recent graduate of the American University Global Scholar’s Program, Sanam specialized her academic studies on national security in the Middle East and Eastern European regions. Born in Iran, she escaped to the United States as a religious refugee directly after the catastrophic events of September 11. The experiences she has had as both a refugee and a citizen in a post-9/11 America have been incredibly shaping in her academic and professional career. Currently, she works as a Research Associate at Exiger Diligence, where she conducts open-source intelligence investigations in English and Farsi. She is also the Volunteer Engagement Manager with YPFP’s Refugee Assistance Program, where she oversees over 300 volunteers to help resettle and mentor refugee families in the DMV area. 





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NextGen Voices: YPFP’s NextGen Voices series highlights YPFP’s core mission of amplifying NextGen voices in action. Get inspiration from your peers and get the confidence to join them challenging the establishment.

November 16, 2017 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
WeWork M Street
80 M St SE
Main Space
Washington, DC 20003
United States
Google map and directions
Melanie Horne ·

Will you come?