Ian Black – visiting fellow at the Middle East Centre, LSE. Ian worked for the Guardian from 1980-2016 as Middle East editor, Diplomatic editor, European editor and Middle East correspondent. Events he has covered include the Iran-Iraq war, the first Palestinian intifada, the Arab Spring uprisings and conflicts in Syria and Libya. He has also written for the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Observer and is a regular TV and radio commentator on Middle Eastern and international affairs. His latest book, Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017, was chosen as a book of the year for 2017 by The Financial Times, the Economist, the Sunday Times and the Guardian.
On the panel:
Mira Awad – Palestinian-Bulgarian-Israeli singer, songwriter, actress, TV content creator, artist and artivista (activist through art). Very much identified with the agenda of dialogue and co-existence, Mira is a relentless peace activist, and uses her art to advocate human solidarity and empathy across cultures. Mira is a multicultural, multidisciplinary international performer, she released two solo albums, and collaborated with many international artists: Noa, Idan Raichel, David Broza, Andrea Boccelli, Bobby Mc’Ferrin and more. She represented Israel in the Eurovision song contest 2009 alongside Israeli singer Noa (Achinoam Nini). She is a prominent coach for stage performance and creativity, and an award winning composer for theatre and film. As an actress, Mira participated in numerous theatre productions, she hosted several tv shows, and starred on the high rated series “Arab Labor”. She created the semi-biographical drama tv series Muna, that was the first drama series on Israeli screen with an Arab woman in the lead role. In addition, Mira is the woman behind MitraByMira.com, an activist apparel online store aiming to spread messages of peace and solidarity.
Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu – Co-CEO, The Abraham Initiatives. The Abraham Initiatives is an Israel based nonprofit organization, dedicated to advancing a shared and equal society for the Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Prior to joining the Abraham Initiatives, Amnon served as Director of Marketing Communications at the Jerusalem Foundation, from 1996-2004. From 1992-1996, he served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, under Minister MK Yair Tsaban (Meretz) and was involved in shaping Israel’s policy for immigrant absorption during the waves of immigration from the FSU and Ethiopia. Amnon holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, and a bachelor’s degree in African Studies, both from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Alistair Burt – Pro-Chancellor Lancaster University; a Distinguished Fellow of RUSI; Council Member of ECFR and a UK Trustee of International Rescue Committee. Alistair was a Member of Parliament for 32 years, retiring in 2019. Amongst his ministerial positions, he was FCO Minister for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and North America between 2010-13, and Minister of State for MENA at the FCO and DFID 2017-19. He continues to work on Middle East affairs with think tanks, and social enterprises and is an occasional columnist.
More panellists coming soon.