Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS
Founder, President, and CEO, HCEF
Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS Founder, President, and CEO, HCEF
Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS, the Founder, President & CEO of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), was born in Amman, Jordan to Palestinian parents.
He came to the United States in 1976 to further pursue his education. From 1981 to 1986, he was Director of Operations for British/Saudi corporation Saudi Support Services, Ltd. He later moved to Jordan, where he worked for his own company, Reem Support Services. In 1989, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked for Marriott Corp. and founded, managed and owned several businesses (Image Printing & Publishing, Inc. and Vison Management & Consulting, Inc.) Sir Rabie is co-founder and past national president of the Birzeit Society and co-founder, Vice President and Treasurer of the Institute for Health, Development and Research in Palestine. He is also a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, founder and co-chair of the Holy Land Outreach Committee of the Knights of Columbus, Maryland State Council.
In 1998, he founded the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), with other Americans and Palestinians concerned about the presence of the Arab and Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. HCEF is charitable 501(c)(3) faith-based development organization with over 20 programs and offices in Bethlehem and the Washington, DC area. In 2007, The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) selected Sir Rateb Rabie to receive the Faith and Tolerance Award. This award is given to individuals working with faith-based organizations to encourage cooperation and peacemaking in the Middle East.
Sir Rateb is committed to improving living conditions for Palestinians Christians in their homeland, preserving Palestine’s Christian heritage and strengthening the identity of Palestinian Christians in the worldwide diaspora. He pursues this mission under the motto “Let us work together to replace despair with hope, fear with human security and humiliation with dignity”. Sir Rateb advocates for peace and justice in Palestine.
Sir Rateb is married to his wife of 34 years Rocio, who he met in the United States. Together they have four grown daughters, whom they raised both in the Middle East and in America. They are also the proud grandparents of two young boys and are active longtime parishioners at the Shrine of the St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland.
Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Monmouth University
Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Monmouth University, and Chair of HCEF’s Research and Publication Committee
Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University, is Chair of HCEF’s Research and Publication Committee. Born and raised in Jerusalem, he received his B.A. in political science and history interdisciplinary, summa cum laude, from Monmouth College in 1978, and his doctoral degree from Rutgers University in 1984 in political science, with specialization in Middle Eastern affairs.
Dr. Sarsar is the co-author of two books: Ideology, Values, and Technology in Political Life and World Politics: An Interdisciplinary Approach. He is editor of Education for Leadership and Social Responsibility and of Palestine and the Quest for Peace, and co-editor of Patriarch Michel Sabbah—Faithful Witness: On Reconciliation and Peace in the Holy Land; and Principles and Pragmatism—Key Documents from the American Task Force on Palestine. He guest edited a special issue of the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, focusing on Palestinian-Israeli relations. His articles and book reviews have been published in a variety of journals, including Peace and Conflict Studies, Holy Land Studies, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice; Jerusalem Quarterly File; and International Journal of Leadership.
Dr. Sarsar has three books of poetry: Crosswinds; Seven Gates of Jerusalem, a bilingual English/Arabic edition; and Portraits: Poems of the Holy Land.
Dr. Sarsar’s commentaries have appeared in many media outlets, including The Star-Ledger; The Daily Beast; Huffington Post; USA Today; Philadelphia Inquirer; Newsweek; The Jordan Times; Daily Star; Miftah.org; Middle East Times; Middle East Eye; Common Ground News; Catholic News Agency; and al-Quds. He has been interviewed and/or quoted by NBC News, Voice of America; The New York Times; and Seattle Times.
Dr. Sarsar was featured in The New York Times, “His Mission: Finding Why People Fight—A Witness to Mideast Conflict Turns to Dialogue and Peace.” He is the recipient of the Award of Academic Excellence from the American Task Force on Palestine, the Global Visionary Award and the Stafford Presidential Award of Excellence from Monmouth University, the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award.
James Joseph Zogby, Ph.D.
Founder and President of the Arab American Institute (AAI)
Dr. James Zogby
Dr. James Zogby, Co-Founder and President, Arab American Institute and Member, Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee.
Dr. James J. Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and continues to serve as its president. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee and was appointed by President Obama to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2013. In addition to writing a weekly column published in 16 countries, Zogby is the creator and host of the award-winning call-in political television show “Viewpoint,” and is frequently featured on national and international media as an expert on Middle East affairs. In 2010, Zogby published the highly-acclaimed book, Arab Voices. His 2013 e-book, Looking at Iran: The Rise and Fall of Iran in Arab Public Opinion, is drawn from his extensive polling across the Middle East with Zogby Research Services.
TA knowledgeable producer
TA knowledgeable producer, skilled as a multi-linguist, Loubna has extensive filming experience in the UK and abroad. Her portfolio of work showcases her proven ability for gaining tricky access into challenging places.
She has successfully managed ambitious shoots for TV and film production, notable credits include Stephen Fry In Central America for BBC Worldwide and ITV1, The Private Lives of Monarchs for the Yesterday channel on UKTV, and a soon to be released a 8-part documentary series for Netflix.
Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University. HCEF Co-founder
Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Member of the HCEF Board of Directors, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Human Development, Georgetown University
Fr. Drew Christiansen, S.J., a co-founder of HCEF, is Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Human Development at Georgetown University and a senior research fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. He has also taught at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkley and the University of Notre Dame. He was editor-in-chief of America, the U.S. Jesuit weekly (2005-12). He is the former director of the Office of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference (1991-1998), and he served as advisor to the U.S. bishops on Middle East policy from 1991 to 2004. He also served as the first coordinator of an episcopal conferences working group on the Holy Land (1998-2002). For his work on behalf of the church in the Holy Land, Patriarch Michael Sabbah invested Fr. Christiansen as canon of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
HE Ambassador Husam Zomlot
Head, PLO General Delegation to the United States
HE Ambassador Husam Zomlot
Ambassador Dr. Husam S. Zomlot is currently the Chief Representative of the Palestinian General Delegation to the United States. He also serves as strategic advisor to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. The Ambassador’s previous official roles include serving as Ambassador-at-large for the Palestinian presidency, and Charge de Affairs of the Palestinian mission to the United Kingdom. He was recently elected to the Fatah council and director of its foreign relations commission. Previously, he was professor of public policy at Birzeit University and cofounded and chaired the Birzeit School of Government. He held teaching and research positions at Harvard University and the University of London. His professional experiences includes working as an economist for the United Nations, economic researcher at the London School of Economics and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of London. He is married and has two children.
Roy Edward Campbell, Jr
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Washington
Bishop Roy Edward Campbell, Jr
Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr., was born on November 19, 1947 to Roy Edward Campbell, Sr. and Julia Ann (Chesley) Campbell, and has been a life-long member of the Archdiocese of Washington. He was baptized at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Indian Head, MD, received his First Holy Communion in 1956 at Saint Cyprian Church in Southeast Washington and the Sacrament of Confirmation in 1959 at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church in Northwest Washington.
He attended Bruce Elementary Public School and for seventh and eighth grade, he attended Shrine of the Sacred Heart School in Washington. He is a 1965 graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington. Father Campbell majored in Zoology, with minors in Anthropology and Chemistry at Howard University, before leaving to work at Suburban Trust Company as a teller in order to continue to pay his way to complete his studies. Campbell earned a graduate degree in retail banking from the Consumer Bankers Association’s Graduate School of Retail Bank Management at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, and worked in the retail banking industry in the Washington-Baltimore area until taking early retirement in 2002.
Throughout his life, Father Campbell was an active Catholic both in parishes and the broader Washington-area community, serving as a lector and usher at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, as a member on the Pastoral and Finance Councils. He also had an interest at a young age in a vocation to the priesthood.
“Upon graduating from the eighth grade, Capuchin Friars invited me to join other boys for part of the summer at their seminary, outside Pittsburgh. I enjoyed my stay with them, but was not ready to commit to attending seminary high school. However, the crucifix that I purchased there at age 13 still hangs on the wall of my bedroom,” he said.
A turning point for Father Campbell occurred in December of 1995, while leaving work in Baltimore. He passed a person on the street begging for food, and he took him to get something to eat. “What he said to me I have never forgotten, ‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you?’ Campbell recalled. “My answer to him is just as memorable, ‘I try to be.’ I saw Jesus in that man, as clearly as I saw the man himself. That encounter started my reflecting on my relationship with Jesus in a very different way.”
In 1999, Campbell entered the archdiocese’s permanent diaconate program in the Class of 2004’s Aspirant Year. During that time, he assisted in planning and serving in liturgies, tutoring grade school children through St. Gabriel parish’s Petworth Youth Program, volunteered at Bethlehem House with adults who had physical and learning disabilities, and at the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute with children who had emotional and learning disabilities.
In January 2003, Campbell entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary to begin his priestly formation, and completed his seminary studies at in 2007, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained into the priesthood on May 26, 2007 by Cardinal Donald Wuerl.
Father Campbell’s first parish assignment was as parochial vicar at Saint Augustine parish in Washington 2007 to 2008, while also taking care of the sacramental needs of Immaculate Conception parish in Washington for six months. He was appointed pastor of Assumption Catholic Church in southeast Washington in 2008, and in 2010 was appointed to his current assignment, as pastor of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Largo.
In addition to being the pastor of Saint Joseph’s, he has served as dean of Middle Prince George’s County, and is a member of the Clergy Personnel Board, Vocations Board and College of Consultors.
Father Campbell has three brothers, Roscoe William, Rodney Jerome and Robert, and two sisters, Cynthia and Darlene and his mother, Elizabeth (Barbour) Campbell. Rev. Campbell’s father, Mr. Roy Edward Campbell, Sr., passed away in 2007. Rev. Campbell is the proud uncle of eight nieces, five nephews, six grandnephews and two grandnieces.
The Rev. Richard H. Graham
Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Richard H. Graham
The Rev. Richard H. Graham is serving a second term as bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA. Initially elected by the 2007 Synod Assembly to a six year term then re-elected by the 2013 Synod Assembly, he has been in office since September 1, 2007. Bishop Graham finds his work inspiring due to the “abundance of opportunities” to help church leaders and congregations “share the love of Jesus Christ with the world around us.”
Raised in Lutherville, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore, Bishop Graham moved to Lexington, Virginia for his undergraduate education at Washington and Lee University in 1973 where he majored in English. He attended Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a Master of Divinity. He began studies on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Strasbourg, France, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Church History from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Prior to his current position, Bishop Graham served as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in College Park, Maryland; assistant pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland; and associate pastor of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Annapolis, Maryland. Additional positions of leadership include as elected secretary of the Metro D.C. Synod, member of the synod’s Candidacy Committee, and member of the board of trustees of the National Lutheran Home for the Aged in Rockville, Maryland.
Currently, Bishop Graham is a board member of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. He serves on the ELCA Conference of Bishops Immigration Ready Bench and as the Region 8 Bishop Liaison to the ELCA Church Council. He is also interested in ecumenical work; in October 2014, Bishop Graham received the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award for his contributions, time commitment and support toward understanding and solidarity between Holy Land Christians and Christians elsewhere.
Bishop Graham is married to Nancy Ann Graham, and they have two adult daughters and two granddaughters. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and hiking.
Fr. Michael McDonagh
Senior advisor, to the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Archbishop of Jerusalem
Fr. Michael McDonagh, Chancery Office, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
A native of Sligo, Ireland. Born in 1950. Ordained to the priesthood 1974 at All Hallows Seminary, Dublin for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. Presently incardinated in the Diocese of Jerusalem. Completed graduate studies in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in 1978. Worked as a Judge in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. Served as Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish, Clearwater from 1983-87. Worked at EWTN, presented a weekly Bible program and co-hosted Mother Angelica Live for five years. Hearing the call of the Lord to live and work in Jerusalem, he moved there in 1999.
Elias G. Saboura, Esq.
Saboura Law Group, P.C.
Elias G. Saboura, Esq.
Elias G. Saboura-Polkovotsy is a practicing litigation and trial attorney in the District of Columbia metropolitan area. Elias litigates complex commercial, business, malpractice and professional regulatory matters throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He regularly practices before the state and federal courts, as well as administrative bodies, and has over fifteen (15) years of experience handling complex civil cases as a litigation and trial attorney, both defensively, and offensively. He also acts as counsel for various domestic and international businesses and entrepreneurs guiding and advising them on a wide array of business issues and matters including business formation matters, employment and immigration matters. In addition, Elias serves as counsel or as board member for several privately owned companies, professional and trade associations, nonprofit organizations, charitable organizations, and organizations for private gain advising them on various matters including formation, organization, governance, growth and management and monitoring the activities of the governing boards to ensure compliance with government and internal corporate requirements.
A graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, with honors, Elias clerked for the Honorable John F. Fader, II, of the Circuit Court of Baltimore County. During law school, Elias was Staff Editor at the University’s Journal of Environmental Law, a member of the Moot Court Board Team, and the President of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University.
Prior to joining Beiramee & Saboura, P.C., Elias was a shareholder at a 30+ attorney civil litigation and insurance defense firm in the Washington Metropolitan area. He also previously worked for a former General Counsel for the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) in his private practice where he assisted in representing clients in various immigration, refugee and human rights law matters. Prior to law school, Elias served as the Director of International Sales and Marketing for the Wornick Company, a manufacturer of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) and primary contractor to the United States of America Department of Defense as well as other international countries and organizations.
Elias was born and raised in Jerusalem, where he attended high school at the Colleges Des Freres, Jerusalem.
Executive Director of Arab Center Washington DC, Inc.
Khalil Jashan, Executive Director of Arab Center Washington DC, Inc.
Khalil Jahshan, born in Nazareth, is a Palestinian-American activist and media commentator. He currently serves as the executive director of Arab Center Washington DC, a nonprofit think tank focusing on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. From 2004-2013, Mr. Jahshan was a lecturer in International Studies and Languages at Pepperdine University and Executive Director of its Seaver College Washington DC Internship Program. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Harding University in 1972.
Ambassador David Mack, Rtd.
Scholar, Middle East Institute, Elder, National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC
Ambassador David Mack, Rtd.
Ambassador David Mack, Rtd., Scholar, Middle East Institute, Elder, National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC,
David Mack is a Scholar of The Middle East Institute, a Washington-based educational organization. From 1998 until 2008, Mack was Vice President and Acting President of MEI. As a private consultant from 1995 until 1998, Mack provided policy guidance to foreign governments and companies regarding their dealings in the United States and advised US corporate clients on trade and investment opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa.
For over thirty years, David Mack served in various positions in the US Foreign Service. From 1990-1993, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. In that capacity, Mack directed the conduct of relations between the United States and 12 other governments, including Iran, Iraq, the states of the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant. He provided political support for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and promoted US business interests in the Middle East. From 1986-1989, Mack was the US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, where he was in charge of all US government activities and over 150 civilian and military personnel. Also, Mack held diplomatic assignments in Iraq, Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. He is an elder at The National Presbyterian Church
President, The Arab American Business Council
Marwan Ahmad is the founder and president of the Arab American Business Council since 2013. He is the President of Arabesque Media a Virginia based marketing and publishing company. Mr. Ahmad has a degree in Computer Information Systems and additional education in marketing, TV producing and non-profit management. He has been in the marketing and publishing business since 1994. He served on a media training mission to Italy with the State Department touring four cities to speak, educate and train local ethnic media. Mr. Ahmad specializes in general marketing and publishing for businesses in the US as well as companies that do business in the Middle East. His company’s client include State Department, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Qatar Foundation International, Embassies among others. He is also the Co-founder of Arabfest in Virginia, Co-founder of Little Arabia in Anaheim California and publisher of the Arab American Voice and US Qatar Network. Mr. Ahmad received number of awards from ADC-Arizona, CAIR-Arizona, Attorney General’s Award for Community Service, Arizona and American Muslim Women Association, Arizona.
Dr. Bernard Sabella
Executive Secretary of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches
Dr. Bernard Sabella
Dr. Sabella holds MA and PhD degrees in Sociology from the University of Virginia. He is a native of Jerusalem and is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Al Quds University in the Master’s Program on Jerusalem Studies. He is a retired Associate Professor of Sociology from Bethlehem University in the Holy Land where he taught for over 25 years. His academic interests are focused on Palestinian Christians and questions of identity and other challenges, including emigration. In 2006 he was elected on the Jerusalem Christian quota seat to the Palestinian Legislative Council or Parliament to represent the city of Jerusalem.