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Speaker Series: Gaza Crisis – AFF Call to Action

November 23, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


As soon as Israel launched its inhumane and indiscriminate attack on Gaza, we knew we had to do something to help our fellow Palestinians. We reached out to our members and network partners with connections in Palestine and quickly pulled together a donor campaign to direct vital funding to groups who are working on the ground to support the people of Gaza.

In the this special session of our Speaker Series, we talked to Dr. Aida Essaid, Director General of Taawon (Welfare Association), and Muna Abbas, CEO of The Asfari Foundation, two organizations at the heart of our donor appeal that are dedicating funding and resources to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as their lives and families are being decimated.

In conversation with AFF CEO Naila Farouky, they discussed the ways the Forum and its network is working to relieve the pain and suffering in Gaza and what your organization can contribute, whether it’s funding, resources, or simply – but crucially – spreading the word.

If philanthropy doesn’t step in immediately to mitigate a genocide, then when does it? We have a duty of care implicit in our commitment to this sector and we need to bring our voices, our muscle, and our money to the forefront of this paradigm-shifting moment in our collective history.

About the Speakers

Dr. Aida A. Essaid is the Director General of Taawon (Welfare Association), an NGO that aims to strengthen resilience, preserve the cultural heritage, and build the human capital of Palestinian generations toward greater empowerment and agency. Prior to that, Aida spent 10 years as the Director of the Information and Research Center – King Hussein Foundation, an NGO that mobilizes knowledge for positive social change by conducting research and evidence-based advocacy on gender and social justice issues in Jordan. She was also the Senior Coordinator of the West Asia-North Africa Forum and a researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. Aida is the author of the book Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine, as well as several publications on refugees and vulnerable youth.

Muna Abbas has more than 25 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors. Prior to joining The Asfari Foundation as Chief Executive Officer, she was the Country Director for Plan International in Jordan, where she built programs to support both Jordanian and refugee communities across the country. Muna established a wide network of international organizations, including civil society organizations and government institutions with strong links to regional and global efforts playing a role in advocating for gender equality, girls’ and women’s rights, and youth empowerment. She also worked with Save the Children and UNRWA to design and lead programs responding to humanitarian needs of refugees and affected crises populations in the Middle East.

About our Speaker Series

The Arab region’s diverse and burgeoning philanthropic and civic landscape is a hotbed of innovative models of giving. The idea behind our series “Leading Philanthropy and Non-Profit Voices” is to create a space where we can exchange ideas and share promising developments on the inspiring models being advanced by the region’s philanthropic and non-profit sector. By spotlighting leading voices and sector champions, our ultimate goal is to spread good practices and also understand what we can do better in our own organizations and as a community to make greater impact.


November 23, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm




Arab Foundations Forum
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