Aida Nasrallah is the pen name of Mahagna Nassra, a Palestinian-Israeli writer, poet, performance artist, art historian and critic, and lecturer at Beit Berl University. Her work focuses on women’s roles as peacebuilders. She organizes and runs a weekly salon for women poets and writers, serving as mentor for Arab women in Israel who wish to experiment with poetry and fiction. She was the driving force behind “Common Threads,” an art exhibit that displayed the work of Jewish and Arab women artists side by side at the prestigious gallery of the Tel Aviv University.
She has published over 40 short stories and 60 poems in various Arabic publications in Israel. Her novel My Dear Beyond the Ocean was recently published in German. Ms. Nasrallah received a B.A. in Arabic and Art, University of Haifa, and her M.A. Degree through the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Her thesis was entitled “Female Artists from the Wadi Ara Region: Their Artistic Endeavor as a Reflection of their Social and Individual Perception.” Her play, The Moaning of Rosary was produced as a reading by Portland Stage Company and the theatre department at Iowa University in 2001 and was later staged at New York Theatre Workshop the same year. She has given lectures on topics such as women’s roles in art and society, peace making, Arabic culture, and using the arts in teaching.
Lee Perlman is the Executive Director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He is a research fellow on Israeli culture at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University. He is formerly a lecturer at Tel Aviv University (TAU) and at Brandeis University's "Genesis at Brandeis" and "Social Justice Summer" programs. He previously served as Director of Programs at The Abraham Fund Initiatives, a leading Israeli co-existence organization.
Lee's doctoral dissertation at TAU was on the social and cultural impact and significance of Jewish and Palestinian theatre cooperation on the Israeli stage. He has written extensively on NGO efforts at improved Israeli-Palestinian relations.