Aida Nasrallah

Lee Perlman


Aida NasrallahAida 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.

perlmanLee Perlman, PhD. is a leading thinker and social entrepreneur in harnessing the power of creativity and the arts for conflict transformation. He researches arts, politics and cultural policy and seeks to understand and influence how artists create social change and open dialogue in conflict zones and divided societies. 

Lee is an Associate of Brandeis University’s Ethics Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, where he has been active for over a decade. He is part of the leadership team of IMPACT: Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation (ACCT), a worldwide, values-driven collaboration to design and activate strategies to strengthen the arts, culture and conflict transformation ecosystem.

Lee served as a research fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, which in 2017 published “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!”, his critical study on Jewish and Palestinian theatre cooperation in Israel. Lee has co-authored a number of research works and analyses on peacebuilding, shared society and equality, informed by his diverse experience in cross-border Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, cooperation and encounter programs, as well as Palestinian-Jewish initiatives within Israel, the latter in his former capacity as director of programs of the Abraham Initiatives. He has also served as executive director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and in 2013, the Ha’aretz newspaper named him as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Israeli Culture.