AMMWEC Muslim and Multifaith Women Welcome Arab and Israeli Peacebuilders from SHARAKA


Social Media Peace Icon, Loay Ahmed Al Shareef

Fatema Al Harbi, SHARAKA – Bahrain

Youssef Elazhari- SHARAKA Morocco

AMMWEC Muslim Women Peacemakers, Dr. and Mrs. Jenkins, UPF, Masjid Muhammad, DC

I was raised in a way that I believed that the enmity between Muslim and Jews and Muslims and Christians, is eternal.”

— Loay Al Shareef

WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, April 8, 2024 / — On April 6th, 2024, American Muslim and Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council (AMMWEC) hosted a special Iftar at the Washington Times building with partners, Universal Peace Federation, Dr. Michael Jenkins, and Imam Talib M. Shareef, Masjid Muhammad DC, to welcome the Arab Israeli partners working to build a new Middle East, one built on dialogue, understanding, cooperation, and friendship.

The word “SHARAKA” means “partnership” in Arabic,” explained Ahmed Khuzaie, SHARAKA’s director of Political Affairs, as he addressed the gathering eager to hear the perspective of Arabs from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Israel, and Morocco. Ammwec’s president and founder, who is also on the board for SHARAKA, recalled how she was first introduced to the organization, “AMMWEC was invited to the signing of the Abraham Accords and we fully supported this sacred peace pact which had the name of our Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him. But when the Israeli and Arab founders of SHARAKA came to meet me in DC during COVID, I felt my prayers were answered. Arabs and Israelis want peace- who are we to stop them,” said Anila Ali, as she welcomed the delegation.

The delegation included the social media peace icon, Loay Ahmed Al Shareef, who told the audience about his journey and how e was being taught hate for Jews as a young Arab but then when he went to Paris as a student, and coincidentally, lived with a Jewish family, his viewpoint changed. . “I went to France to study French, an d I ended up learning Judaism and Hebrew,” said Loay.

Fatema Al Harbi, a Bahraini, recalled the AMMWEC and SHARAKA trip to Bahrain a year ago and informed the audience how Bahrain has been a place where people have been living in peaceful co-existence. “We have a synagogue, which is more than 120 years old, we have churches, the biggest church in the Gulf area.” Fatema said she wanted to go to Israel and see and meet Israelis and Palestinians herself. After her visit to meet both the peoples and saw how similar they are, she left with an agenda to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Maryam Younnes, a Christian Lebanese Israeli who also addressed the audience and recalled her birth country, Lebanon, where her father was forcefully exiled to Israel by Hezbullah, the Iranian-backed terror organization. “Unfortunately, there is a war that no one is talking about, is going on in the Middle East, that Hezbullah started against Israel on October 8th,” she bravely announced.

Youssef Elazhari, SHARAKA’s Moroccon Affairs director, shared his journey, “Morocco is not an oil exporting country but exports diplomacy and peacebuilding. Morocco is well-known for its Jewish community so we have the biggest Jewish community in the Arab world, but we also have a Rabbinic Law in our old constitution, which makes Morocco not only a Muslim country also a Jewish country, even if its a minority, thanks to our Majesty, the King of Morocco.” He recalled that during the World War II, when HItler asked His Majesty King Muhammad V, to state the number of Jews in Morocco he famously replied, “There are no Jews in Morocco, just Moroccans.”

Fitrah Muhammad, representing Masjid Muhammad along with imams who recently went on a SHARAKA’s tour of Morocco, recalled their experiences as enriching and promising.

This last stop for SHARAKA, seemed to have marked the culmination of a successful two-week tour of US campuses, during a time of conflict.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews enjoyed the speakers and many expressed their interest in challenging their bias after hearing the peacemakers, Arabs and Israelis, themselves.

Dan Feferman, the executive director of SHARAKA, emphasized the importance of dialogue and finding peaceful solutions to resolve conflicts. The delegation’s visit to Washington DC aimed to continue the quest for peace in the region, with a focus on promoting understanding and collaboration between Arab and Israeli communities.

“The hosting of the Iftar event at a time of war and division, symbolizes the commitment of AMMWEC, SHARAKA, Universal Peace Federation, and Masjid Muhammad, as allies in working together towards a more peaceful future. The delegation’s presence in Washington DC underscores the importance of engaging in meaningful dialogue and partnerships to build bridges and foster mutual understanding.

For more information about SHARAKA, visit their website:

For more information about AMMWEC, visit our website:

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AMMWEC SHARAKA First Visit of Muslim Americans and Pakistanis to Israel

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