Meet Our Speakers!

by Jessica Barker

This week we are thrilled to introduce the Keynote Speaker for this year’s International Perspectives Conference, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Sulaiman Khatib!

Sulaiman was born and raised in the village of Hizme, northeast of Jerusalem. Growing up, Sulaiman and his family were severely impacted by the ongoing conflict between the Israelites and Palestinians. As a result, he decided that he wanted to make a difference. Unfortunately, he didn’t see any other option but to join, informally, the “Fatah” movement, which participated in violent protests against Israeli soldiers. At just 14 years old, Sulaiman threw stones, wrote graffiti on public buildings, and prepared Molotov cocktails. At one point, he and a friend decided to steal weapons from the Israeli soldiers, stabbing two Israelis in the process; this resulted in Sulaiman being sentenced to 15-18 years in jail. During his imprisonment, he watched Schindler’s List which changed his life forever and reconstructed his world view. He began to see the Israeli soldiers as human beings who were suffering as well, and he discovered that the only enemy he needed to face was hatred and fear. After he was released from 10 years in prison, he and some friends established an organization that fought the conflict through peaceful means. He is, among other initiates, co-founder of the Combatants for Peace, a grassroots nonviolence movement in Israel and Palestine.
If you would like to learn more about Sulaiman, you can visit the Combatants for Peace Website: Combatants for Peace | Suliman al-Khatib

Sulaiman will give his talk titled “Transformation from Enemy to Friend—A Personal Journey” on Thursday October 4th at 7:30 PM in Wanamaker Hall!
We hope to see you there!