Join our Bright Stars team and friends in Palestine for a Virtual Summer Series: Palestine During Double Lockdown. 

The series title, taken from Rev. Dr. Raheb’s latest book, speaks to the additional layer of oppression that the pandemic has inflicted on Palestinians. Hear from Bright Stars co-founder and Dar al-Kalima University President, Mitri Raheb alongside students, faculty, and scholars from the university. 

We’ll be highlighting how our friends in Palestine are unlocking hope amidst this “double lockdown.” 

We’ll learn how you can partner in unlocking hope. We’ll also have an opportunity for participants and partners to discuss aspects of the Israeli occupation, especially the planned annexation and other human rights violations occurring in the shadow of the pandemic. 

Save the dates: June 29, July 27, August 24 at 12pm Eastern Time/ 11am Central Time, 9am Pacific Time/ 7pm Palestine.

Limited space available. Registration required. Free.

June 29

Annexation and the Creative Response: How are Israel’s annexation plans impacting Palestine’s creative leaders?

Join Rev. Dr. Raheb and Dar al-Kalima Board member Varsen Aghabekian to learn about Israel’s most recent steps towards annexation. Listen to a Dar al-Kalima student share how the annexation plans are affecting hwe daily life- and how she’s choosing to respond.

Varsen Aghabekian, PhD

Dr. Aghabekian is a member of the Board of Directors of Dar al-Kalima University. She is a human rights activist and member of the board of Commissioners of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Human Rights and former Commissioner General from 2015-2018. She’s also the former Executive Director of Al Quds (Jerusalem) Capital of Arab Culture (2009), Director of Research & Planning at the Welfare Association, Associate Professor at Al-Quds University (1988-2008) and Dean of Health Professions (1995-1998).


July 27

Pandemic and the Creative Response: How can art pave the way for justice? 

In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed a global cry for justice in face of systemic racism. How can art be a catalyst for social change? We’ll hear from students and faculty of Dar al-Kalima as they share how art provides a social justice lens in which to critically reflect on reality while imagining new futures. Learn how the students are navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of a pandemic learning environment.


August 24

Gaza and the Creative Response: How is the program in Gaza empowering students?

Especially during the pandemic, many of you have asked about our friends in Gaza who are especially vulnerable. We’ll hear the latest from the Gaza program director, Ghada Araj and students who participated in this spring’s pilot program. Ghada Araj has a breadth of experience in assessment and evaluation in education and public health sectors. Ghada holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona.