Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim 

Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona.

Until recently, Dr. Mahmood Ibrahim was a Professor of History at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) where he taught courses on Islam, the Middle East and North Africa, and Historiography on the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In addition to teaching, he represented the History Department in the Cal Poly Pomona Academic Senate for several three-year terms and chaired several Senate committees, including the Academic Programs Committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the General Education Committee and co/Chaired the Curriculum Conversion Committee tasked with converting the General Education courses as well as the general curriculum from Quarter to Semester system. He also served as the Chair of the History Department for two terms from 1996-2004. He was awarded the Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership in 2017.

Born as a refugee in the West Bank town of Ramallah few months after the Nakba, when his family and the whole village of Jimzu were driven out by Zionist militias. Mahmood Ibrahim immigrated to the United States in 1966 and lived in New York City’s Lower East Side. He received his BA from the City College of New York in 1973. Dr. Ibrahim then moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA from which he received his MA in 1974 and Ph. D. degree in 1981. As a scholar of Middle Eastern Studies, he was awarded several Fulbright Grants and National

Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships to conduct research in Cairo and Damascus. He

participated in several summer seminars funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities

(Islamic Science at Columbia University; Just War and Jihad at Rutgers University, and St. Francis of Assis and his Time in Siena, Italy).

Dr. Ibrahim taught as a visiting lecturer at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside before he went to Bir Zeit University where he became Chair of the Department of History, Geography and Political Science from 1985-1989, most notably during the first

Intifada when the University and teaching went underground!

He is the author of two books; Merchant Capital and Islam (University of Texas Press, 1991) and The Oral History of the Intifada (In Arabic with Tom Ricks and Adel Yahya). He is the author of numerous book reviews and articles on early Islamic history including “The Abbasid Mihna/Religious Inquisition as Social Policy” and “Naskh: The Social Origins of Qur’anic

Abrogation”. He also authored several articles on medieval Damascus including “Health and Hygiene in Early Mamluk Damascus”, and “Writing Women’s Lives: Turning Obituaries into Life Histories.”

Dr. Yigal Arens

Expert in Israeli Government & Society

Yigal Arens was born in the US but grew up in Israel, where he lived for 17 years, from 1957 to 1974. While there, he was active in Matzpen, a Jewish-Arab group that called for withdrawal from the occupied territories and for a non-discriminatory, non-Zionist state of Israel. He was also an assistant to the Chair of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.

Yigal returned to the US in 1974 to attend UC Berkeley. He received a Ph.D. from that institution and is now a Research Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at USC, and Senior Director for Administrative Affairs of USC's Information Sciences Institute, a computer science research institute. Yigal's recent research focuses on the use of information technology in support of research on the genetics of mental disorders and other diseases. 

Yigal has been active in support of a fair and just resolution to the conflict in the Middle East. Over the years he has spoken about the situation in Israel/Palestine, and has appeared on KPFK and KCRW. He has spoken at numerous colleges and other organizations. Most recently, Dr. Arens has been working on BDS campaigns.

Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb

Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb is a professor of media studies and the graduate coordinator of the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). She has an M.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Memphis, Tennessee. She is the recipient of the 2024 Women Support Organization’s Distinguished Woman of the Year award. She is also the recipient of the 2020 CSUSB Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities Award and the 2019-20 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Faculty Mentor Awardees. She also won the 2019 Rebuilding Alliance “Story Teller” Award. Her research interests include digital communication, digital resistance & decolonization, social justice, and diasporic communities. She is working currently on a study of Palestinian digital resistance and decolonizing digital spaces. Her research has appeared in national and international publications, such as the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and Arab Studies Quarterly, and has been presented at national and international conferences. Her documentary 1948: Creation & Catastrophe was screened at over 20 film festivals and at universities and community organizations throughout the world. She co-produced and co-directed the film that focuses on the year 1948 and its catastrophic consequences for the Palestinian nation which has originated from her field work in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. The film won the Jerusalem International Film Festival’s 2019 Special Jury Award in the Feature Documentary category. She was the producer and lead researcher of the documentary 36 Seconds: Portrait of a Hate Crime which centered the three young Muslims murdered in Chapel Hill in 2015 in its discussion of the state of hate crimes, Islamophobia and racism in the United States. The film had its global premier at the Doc NYC Film Festival in November of 2023 and won the Subject Matter Grant for Audience Outreach and Impact Efforts, in addition to the 2024 Swedish Academy Award for Best Documentary Film and the Dubai International Cine Carnival 2024 Award.

Thaer Dallasheh

Thaer Dallasheh is a Los Angeles-based Palestinian 48er. He moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago with his Jewish wife Leah. He grew up in the Galilee area, near Nazareth, and later studied communications at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Film at Tel Aviv University before moving to Los Angeles. He has closely followed the latest news from the Middle East and will share his thoughts and analysis.