Palestinian American Quaker takes helm of American Friends Service Committee

November 3, 2017 GMT

By Staff

As the new general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, Joyce Ajlouny need only look at her own life — the fraught years spent as a Palestinian American Quaker in the cauldron of the West Bank — to embrace the group’s century-old human rights mission.

She was 2 when the town of Ramallah was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in June 1967. Since then, she has lived on and off in the occupied territory, attending American schools there and eventually becoming director at her alma mater, Ramallah Friends. But she likened her existence on the West Bank to being in an “open prison,” exposed to violence, harassment, and humiliation. A childhood girlfriend was shot. Her husband was detained in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers.

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