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Karam Foundation

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://www.karamfoundation.org/
Founded2007
In their own wordsKaram Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to help people help themselves. We seek to restore the dignity and quality of life for people affected by conflict by eliminating barriers to success through innovative education, entrepreneurial development, and community-driven aid.

Funding

  • 2015 total revenue of $1.3 million; expenses of $984,632.
  • Reflecting a lack of transparency, Karam does not publish donor information.

Activities

  • Karam is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit based in Chicago. Although Karam claims that its mission is to aid refugees and families in Syria, the group has demonstrated anti-Israel biases, both through programs in which it participated as well as through past activities of several employees.
  • Karam Foundation participated in the November 2016 National Students for Justice in Palestine conference.
    • Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is the organization most directly responsible for creating a hostile campus environment saturated with anti-Israel events, BDS initiatives, and speakers.
    • The 2016 conference program included sessions such as “(50) Shades of Zionism,” “BDS 101,” and “Settler Colonial History Survey.”
  • Since 2011, Karam Foundation has collaborated with Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).
    • PCRF presents a biased and distorted view of the conflict, omitting Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including rocket attacks and terror tunnels, as well as Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.
    • PCRF’s 2015 “Roof Knocking” exhibit alleged that the military tactic of “roof-knocking” to warn civilians to evacuate prior to an aerial attack is “an ode to the power of propaganda” and used “to alter circumstances and whitewash the facts at times of war.”
  • Partnered with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for protests and events in 2015. (See Appendix 1 for further SJP connections.)
    • JVP is a U.S.-based political organization, which refers to itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement. The agenda of JVP is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community and the American public at large, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government’s economic, military, and political support for Israel.
    • Both JVP and SJP promote anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns on U.S. campuses, in academic associations, unions, and churches by deploying the language of demonization and delegitimization.

Karam Foundation Staff

Roya Naderi, Karam HQ Manager

  • Naderi’s biography on the Karam website says that “aside from Karam, she stays involved with the greater Palestine Solidarity movement.”
  • Before graduating, Naderi was an active member of the DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine. She continues to support the SJP organization through the SJP Chicago Network.
  • Speaking about 2014 Israel Apartheid Week and a mock wall erected at DePaul University on behalf of SJP, Naderi explained, “You want it to be a part of everyday vocabulary. This is not a conflict. It’s occupation. This is apartheid. These kinds of things shouldn’t be questions. They should be known.”
  • Attended Jewish Voice for Peace’s 2013 BDS Boot Camp.
  • Naderi is a writer for the online magazine “Palestine in America.” In this role, she penned articles about the US immigration fraud trial of terrorist Rasmea Odeh. She also wrote several book reviews featuring the works of Steven Salaita, whose job offer at the University of Illinois was rescinded after he posted a series of highly offensive anti-Israel tweets, and Remi Kanazi, a pro-BDS activist who writes anti-Israel poetry.

Nada Hashem, Director of Operations

  • While enrolled in University of California (2007-2011), Hashem was involved in the Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Association groups.

Alexandra Kirezoglou, Development Coordinator

Lilah Khoja, Advocacy Coordinator

  • Signed a 2015 petition supporting BDS and the boycott of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (a partnership involving the Shalom Hartman Institute). Other signatories of this petition include Students for Justice in Palestine and US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly US Campaign to End the Israel Occupation).

Dania Mukahhal, Creative Designer

  • Wrote a 2014 article, “Chicago Media Coverage of the Assault on Gaza is Insulting.” At the end of the article, Mukahhal links to a website called stopisrael.net.
  • Former president and graphic designer of Loyola University Students for Justice in Palestine.
  • Mukahhal organized a billboard campaign to raise awareness of “the illegal occupation in Palestine.”
  • Designed a poster for an event about the “cultural resistance focusing on Gaza, Palestine.” The poster reads: “Gaza: Rights, Resistance, Resilience.”

Aya Samman, Director of Communications

  • On her LinkedIn page, Samman describes herself as “an avid member” of Students for Justice in Palestine. She was Secretary of SJP during her sophomore year at DePaul University (2011).
  • Samman sent an email (2013) regarding an event on Arab Heritage sponsored by the following DePaul University groups: SJP, MEPA, and Amnesty International. All proceeds were donated to Karam Foundation.

Karam Foundation Ambassadors:

Kenan Rahmani, Advocacy Advisor in Washington D.C.

  • In July 2014, Rahmani posted to Facebook: “#Israel is “killing terrorists” in #Gaza and #Assad is “killing terrorists” in #Syria. If you can justify injustice once, you can justify it every time. #iSupportJustice.”

Hala Droubi, Lead Journalism Mentor

  • On September 28, 2016, Droubi tweeted: “Shimon Peres was no peacemaker. I’ll never forget the sight of pouring blood and burning bodies at Qana.”

Wassim Al-Adel, Lead Itinerary Arts Mentor

  • In 2008, blogged about 60 years since Israel’s establishment: “Sixty years on, the dream of ending Israel is that little bit closer. Sixty years on, the struggle continues.”
  • Wrote a 2008 article for the Electronic Intifada called, “How Arab normalization is undermining the boycott movement.

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