DAWN Fellows From 15 Institutions Provide Expert Analysis on Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy
(Washington, D.C., February 23, 2022) — Three experts on Israel-Palestine and Syria — Diana Buttu, Leena Dallasheh and Yassin al-Haj Saleh — have joined Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) as its newest Non-Resident Fellows, DAWN announced in a statement issued today.
They join a dozen other Non-Resident Fellows at DAWN whose expertise complements and advances the organization's mission, research and advocacy to promote democracy and reform U.S. policy in the MENA region. Like all of DAWN's fellows, Buttu, Dallasheh and Saleh will contribute to DAWN's journal, Democracy in Exile.
"Our new Non-Resident Fellows — Diana Buttu, Leena Dallasheh and Yassin al-Haj Saleh — expand the range of regional expertise in DAWN's diverse group of fellows, with their unmatched knowledge about, and experience living in, Israel-Palestine and Syria," said Frederick Deknatel, Executive Editor of Democracy in Exile. "We look forward to publishing their insights and unique voices in DAWN's journal."
Diana Buttu is a lawyer specializing in negotiations, international law and international human rights law. She is a former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization. A Palestinian citizen of Israel, Buttu has been a fellow with the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an Eleanor Roosevelt Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. She also held a fellowship at the Stanford Center for Conflict Resolution and Negotiation.
Leena Dallasheh is an Associate Professor of History at Humboldt State University. Her research focuses on modern Palestinian and Israeli history. She received her PhD in the joint History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies program at New York University. Her work focuses on the social and political history of Nazareth from 1940 to 1966, tracing how Palestinians who remained in Israel in 1948 negotiated their incorporation in the state, affirming their rights as citizens and their identity as Palestinian. Before coming to NYU, she received a law degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
"Our new Non-Resident Fellows — Diana Buttu, Leena Dallasheh and Yassin al-Haj Saleh — expand the range of regional expertise in DAWN's diverse group of fellows, with their unmatched knowledge about, and experience living in, Israel-Palestine and Syria."
- Frederick Deknatel, Executive Editor of Democracy in Exile
Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a Syrian writer and political dissident. He writes widely on political, social and cultural subjects relating to Syria and the Arab world for a variety of international Arabic-language publications. Born in Raqqa, he spent 16 years as a political prisoner in Syria, from 1980 to 1996, and was in exile in Turkey after 2013. He has written nine books in Arabic, and some of his work is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. He is a founding member of Al-Jumhuriya Collective and aljumhuriya.net, which publishes analysis about Syria and the world. In 2012, he was granted the Prince Claus Award as "a tribute to the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution," and in 2017 he was awarded the Tucholsky Prize from Swedish PEN. He currently lives in Berlin.
"In the wake of the launch our Israel-Palestine Program, Buttu and Dallasheh will add invaluable depth to DAWN's research and analysis, ensuring that we incorporate the experience of Palestinians living under apartheid," said Sarah Leah Whitson, DAWN's Executive Director. "And Saleh is a vital addition to our expertise on Syria, from the perspective of a Syrian political exile whose writings have provided an unmatched richness and understanding of the Syrian war."
DAWN, founded in 2018 by Jamal Khashoggi and board members Nihad Awad, Dr. Esam Omeish and Asim Ghafoor, was relaunched in September 2020 under the leadership of its new Executive Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. DAWN is a nonprofit organization that promotes democracy, the rule of law and human rights for all of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa and advocates for U.S. policies that align with these goals.