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Huwaida Arraf

Renowned Activist-Lawyer, Palestinian Rights Defender.

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Date of Birth:



Detroit, Michigan, USA

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Arraf's leadership in founding the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), her involvement in legal and grassroots initiatives, and her instrumental role in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla have made her a key figure in advocating for Palestinian rights and challenging injustices.

Brief bio

Huwaida Arraf, born to Palestinian parents in Detroit, Michigan, has become a prominent figure in advocating for Palestinian rights through legal and non-violent means. A co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, she has utilized international law and solidarity to draw attention to the Palestinian struggle. Arraf's activism, combined with her legal expertise, has placed her at the forefront of significant movements and actions aimed at challenging and confronting Israeli policies and blockades impacting Palestinian lives.

Major Milestones


  • Co-Founding the International Solidarity Movement (ISM): Arraf helped establish the ISM in 2001, focusing on non-violent resistance and drawing international attention to the Palestinian cause.

  • Involvement in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla: She played a crucial role in the 2008 and 2010 attempts to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, notably during the lethal attack by Israeli forces on the flotilla in 2010 (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

  • Building Legal Education Programs: Arraf contributed to the development of the first accredited clinical legal education program in the Arab world at Al-Quds University (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

  • Participation in Palestinian Freedom Riders: In 2011, inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, Arraf was one of six activists who attempted to ride segregated Israeli settler public transport, leading to their violent arrest (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

  • Running for U.S. Congress: Arraf campaigned as a candidate for Michigan's 10th congressional district in the 2022 elections, marking her involvement in American politics.

  • Promoting Non-Violent Resistance: Through the ISM, Arraf has emphasized non-violent protest and international solidarity as means to support the Palestinian struggle.

  • Advocacy Against Israeli Blockades: Her leadership roles in the Free Gaza Movement and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla challenged the Israeli blockade on Gaza, seeking to bring international attention to the humanitarian crisis  (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

  • Legal Advocacy and Education: Arraf's work in legal education and representing clients in human rights cases has contributed to advancing the legal framework supporting Palestinian rights (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

  • Political Engagement: By running for Congress, Arraf has sought to bring her advocacy for human rights and Palestinian rights into the American political sphere, showcasing the importance of political engagement in activism (ADC - Truly Arab, Fully American.) .

  • Co-authoring Reports on Human Rights Violations: Arraf co-authored the report "Onslaught: Israel's Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law," which details findings from the first delegation of lawyers to enter Gaza following Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) (Othering & Belonging Institute) .

Date of Last Update: 
April 6, 2024

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