Adv. Abbass Abbass: Executive Director 


Adv. Abbass Abbass is the founder and director of AlManarah Association, established in 2005 to improve the lives and status of Arab persons with disabilities in Israel. Under his leadership, AlManarah provides hope and guidance, a sense of community, and a path for personal and social change.

Abbass was born in Nazareth in 1976, the youngest of five siblings. He attended the private Sisters of St. Joseph School and was the only student with disabilities in his class. With great faith in his abilities and a commitment to his success, his teachers and family fostered opportunities for Abbass to excel. Abbass went on to earn an undergraduate degree and a Master of Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a Masters in Business Administration and Non-Profit Management from the University of Haifa.

Abbass has led the AlManarah Association for 10 years, driven by a passion to support persons with disabilities and to effect change in society so as to make it more equitable and inclusive of all its members.To contact:

Honors and Achievements

  • 2016: AlManarah granted Special Consultant status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council
  • 2011: Selected as a Ford Motor Company International Fellow
  • 2010: Chosen to represent AlManarah at the Social Enterprise Alliance Summit in San Francisco, California, as a model of successful social entrepreneurship in the Middle East
  • 2009: Selected as Israel’s first Arab Ashoka Fellow

2008:  Chosen by the U.S. Department of State as the “Alumni Member of the Month” of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Muhammad Iktelat: Libary Project Coordinator

Muhammad volunteered at AlManarah for many years before beginning to work full-time. At first he specialized in graphic design, preparing the design for the biannual Manarat magazine as well as AlManarah’s other publications. He has taken a lead role in the AlManarah International Library project from alpha to omega, and also developed AlManarah’s website. Currently, he is studying for a degree in human resources at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. To contact:

Elizabeth Nassar: Media Department Coordinator

Elizabeth studied journalism and communication at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. Her career has been in the field of journalism, television, and radio, with an emphasis on news presentation. Elizabeth has been an active volunteer at AlManarah from its inception, and in 2014 she returned to AlManarah after a long absence. Yet all along, she stayed in touch with AlManarah and continued to volunteer, especially in the editing and production of AlManarah’s magazine Manarat. As the coordinator of AlManarah's Media Department, Elizabeth serves as the main reader for the AlManarah International Library and also hosts a weekly interview program for AlManarah Radio, “In the Company of AlManarah.” To contact:

Laren Sakhnini: Administrative Assistant and Community Liaison

Laren is a longtime volunteer with AlManarah, and this year joined the staff as a permanent member. She was initially introduced to the organization through her university, Keneret College, as part of a community-service program. However, Laren quickly realized that three hours each week wasn't enough, and began volunteering more of her time to AlManarah. With George Kandalaft, she coordinated a local musical group of disabled individuals, and has assisted with AlManarah's educational classes through Masira. She will graduate in May 2016 with a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences from Keneret College. To contact:

Jake Villarreal: International Development Coordinator

Jake joined AlManarah this year. He received his BA in International Studies with concentrations in Middle Eastern Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies from Trinity College in Connecticut, and is attending Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Missouri in August 2017. Jake recently completed a Davis Project for Peace in California, where he built a community garden with a local non-profit and produced a documentary about the growing food justice movement. He has worked for several American political campaigns in the past, including the Bernie Sanders campaign. He enjoys cooking, reading, and civic engagement. To contact:

Majdoleen Abu Daya: Program Coordinator 

Majdoleen joined AlManarah this year. She received her BA in Education Management and Arabic Language from Haifa University in 2016. She has volunteered at Naa Sind Alaaf and helps prepare students for their Psychometric Exams. She enjoys ballet, horseback riding and basketball. To contact: