2008 Banquet Speakers
M. Cherif Bassiouni is a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law and President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute. He is also President of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences in Siracusa, Italy, as well as the Honorary President of the International Association of Penal Law (President 1989-2004), based in Paris, France.
He has served the United Nations in a number of capacities, including as: Member and then Chairman of the Security Council's Commission to Investigate War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia (1992-94); Commission on Human Rights' Independent Expert on The Rights to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1998-2000); Vice-Chairman of the General Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995); and Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the 1998 Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. In 2004, he was appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan.
In 1999, Professor Bassiouni was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the field of international criminal justice and for his contribution to the creation of the International Criminal Court. . He has received the following medals: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Commander), Federal Republic of Germany (2003); Legion d’Honneur (Officier), Republic of France (2003); Order of Lincoln of Illinois, United States of America (2001); Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Republic of Austria (1990); Order of Sciences (First Class), Arab Republic of Egypt (1984); Order of Merit (Grand’Ufficiale), Republic of Italy (1977), and Order of Military Valor (First Class), Arab Republic of Egypt (1956).. He has also received numerous academic and civic awards, including the Special Award of the Council of Europe (1990); the Defender of Democracy Award, Parliamentarians for Global Action (1998) The Adlai Stevenson Award of the United Nations Association (1993); and the Saint Vincent DePaul Humanitarian Award (2000).
Professor Bassiouni is the author of 27 and editor of 44 books, and the author of 217 articles on a wide range of legal issues, including international criminal law, comparative criminal law, and international human rights law. His publications have appeared in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Georgian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Spanish. Some of these publications have been cited by the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the United States Supreme Court, as well as by several United States Appellate and Federal District Courts, and also by several State Supreme Courts.
Ali Abunimah is author of "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse" (Metropolitan Books, 2006) and has contributed to several other volumes. Abunimah co-founded The Electronic Intifada, an online publication about Palestine and the Palestine-Israeli conflict. Recognized for the high quality of its reporting, analysis and web design, The Electronic Intifada has become a unique resource for journalists, diplomats, activists, educators and a general audience who feel ill-served by conventional media who produce a lot of noise about Palestine-Israel, but very little light. Currently, over 60,000 individuals all over the world, but mostly in the United States, read the site each month.
Abunimah's articles have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Jordan Times among other publications. He is frequent guest on local, national and international radio and television.
Mr. Abunimah was born in the United States and grew up in Europe. Both of his parents were born in Palestine, his mother in a village near Jerusalem in an area that is now in Israel, and his father in a village in the Occupied West Bank, near Bethlehem. He received his BA from Princeton University and MA from the University of Chicago.
Madhu Krishnamurthy is a general assignment reporter for the Daily Herald based in Arlington Heights, the number one source of local news in the Northwest suburbs. She covers human interest and political stories for several Lake County communities, as well as health and diversity issues for the Herald's Lake County bureau. She joined the Daily Herald in 2000 as a staff writer and chairs the newspaper's editorial diversity committee and is a member of Paddock Publication's companywide diversity committee whose goals are to broaden employees understanding of the various cultures represented within and reflect the diversity of the communities it serves through its news products.
The Daily Herald is the dominant newspaper in Chicago's suburbs and the third largest daily in Illinois with a circulation of 150,000. The paper has won numerous public service awards for its focus on "the new suburban mosaic," journalism aimed at helping suburbanites understand the immigrants in their midst. The newspaper and dailyherald.com are part of the Paddock Publications media company.
Prior to joining the Daily Herald, Madhu worked at The Edmond Sun, a small daily newspaper covering Edmond, Okla., the town where she attended college. For The Edmond Sun, Madhu worked as a writer, copy editor and paginator, designing and laying out the front and inside sections of the paper every day. She interned at the Daily Oklahoman and The Edmond Sun before joining its team. Madhu grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where her interest in journalism first sparked after watching 24/7 CNN coverage of the Persian Gulf War. Madhu has been a journalist in the United States for nine years.
Madhu has done extensive work covering important issues in the Muslim, Arab, Latino and Hindu communities in the suburbs. She received her bachelor of arts in newspaper journalism in 1998 from the University of Central Oklahoma. Madhu is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and the South Asian Journalists Association. She speaks four languages including, Hindi, Urdu and Tamil, is currently learning Spanish and Chinese, and has plans to learn Arabic in the future.
She is a first generation immigrant, single and lives in Chicago.
Anam Eljabali, the eldest of nine and mother of five, was born in Ramallah, Palestine. She moved to the United States in 1971. She married Mohammad Ali Eljabali in 1981, and they have raised five children.
Anam's passion for the community can be seen in her countless volunteer efforts. In 2007 she was a leading fundraiser for the 2007 Chicagoland Muslim Community Turkey Drive. She registers the uninsured and helps with health screening through the Compassionate Care Network. She also volunteers with the American Islamic Association in Frankfort, IL, The Zakat Foundation of America, and the Baitulmaal Charity.
As a board member of Muslims for a Safe America, Anam works to encourage honest and informed discussions on how to make America safer for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. She also serves on the board of Muslims Saving Islamic Landmarks where she works to prevent the destruction of Islamic Landmarks all over the world. She previously served on the executive committee board of United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA), which ran voter registration drives, organized candidate forums, and strengthened the Muslim American community by encouraging participation in the democratic process. In 2001, UMAA made history in Springfield with passage of Senate Bill 750, Halal Food Act. In November 2007, Anam lobbied JCAR, Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, of The Illinois State legistature, to enact it into law before it expired.
Anam has been involved in the PTAs at her children’s schools, volunteered as a chaperone for her children’s field trips, helped at school annual picnics, served as a teacher's assistant in science and reading programs, and assisted in the administration office at her children's high school. She remains tirelessly committed to the service of her local community.
Michael Deutsch, has been a lawyer since 1969, representing political activists and victims of police and government civil rights violations. He has tried dozens of civil and criminal cases in federal and state courts, and has written and argued numerous appeals including several in the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Deutsch was chosen as the public interest lawyer of the year in 2003 and as a finalist for this award in 2001. Mr. Deutsch was one of the lawyers for the Attica prisoners and helped to obtain a 12 million dollar settlement for their class-action civil rights suit resulting from the New York State officials’ violations of their civil rights.
He has also represented activists in the Black and Puerto Rican liberation movements, anti-war protesters, wrongly convicted death row prisoners and other victims of political repression. Mr. Deutsch was also a legal director of the New York based Center for Constitutional Rights.
Most recently, he represented Muhammad Salah against charges of providing material support to Hamas, after Israeli agents elicited a confession from Salah through torture. Mr. Deutsch’s tireless advocacy and representation on behalf of Muhammad Salah led to an acquittal on all major charges.