Board of Trustees
Mr. Sabih Taher Al-Masri, Award Chairman

It pleases me tremendously that the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity is making creativity and excellence a main part of the culture in Palestine and therefore; creating basis for further achievements in this regard. The Palestinian people have together been somehow creative in all walks while maintaining the main characteristics, the community and its culture, and the future Palestinian state

I am very proud to meet the winners of this award in Palestine this year. I am confident that creativity is an unending source of energy in Palestine. We promise you that creativity, excellence and entrepreneurship will always get our support at home and in the Diaspora where Palestinians continue to take part in the development of nations
The Board of Trustees of the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity has decided to incorporate the Award into the programs of our Corporate Foundation at Paltel Group, thus ensuring its sustainability and future viability
I am honored to present the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity to every Palestinian working hard to make the dream come true and contributing to the development both at home and everywhere else in this world. The Award reflects the tremendous giving and creativity of Palestine. Its continuity is a sign of the unwavering Palestinian will. You have made creativity a way of life for the future generations. I hope the acknowledgment of your creativity and excellence through this Award will help us all edge with progress towards the establishment of our state, our dream
Mr. Sabih Masri is the founder and chairman of the Arab Supply and Trading Co. (ASTRA GROUP) since 1966, which is a corporation that works in multiple fields in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and United Arab Emirates. The activities of the group cover agriculture, commercial, contracting and construction, health, manufacturing, plastic, telecommunications, hotels and banking sectors
Mr. Masri is the Chairman for the following companies: Arab Bank, Astra Industrial Group, Zara Investment Holding Co., Sikon Construction Company, and Paltel Group, which he joined its Board of Directors in 1999. In addition, he is the Chairman of Al-Najah University’s Board of Trustees in Nablus – Palestine and a member in the Board of Directors of Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO) and Fahad Bin Sultan University
Mr. Masri graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, USA


Mr. Ammar Al Aker, Award Secretary General

It is an honor that we acknowledge today a unique and a remarkable case of Palestinian creativity. The Palestinian people have throughout time been creative resourceful as they held on to the will to go on despite the long decades of oppression and occupation. This has proved that Palestine is alive and viable regardless of all attempts to change or to disrupt this reality. We are a nation that is true to its determination to continue working for hope in order to fulfill its ambitions. We will always be a nation of contributors to creativity and progress in all areas

We at the Board of Trustees of the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity are aware of the significance of forging ahead with the Award in a sustained effort to promote creativity in Palestine. Therefore, the Award is today part and parcel of the development of our Corporate Foundation at the Paltel Group. This step ensures compliance with the best international practices and stands; plus transparency. We will institute as such new instruments for nominations and selection of candidates within the framework of specific high quality standards
As one of the programs of the Paltel Group Foundation, the Award will have the opportunity to advocate new aspects of creativity among the Palestinian people. This will provide further incentives for creativity and excellence and for achievers and entrepreneurs to be role models for future generations of Palestinians making creativity a value system of the culture of the Palestinian people
The vision of the Founder and President of the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity Mr. Sabih Al Masri has provided the opportunity to the Award to continue. His unyielding policy of building the capacities of the Palestinian people and the will of the Palestinian people to build and create have given the Award the ability to go on. Let us build together; let us work together; let us together build our State of Palestine
Mr. Ammar Aker is the Palestine Telecom Group CEO since 2010 and a member of Paltel Group’s Board of Directors since 2012
Notably, Paltel is the second largest employer in Palestine (after the Government). Prior to assuming his current position as Group CEO, he was the CEO of the Palestine Cellular Communications Co. Ltd., Jawwal - the first leading cellular operator in Palestine. Mr. Aker is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of VTEL Middle East and Africa (MEA)
He is a member of the Board of the Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO Holding), the largest investment holding company in the country, in addition to his representation on the Board of Directors of some of its subsidiaries. He is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees for An-Najah National University
Mr. Aker is an active Board member in a number of international, regional and local initiatives such as: Palestine for a New Beginning (PNB), The Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity, in addition to the Amideast Advisory Board in Palestine. He is also an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) - Palestine Branch and the Palestinian Businessmen Association (PBA)
Mr. Aker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MSc degree in Accounting from Kent State University, Ohio.


Dr. Mamdouh Aker, Commissioner General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights

The Palestine Award for Excellence and Creativity is a creative achievement by itself, aiming to care for and encourage distinguished and innovative Palestinians. It is a provocation for innovation and excellence within the difficult conditions that we live through, as a result of occupation

Dr. Mamdouh Aker is the Commissioner General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights. He specializes in urology and kidney surgery and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Dr. Aker has his fingerprints on many aspects of the medical and community work fields.Together with a group of distinguished Palestinian physicians, he established the firstmedicalschoolinPalestineinAl-Quds University. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of “Al-Ta’awon for Development” in Palestine, as well as “Muwaten for Studies of Democracy”. Dr. Aker participated in the Palestinian Delegation in the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, as well as in the bilateral negotiations in Washington until before the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993

Dr. Mutawakel Taha, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the state of Libya

Palestine – Land of Culture and Purple flower, which has been beheaded during the time of peace of the funerals—it will not be able to become a minaret again, nor to find itself again without setting for its children the rules that would provide them with the necessary support and assistance. The first of these set of rules is the rule of awarding and recognizing dedication and research—which is very much absent. The Palestine Award for Excellence and Creativity fills a gap in the last wall of culture—the wall that stands in the face of the occupation and occupation policies.

Dr. Mutawakel Taha is the Chairperson of the Palestinian Writers Guild and the Deputy Minister of Information. He is a prominent Palestinian writer and poet. He authored many publications in poetry, critiques, thought, culture, politics and media, which were published both in Palestine as well as internationally. Most of his publications were published by the Arab Institution of Beirut in 3 volumes back in 2004. Some of his publications were also translated into 6 different languages. He also participated in many conferences, lectures, and cultural festivals around the world.

Dr. Taha has served in several prominent positions, including as the Chairperson of the Palestinian Writers Association (1987-1995); Chairperson of the Higher Education Council (1992-1994); Director of Bayt Al-Shi’r and the Palestinian Institution for National Guidance (1998-2006); Secretary General of the General Union of Palestinian Authors and novelist; President of “Poets without Borders”; member of the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); member of the Executive Office of the General Union of Arab Writers – Officer for Public Liberties in the Arab World; he is also a member of several boards of trustees and assemblies of many cultural and media centers and institutions. He currently serves as the Honorary President of the Palestinian Culture Forum, as well as Office Member in the “Permanent Committee of Arab Media.

Dr. Abed Al Rahman Tamimi, General Director for the Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environmental Resources Development

The award is a meaningful representation of human values and good examples. It comes within the framework of developing the culture of innovation, progress and excellence within our Palestinian society, as well as provoking our society to exert all efforts towards attaining an ideal society; a society that serves as a model for all other nations.

Dr. Abdel Al Rahman Tamimi is the Director General of the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), which aims to develop water and environment resources. He obtained the full professorship status in planning and developing water resources from Washington University. He also obtained a Masters degree in geological engineering from Dukuz Eylul University in Turkey, and a Master degree in international relations from Birzeit University.

Dr. Tamimi dedicated his life to researching the status of water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and has authored a number of research papers and documents on this topic. During the last few years, his activities were focused on the management of water resources and planning, both on the local and regional level. He also participated in the negotiation strategy of the multilateral negotiations, in addition to participating in all rounds of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Dr. Tamimi was elected as a coordinator for the Palestinian non-governmental organizations. He is also a member of the Palestinian Water Council, as well as of the National Reform Committee. He currently lectures at Al-Quds University, and is among the Palestinian counterparts to the European Commission and the World Bank. He is a member in several organizations and committees working in the fields of social and agricultural development, among others.

Dr. Samir Hazboun, Chairman of the Board for Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bethlehem

The award is a very important initiative. It bears a message of hope and life for the Palestinian individual who is worthy of much appreciation, towards emphasizing his or her role and innovative initiatives. I really appreciate the role of those who brought this work into light and life, so that Palestine and the world emerging generations could benefit from it. I also hope that this award will become a major Palestinian milestone.

Dr. Samir Hazboun is the Chairperson of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry. From 2002-2006, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Monetary Fund. He also served as the President of the Palestinian – Czech Forum between the years 1998 – 1999, and as the Executive Director of Data for Research and Studies in 1993.

Dr. Hazboun also assumed a number of important academic roles, including serving as an Associate Professor at the Institute of Administration and Economy of the Masters program at Al-Quds University; Dean of the School of Trade and Economy at Birzeit University between the years 1989-1993; and Director of the Department of Economy in Birzeit University between 1986-1989. He holds a Ph. D. degree in production economy since 1983.

Dr. Hazboun has authored more than 25 scientific studies both on the local and international levels, including: The Social and Economic Reality of Beit Jibrin Camp – Bethlehem Governorate (1992); Industrialization in the Occupied Territories – A Joint Study with Dr. Elias Toma (University of Davis – California); Industry in the Palestinian Territories – 1967 – 1990 (Thought Forum, 1991); Opportunities for Separating the Palestinian Economy from Israel (European Union 1993); Palestinian Craft Industries (1992); The Economic Future of Jerusalem – A Joint Study with an Expert from the Netherlands (1999); Opportunities for Joint Economic Cooperation in the Field of Infrastructure (X Group 2007).

Mrs. Maha Abushusheh, Business Woman

The idea of the Palestine Award for Excellence and Creativity is a creative and innovative idea by itself aimed at awarding and encouraging distinguished and innovative individuals and organizations to further excel, produce and innovate in all fields. The award represents hope for each and every productive and innovative person who never received appreciation and acknowledgment for his or her work.

Maha Abu Shusheh was born in 1962 in Ramallah and attended Bir Zeit University for her BA in Economics. She began her professional career as a co-manager of Abu-Shusheh Contracting Co., a road construction contractors and became the manager in 1988. She developed the family business by establishing the sole agency of Peugeot Automobiles in Palestine. Currently, she is involved in many business and cultural organizations.

She is the president of the board of directors of Riwaq (the Palestinian Association for the preservation of architectural heritage), the Chairwoman of the Palestinian Shippers Council (association representing the Palestinian importers and exporters). She is also a member of PalTrade, Palestinian Businessmen Association, Khalil Al-Sakakini Cultural Center, a board member of Palestinian Business Women Forum and a member of the board of trustees at Jerusalem University and the Palestinian National Conservatory of Music, Board member of Palestinian Medical Relief Association and other associations.

Ms. Abu Shusheh was named as one of Forbes Arabia’s top 50 influential Arab business women for year 2006 and also 2007 – the only Palestinian woman to make the list, and also one of Forbes Arabia`s top 100 influential Arabs. She is married with 4 children .

Mr. Ala’ Alaeddin, Chairman Of Board , Inter Tech Company


Rewarding those who are distinguished and innovative through this award is a reward for science, culture, and high human values. The candidates deserve the reward, because they have contributed much of their effort and have shared with us what they learned through their experiments. They represent the excellent model, from which emerging and future generations should learn from. It is good to find someone who cares and appreciates such achievements and innovation within the difficult conditions that Palestinians live through.

Mr. Alaeddin is the chairman of PITA (The Palestinian Information and Technology Association) which consists of more than 80 IT companies operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He has also served as a PITA board member for the past 4 years.

Mr. Alaeddin is also the General Director of InterTech, a company that was established back in 1999 and specializes in providing Web Services and applications. He graduated from the United States in 1996 with a Master degree in computer science and in 1994 with a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering. He also serves as a board member in various association such as PNINA (The Palestinian National Independent Naming Authority), PIPA (Palestinian Investment Authority), Palestinian Coordination Council for the Private Sector, and Ijma (Union of Arab IT Associations).

- Mr. Kamel Husseini, Founder and Managing Director, The Communications and Public Relations Company (Ellam Tam)

The Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity is the most important platform for Palestinian creativity and excellence, and a living proof that Palestine have always been rich in creativity and still stands in spite of all challenges. This award became a catalyst in introducing the world to Palestinian innovators all the while urging them towards continued innovation

Mr. Kamel Al Husseini is the founder and managing partner of TAM Media and Public Relations; established in 2000 to become the first Palestinian company specializing in public relations and communication. Al-Husseini held several positions in Palestine and abroad in areas of fund raising, project development, international relations and public affairs in addition to investment promotion projects

During 2007-2010 he held the executive vice president office for corporate, investor and international affairs at the Paltel Group, in 1997 he worked at Arthur Andersen’s as an economic and financial advisor until year 2000 when he was appointed as the commercial advisor for the Bethlehem 2000 project

Al Husseini also chaired the international affairs and private sector affairs at the Orient House in Jerusalem beginning of 1991 through 1998. He also facilitated the first mission of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) To Palestine. Mr. Husseini is a member of the American Association of Public Relations; holds a Master degree in International Business since 1990