Marwan Kheireddine is a Palestinian-American expert on the lives of children in conflict areas. He is the author of War Child: Ten Years of Life with Rebels, Porous Borders, and Forbidden Frontiers.
Marwan was inspired by his brother to leave behind a life of privilege and start a new one fighting for peace at an early age.
At 15, he crossed into war-torn Lebanon to be with his family during the civil war. Armed only with a map but determined to reach Palestine, he traversed daily and walked 48 miles through Israeli territory before reaching his destination.
Marwan then returned to the United States and was recruited by the New York-based Foundation for Children of Conflict. He spent four years working with Afghan refugee children.
In this photo, Marwan is pictured with a couple of children at a school in Kabul.
In 2002, Marwan worked with Palestinian-American youth in New York City after he arrived in America. He discovered that many of his peers had been raised on the road and were homeless, drug addicts, or involved in petty crimes. Their only means of survival were through violence and crime. Some were victims of war crimes that they committed as young adults.
They had no place to go and no one to turn to. Marwan’s determination finally led him to create the Interfaith Peace-Builders, a program for young adults that offers them a chance for a new life. He trains them using different aid forms, including emotional, physical, educational, and spiritual support.
Marwan also founded the Ramallah International Children’s Center (RICC). This is an arts-based center that uses art as a tool for communication and conflict resolution. Marwan has received awards from the Mayor of New York City and Congress recognizing his achievements in working with children of conflict.
The book was confirmed as a finalist for the 2013 International Book Award. It was named one of the “Best Books of 2013” by 10Best, Mideast Monitor, Ex-Muslim & Secularist, and several other distinguished lists.