"If I consider myself a peace activist, then all my words and actions must be devoted to peace. For me this is Jihad, and if I die doing this I will be considered a martyr."
Born in Faradis, a village near Haifa, Ibtisam Mahameed was one of the first women to leave the village to seek an education. A devout Muslim, she works with many groups that promote interfaith dialogue and nonviolence, including the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Golden Road. Ibtisam is deeply committed to strengthening the role of women in society, and was the first woman to run for mayor of her hometown. She recently received the "Unsung Heroes of Compassion" award from the Dalai Lama in San Francisco, CA. The award honors 50 individuals from across the globe for their work, commitment and dedication to the service of others. For an interview with Ibtisam produced by the Global Oneness Project, click here.