Amal Elsana Alh'jooj, co-executive director of Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development and founding director of Arab Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation, was born in 1972, the fifth of thirteen children. At age 17, she established the first Arab Bedouin women's organization. Amal holds a BA from Ben-Gurion University and an MA from McGill University. Today, Amal is a key shaper of public opinion regarding the status of the Arab minority and the status of women in Israel and the recipient of numerous awards. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Commission for Economic Development of the Arab Sector; steering committee member of Shutafut-Sharaka; co-founder of the Hagar bilingual school and a member of Shatil's Multicultural Leadership Initiative in the Negev.