Kali J. Rubaii
Kali is a cofounder of ISLAH, along with Cam, Ross and Debra. She lives and works in California and the Middle East. She and her mom, Debra, first started paying reparations to Iraqi families in 2009.
She has spent time teaching, studying and living with displaced people in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Rwanda. As a Phd candidate in Social Anthropology with a BA in International Relations, Kali’s academic studies have focused on these questions: Where is violence located? What are the ethical obligations of witnesses to violence? Why and how does war end? And how do people live beautiful, ethical lives under conditions of utter destruction and violence? Her dissertation focuses on the impact of occupation and counterinsurgency on rural communities in Iraq and Palestine. She also works for Friends of Sabeel, North America, is a board member of Rebuilding Alliance, and a nanny to small children.
Ross teamed up with Cam, Kali, and Debra in 2013. His experience as a Marine who participated in the 2nd siege of Fallujah led him to become an anti-war activist and, later, the Founder and Director of the Justice for Fallujah Project. Ross’s activism thus far has focused on the idea that veterans not only have a moral obligation to help the people that they hurt in America’s wars and occupations, but also to renounce their privileged status in society. He has written several articles and chapters on the human consequences of the American mission in Fallujah, the US-led occupation of Iraq, and on US war culture at home. Ross is also a graduate student in linguistics.
Debra, mom of Kali, friend of Ross, Cam, and Jay, is recently retired from University of California Santa Cruz. She received her MS from Florida State University in Counseling and Human Systems. She credits students, illegal U.S. military occupations, Palestinians, Iraqis, Native Americans, and a military family for awakening her to the plight of oppressed populations.
She has engaged in extensive introspection, study and travel with her daughter Kali to better understand violence, power, oppression, forgiveness and beauty. She has lived and worked in partnership with displaced families in Tibet, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Rwanda. Debra was one of many passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, who attempted to break Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza.
The principles that lead the U.S. to violate human beings are destroying nature, thus ourselves. Debra is eager to develop multi-generational reparation, learning from those we’ve oppressed, how to shift death culture to life culture.
Cameron helped start ISLAH in the spring of 2013. He grew up in the US and is currently studying biophysics and high-resolution microscopy in Sydney, Australia. His interests include toxicology, pharmacology, and the collective motion of organisms. Cameron’s role in ISLAH has primarily focused on project planning; he contributes a scientific perspective to shaping the goals of the group.
Jay is a freelance journalist and photographer who’s lived and worked in Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo, and Erbil. He first encountered the idea of reparations while teaching English in Amman and living amongst Iraqi refugees. It was in this context that he realized that perpetrators of war and their victims are already intertwined in a complex relationship, but that reparations can be the beginning of the process of repairing that relationship. Jay also works for Friends of Sabeel, North America.
D. Inder Comar Esq.
Inder Comar is Legal Director at Comar Law in California. He completed his legal training at New York University School of Law. Prior to opening his own practice, Inder worked at Latham & Watkins LLP where he handled cases in antitrust, employment, and intellectual property law.
Inder also worked for The Alliance for Children’s Rights in Los Angeles, CA. Inder currently represents an Iraqi refugee who is seeking her civil damages against high ranking members of the Bush Administration related to their alleged planning and waging of the Iraq War in violation of principles laid down at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The case is currently in federal court in San Francisco. Inder accepted this case based on his deep interest in the Nuremberg Trials, and particularly the American position at the time that leaders who wage wars must be held accountable if they unlawfully breach international peace by executing preplanned wars or wars that violate international treaties, agreements or assurances.