My name is Rawnak Natour Svendsen. I am a Palestinian, an Arab woman, a citizen of Israel, residence of Denmark, a mother of three boys, and a wife of Kim Natour svendsen. I am an experienced civil society organization leader with excellent mobilizing capabilities and a distinguished track record in social and policies change from Europe, the Middle East and the US. I am skilled in community organizing, advocacy & public speaking, donor relations & fundraising, organizational development, management and coaching.
I was born and grew up in the village of Qalanswa, only 16 kilometers from Netanya in Israel. I remember that even as a child I began noticing the gaps: the lack of playing grounds, green parks, the lack of infrastructure and health services, public transport etc. compared to Netanya, which was clean, and modern, and had all the facilities. In retrospect, I know that these memories have had an impact on my professional choices and lead me to activism for social change.
As a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, back in mid-nineties, I began putting together the pieces of the larger picture, the context in which we live. The origins of the discrimination against the Palestinian minority in Israel which am member off, the military regime my parents lived under from 1948 to 1966, and the occupation my family members across the Green Line live under to this day. Beside a BA degree in community social work and an MA in early childhood education which I received from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem, I developed there as part of my activism within the Arabic Jewish joined party Aljabhah – Hadash, the fundament of my political and social engagement.
Back in 2002 I moved to Europe and was for 12 years an immigrant in Denmark, where I worked mainly on fighting discrimination, promoting inclusion and integration of minorities within the city of CPH and the Danish labor market.
In 2015 I came back to Haifa so as to take a leading role in the effort to promote equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to build a shared society with our fellow Jewish citizens. As co- director off Sikkuy, a joint organization, managed and run by Jews and Arabs, me and my colleagues worked together to change the realities I grew up within, and which have become a burden on my personal identity, our community, and a barrier to an equal healthy and shared society in Israel.
In 2019 I rejoined my family in Denmark and today I’m independent NLP coach & therapist, practicing both in Arabic, Hebrew and Danish, and a political activist for promoting equality and shared society in Israel while based in CPH.