Quick Links

ICAN - International Community Action Network



The International Community Action Network (ICAN), formerly known as the McGill Middle East Program (MMEP), is committed to creating a world in which all people share the same rights. We believe that social justice is the most reliable foundation for strong, healthy, and tolerant communities. Since 1997, ICAN has established 11 community centres in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Palestine, Jordan and Israel.  These ICAN centres provides basic human rights such as legal aid, education, housing, and much, much more to over 120,000 people each year, implementing programs that engage, educate and empower the citizens most affected by conflict, economic hardship, and instability. 

More than 62 alumni have trained in community organizing as part of ICAN's International MSW Fellowship. These Fellows continue to work at these centres and across the Middle East to advance social justice.

This year's cohort from right to left: Shirly Karavani (Israel), Baheej Nassassra (Palestine), Amit Kitain (Israel), Adnan Almhamied (Syria), Amal Elsana (Executive Director), Tahany Okby (Israel), Ibtisam Khasawneh (Jordan), Irit Ben Porat (Israel), Anwar Alhjooj (Israel), Kifah Banioweda (Palestine), Dr. Jim Torczyner (Founder Director) 



Join us for a lecture on Nov 23 with world-renowned human rights advocate Rabbi Arik Ascherman

Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Co-Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, Recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize) speaks about  "Two Peoples, Three Religions, One Field: Jews and Arabs in defense of universal human rights" in this lecture and discussion organized by ICAN McGill and The Montreal Dialogue Group. Join us on November 23rd, 4 pm - 6 pm, Wilson Hall Rm. 105. RSVP with marisa [dot] samek [at] mcgill [dot] ca

The former co-director of Rabbis for Human Rights for over 10 years, Rabbi Ascherman has advocated against exclusionary governmental policies that led to the improvement of Israeli health care, halted plans to destroy Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, returned land taken over by settlers, and prevented a bill that sought to relocate the Negev Bedouin. In 2016, he founded the interfaith organization Haqel, Jews and Arabs in the Defense of Human Rights, where he currently serves as Director.



Welcome back ICAN Alumni Sami Al-Kilani ('98) and Tareq Hardan ('09)


Professor Sami Al-Kilani is a human rights activist and advocate of nonviolence, dialogue, and peace who teaches in the faculties of Sociology and Social Work at the An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine. Professor Al-Kilani served 5 years in Israeli prisons and 3 years under town arrest for political activities during which he was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

He currently supervises ICAN Fellows in Jordan and Palestine and is the former Director of the Community Service Center at An-Najah National University. Besides his work in civic education training, community development, and municipal strategic planning, Sami is an acclaimed writer and poet with over six published poetry works and children’s books. See his full CV PDF icon sami_al-kilani_cv_sept_2016.pdf



Tareq Hardan is currently pursuing his PhD at McGill's School of Social Work with a focus on higher education, community organizing, refugees, and social and economic policy. Tareq has been teaching in the Department of Social Work at Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem since 2009 and has spearheaded efforts to foster links between the university and the community. He founded the Kufr Aqab Community Advocacy Center in 2013, one of ICAN's Rights-Based Community Practice centres. This centre organizes the community around issues such as quality of education in poor neighborhoods, residency rights, welfare benefits and other social services. Tareq is also a community organizer in various Jerusalem-based community organizations. See his full CV PDF icon tareq_hardan_cv_-_apr_16_2016.pdf




Join us in the Middle East this summer - The ICAN Mideast Experience




Watch the music video created by ICAN's program Living Together,

a digital art program for Jewish and Muslim youth in Montreal