Anas “Andy” Shallal is an Iraqi American activist, artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and proprietor of Busboys and Poets, an activism center and café in Washington DC, which features prominent speakers and authors and provides a venue for social and political activism. Since its inception, Busboys and Poets has become the most blogged about restaurant and gathering place in Washington DC and has become an incubator for activism and social change. Andy Shallal is a member of the board of trustees for The Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank. He also sits on several arts and philanthropic boards, including The Washington Peace Center, The Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at GMU, DC Vote, Think Local First, Social Venture Network, The National Arab American Museum and Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
He has been a featured speaker at several conferences and panels that deal with Iraqi as well as Israeli-Palestinian issues. He is the founder of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives which was an ad hoc group formed prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The group was instrumental in speaking out about the detrimental impact of war on ordinary Iraqis and sought to find more peaceful alternatives to change Iraq’s regime. He has appeared on major television and radio shows including CNN, MSNBC, Fox, The News Hour, NPR, and Pacifica. He has been published in various major newspapers and journals, including the Washington Post, NY Times and Christian Science Monitor. Andy Shallal is also the co founder of The Peace Cafe which promotes Arab and Jewish dialogue and improved understanding. He earned his BA at The Catholic University of America and attended Howard University Medical School.