My name is Issa M. Elkhatib. I am a Palestinian Arab-American Criminal Defense Attorney with a solo practice in Cleveland, Ohio and President of the Beit Hanina Community Center (BHCC).
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in Lakewood until 8th grade and then my family moved to North Olmsted. I like to think my childhood was pretty great. I had great experiences and made lifelong friendships. I'm a First-Generation American. Both of my parents hail from Beit Hanina, Palestine, a suburb of Jerusalem.
I graduated from North Olmsted High School in 2004. Then went to Tri-C, then transferred to Tiffin University where I earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration. I then earned an MBA at Cleveland State University. Finally, I capped everything off with earning a Juris Doctorate Degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
In all the pursuits I've had in my life, I've always looked towards my family for guidance. I have always wanted to be an Attorney. However, the people that really pushed me through the adversity that comes along with that journey were my Parents, Siblings, my Wife and Children. Experiencing the love and hope they had for me, gave me the stamina needed to overcome my obstacles.
I am incredibly proud of being a Palestinian Arab-American. I feel this pride because as a Palestinian, our history is mired in oppression and adversity, yet we still stand strong. We thrive, we hold faith, we love and we never ever give up. These attributes of toughness and resilience permanently reverberate throughout my Palestinian heart.
The one lesson that has helped me in my life is one that I would convey to my Arab American Community. Regardless of the adversity and obstacles that you face, remember that God made us to withstand and break through the barriers that hinder us from accomplishing our ultimate goals.
And as Paolo Coelho said in The Alchemist: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”