You would expect the holder of the title “director of strategic communications and English-language spokesman” to talk about how to woo The New York Times or how to convince the BBC for positive write-ups about Palestine. But while Jamal Dajani — appointed Jan. 26 as new media guru for Palestine's prime minister — is deeply interested in how the Palestinian narrative is reflected internationally, his first priority is working with the local media. For him, the first task in representing a politician is to communicate with the local constituency.
Dajani, a 58-year-old Jerusalemite, is a graduate of Columbia University and has been living in San Francisco. He told Al-Monitor via Skype that he never applied for the job, but feels that it is part of his national duty to serve. After years in the United States and on the road, Dajani is now back in his birthplace. Read more...
Sunday Paper- January 13, 2008 Broadcasting A Global Sampler By PAUL WILNER SAN FRANCSICO
GESTURING forcefully in his cluttered office, Jamal Dajani looks and sounds more like an old-school Chicago newspaperman than his somewhat loftytitle might suggest: director of MiddleEastern programming at Link TV, thenonprofit, 24-hour channel that brings satellite news from around the world to American households.
Mr. Dajani, a 50-year-old Palestinian-American journalist, produces “Mosaic: World News From the Middle East,’’ a Peabody Award winning 30-minute daily report culledfrom the dispatches of more than 35 Mideast television broadcasts. In their not very ample spare time Mr. Dajani and his Israeli-born production partner, David Michaelis -- along with six editors who double as translators -- produce a weekly commentary program, “Mosaic Intelligence Report,’’ in which Mr. Dajani offers his views, based on reporting, about topics like the progress of the Israeli-Palestinian talks.
“We’re trying to give people here a window on what 300 million people in 22 countries are seeing on a daily basis,’’ said Mr. Dajani, who starts monitoring broadcasts at 4 every morning at home then comes into the office here to pull each day’s show together.
By Jackie Bennion PBS- Frontline World David Michaelis and Jamal Dajani talk about growing up in Jerusalem and the prospects for peace in their homeland.
What memories do you have of growing up in Jerusalem? And how deep are your connections to the city?
Jamal Dajani: My family lived in Jerusalem for centuries. In 1948, the state of Israel was founded, and for Palestinians, this time was called the Nakba, or the "catastrophe." Like many Palestinians, my father and his whole family were pushed out of their ancestral home. They moved to a small apartment in East Jerusalem because the city was divided into a Jewish and Arab city. And then in 1967, the Six-Day War happened, when the Israelis invaded Jerusalem and conquered it. My childhood memories are divided between what happened before 1967 and what happened after. Before the war, a wall separated Arab and Jewish Jerusalem, and I only knew what existed beyond that wall through the stories my father told me. I grew up knowing a united Jerusalem, but I also lived under an Israeli occupation, where we always longed to go back to our ancestral home. Today, the Israelis who tore down the wall in 1967 are building larger and uglier walls. Jerusalem's beautiful hills and suburbs are turning into ghettos.