Dajani, Director of Middle Eastern Programming, Link TV
is an award
winning producer and the Director of Middle Eastern Programming at
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Dajani completed his early studies at College des
Frčres, and later attended Columbia University in New York City where he
received a B.A. degree in Political Science. Since 2001, he has produced more
than one-thousand installments of Mosaic:
World News from the Middle East,
winner of the prestigious Peabody
Award. In 2005, Dajani completed
a documentary shedding light on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict & Who
Speaks for Islam?,
both aired on Link TV and
is a frequent guest on numerous national and international media broadcast
networks and a contributor to Pacific News Service, as well as, the co-host of
He served as President of the Arab Cultural & Community Center of San Francisco
in 2003 & 2004. In 2005, Dajani was appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to the San
"Occupied Minds" (see also Michaelis)
Occupied Minds is the story of two journalists, Jamal Dajani, a
Palestinian-American and David Michaelis, an Israeli citizen, who journey to
Jerusalem, their mutual birthplace, to explore new solutions and offer unique
insights into the divisive Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film takes viewers
on an emotional and intensely personal odyssey through the streets of one of the
world’s most volatile regions.
Dajani and Michaelis grew up in Jerusalem just a few miles apart from one
another—but in reality, worlds apart. Both have extensive and complex ties to
their homeland. Jamal traces his family history in Jerusalem back to the 7th
century, while David was born in Jerusalem to parents who had immigrated from
Germany in the 1920’s to escape growing anti-Semitism.
In their San Francisco offices, the two men are the only Palestinian Israeli
team working together in American media; at Link TV, the nation’s leading
network dedicated to presenting global news, issues and culture. Michaelis, as
Director of Current Affairs, brings the national Link TV audience investigative
and other insightful news features. Before co-founding Link TV, he was most
recently producer of “Popolitika,” the most popular news program on Israel TV.
Dajani, as Director of Middle Eastern Programming, produces the 2005 Peabody
Award-winning daily newscast—MOSAIC: World News from the Middle East. The
program features selections from daily TV news programs produced by national
broadcasters throughout the Middle East, including, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel,
Syria the Palestinian Authority, and Iran, among others. Dajani also produces
analytical features on the Middle East and Islam, as well as often appearing as
a commentator on those issues for networks.
After four years of collaboration and watching the escalation of hostilities
between Israelis and Palestinians with increasing alarm, they decided to combine
their personal experiences and expertise to examine substantial opportunities
for peace in the Middle East.
Far from the safe shores of San Francisco, Dajani and Michaelis explore the
possibilities of lasting peace in the Middle East by interviewing leading
activists, government officials and civilians on both sides of the conflict.
Among the myriad of voices they hear from are: a wanted Palestinian gunman, an
Israeli soldier who is breaking the silence about his service in the Occupied
Territories, an Israeli surgeon who lost his eyesight in a suicide bombing, an
Israeli mother who lost her son in the conflict, and a Palestinian activist who
lost her cousin.
One man, a leading gunman for the Palestinian Intifada who lost his mother,
brother and friends in the fighting, reflects upon the cumulative effect of
daily indignities and suffering: “A person is burned on the inside and his life
closes in on him… All he wants to do is explode.” When asked about the
possibility of Israelis and Palestinians coexisting peacefully, the blinded
Israeli doctor says: “We must differentiate between what is needed and what is
real. In reality, we’re not so good.”
As Dajani and Michaelis make their way through the many worlds that make up
contemporary Israel and Palestine, they struggle to find lasting solutions to
what others believe may be a never-ending conflict.