About Us

Our Mission

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) is an independent non-profit organization that provides journalists with quick access to information about Palestine and the Palestinians, as well as expert sources, both in the United States and in the Middle East. Both through its website and its staff, the IMEU works with journalists to increase the public's understanding about the socio-economic, political, and cultural aspects of Palestine, Palestinians, and Palestinian Americans.

What We Do

The IMEU assists journalists who are working on stories about Palestine or the Palestinians by:

  • Providing access to the latest news stories, expert analysis, photographs and other visuals
  • Maintaining an updated panel of credible experts and analysts who can comment publicly on the news, life and culture of Palestinians and Palestinian Americans.
  • Putting journalists in contact with Palestinian women and men from all walks of life — including artists, poets, businesspeople, medical professionals, policymakers, and more — who are willing to be interviewed.
  • Compiling an extensive library of images, maps, studies, reports and polls relating to Palestine and the Palestinians
  • Providing a comprehensive set of answers to the most commonly asked questions about Palestine and the Palestinians
  • Supplying links to websites and other online materials that offer journalists a wide range of information on the Palestinian experience. The IMEU provides these links as a service to journalists but it does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions of the various sources. 

What We Believe

Only through increased understanding of the peoples of the Middle East — their history, their struggles, their rights and aspirations — can a just and lasting peace be achieved, which is in the interest of all Americans.

Sound public policy is achieved when citizens receive balanced and accurate information from the media. And if journalists have easy access to credible information and analysis about Palestinians, it can only result in a better informed American public.

Diverse opinions are necessary for the free and full exchange of ideas. The IMEU can best serve the media and the public by staying independent and providing access to a range of voices.

All human beings should be treated equally, regardless of gender, faith or national origin — whether they reside in the United States, Palestine, Israel or anywhere else in the world.

Violence is abhorrent — whether perpetrated by individuals or by states — and must be repudiated in all its forms.

Who We Are

The IMEU was founded in 2005 by a group of concerned Americans who want to foster an increased understanding among Americans about Palestine and the Palestinians. The IMEU is an independent organization and is not affiliated with any government or political party. It is funded through individual donations and foundations.

Board of Directors

Khaldoun Baghdadi
Baghdadi is a prominent attorney in the California firm Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger and has been recognized by the legal community through his inclusion in the "Best Lawyers in America." He served as Chairman of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and is an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Jaleh Bisharat – President
Bisharat is former chief marketing officer at Eventbrite in San Francisco. The recipient of several marketing awards, she previously served as the vice president of marketing at several major brands including Amazon.com, Jawbone, OpenTable and Elance-oDesk.

Sam Jadallah - Chairman
A Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Jadallah is a former senior executive at Microsoft. He serves as a trustee of Case Western Reserve University and is co-founder of the Listen for Life Center in Seattle.

Isam Salah
Salah is a senior finance partner in King & Spalding’s New York and Dubai offices and heads up the firm’s Middle East & Islamic Finance Practice Group. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topic of Islamic finance and investment and is a former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America. 

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha - Secretary & Treasurer
A media consultant and poet, Khalaf Tuffaha has written numerous articles on the Middle East and served as press spokeswoman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s (ADC) Seattle, WA chapter.

Abbas F. Zuaiter
Zuaiter is co-founder and managing member of Zuaiter Capital Holdings, LLC. He operated as an executive of Soros Fund Management, LLC. Zuaiter currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Adecoagro, SA, board member of Arab Bank plc, Capital Holdings Funds plc, and iMENA Group. 


Financial Information 

990 Forms



The IMEU prepares financial statements audited by an independent accounting firm. View available financial statements.