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
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
Jaleh Bisharat is co-founder and CEO of NakedPoppy, an online clean beauty company. Previously, she acted as chief marketing officer/ vp marketing at Amazon, OpenTable, Eventbrite and Upwork.
The winner of several national marketing awards, she served on the Board of Directors at OpenTable and Homestead Technologies.
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.
Salah is a former senior finance partner in King & Spalding’s New York and Dubai offices, where he led 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
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.
Zahira Dahdul - Treasurer
Zahira’s over twenty-year career has spanned New York, London and Dubai, which included working for Lehman Brothers in the transaction management division, then subsequently at Nomura, where she was Head of Human Resources for the Middle East. She is an active supporter of educational and work opportunities for Palestinian women and children.
Emeritus Board Member
Abbas F. Zuaiter
Zuaiter is Co-Managing Member, CEO and CIO of Zuaiter Capital Holdings, LLC (“ZCH”), a private investment firm in Greenwich, CT. ZCH was formed as Mr. Zuaiter’s family’s principal investment arm after leaving Soros Fund Management, LLC (“SFM”). Zuaiter currently serves on the board of Arab Bank plc, Capital Holdings Funds plc, and Ossia, Inc. He also serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including ABANA, Covenant of Sacred Heart, and Taawon.
The IMEU prepares financial statements audited by an independent accounting firm. View available financial statements.