Tiffanie Wen interviews Mohammed Dajani Daoudi

From Guernica:

Dajani_press201208_500Mohammed Dajani Daoudi’s ancestors include custodians of King David’s tomb, two mayors of Jerusalem, and an assassinated peace activist. Dajani, a Palestinian professor of political science, non-violent activist, and founder of al-Wasatia, a moderate Islamic movement, is actively upholding this lineage.

Born in Jerusalem in 1946, Dajani experienced the ramifications of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war firsthand. As Israelis took over Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, his family fled to Egypt, only to return as refugees in 1949. After the 1967 war, during which Dajani was separated from his family, he joined the ranks of Fatah, which advocated for the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle, and trained as a guerilla.

In 1970, Dajani’s passport was revoked by Jordan during the so-called Black September civil war, and in 1975 he was deported from Lebanon to Syria. Disappointed by the corruption he observed within Fatah, he took the opportunity to “divorce” politics and “marry” academics. He then, on an Algerian passport he was granted, traveled to the United States to complete a series of advanced degrees, including a master’s in social science at Eastern Michigan University, a PhD in government from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, and a PhD in political economy from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1985, King Hussein of Jordan issued Dajani a pardon, allowing him to return to Amman, where he worked at the Applied Science University as chair of the political science and diplomacy department.

More here.