Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mohammed Dajani Daoudi

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1946
  • Age: 71
  • Curriculum vitae :


Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi is a Palestinian professor and peace activist. In 2014, he became the center of a controversy when he led a group of students from Al-Quds University to Auschwitz. Dajani was born in 1946 to one of Jerusalem's historic Arab families. The honorific "Daoudi" was added to the family name in 1529 when Suleiman the Magnificent designated an ancestor keeper of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion. His family fled to Egypt when Israel declared its independence in 1948, but returned to the Old City of Jerusalem the following year (then under Jordanian occupation).

Dajani's parents, who were well-educated secular Muslims, sent him to English-speaking Quaker-run schools. As an engineering student at the American University of Beirut, Dajani joined Fatah. Although he received military training, he was put to work in the English-language public relations department of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In 1975, Lebanon deported Dajani. Banned from both Israel and Jordan because of his Fatah activities, he decided to travel to the United States to continue his education. He eventually earned a Ph.D. in government from the University of South Carolina and another Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Texas at Austin. By this time, Dajani's father was successful in getting his son a pardon from King Hussein of Jordan. Dajani was hired by the Applied Science Private University in Amman, where he created and chaired the political science and diplomacy department. In 1993, his father won permission from Israel for Dajani to return to Jerusalem.


Dajani accompanied his father to chemotherapy treatments at an Israeli hospital, where the younger man was surprised at the way his father was being treated: "I was expecting that they would be treating him differently—with discrimination—as a Palestinian, as an Arab, as a Muslim. I found out that this was not the case. They were treating him like a patient." Several years later, a second experience with Israeli health care affected Dajani; his mother became ill near Ben Gurion Airport. "I did not believe that anybody would help her, being an Arab and coming to an airport where Israelis are very keen about security." Dajani was surprised when an ambulance was called and paramedics tried to revive his mother for more than an hour. "I became confused about my enemy, who did their best to help my father and my mother. I started to see the other side of my enemy, which is the human side."


During the late 1990s, Dajani trained Palestinian civil servants for the United Nations Development Programme and various Palestinian organizations. In 1999, he was invited to Turkey to lead a program for Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders, which he developed into a conflict-resolution model called "Big Dream, Small Hope".

Dajani was invited to join the faculty at Al-Quds University in 2001, and the following year he established its American Studies Institute. In 2007, with his brother, Munther Dajani Daoudi, he co-founded Wasatia ("Moderation"), an organization that promotes the Islamic traditions of nonviolence and compromise.



Achievements and Awards

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