Jebreal in October 2010.
April 24, 1973 |
|Alma mater||University of Bologna|
|Occupation||Journalist, commentator, author|
|Spouse(s)||Arthur Altschul, Jr. (m. 2013)|
Early life and education
Jebreal was born in Haifa, Israel, and grew up in East Jerusalem. Jebreal's father was an imam and groundskeeper at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Her mother killed herself when she was 5. She and her sister Rania were put into the Dar El-Tifel orphanage by their father, in 1978, until 1991. She was educated in the orphanage, and then received a scholarship from the Italian government to study medicine at the University of Bologna, where she graduated with a degree in physiotherapy. She worked as a physiotherapist while she went back to the University of Bologna and earned her masters in Journalism and Political Science.
Jebreal became the first foreign anchorwoman in the history of Italian television, winning a Media Watch award for her coverage of the Iraq War, and by age 33 earned the highest journalism award, the International Ischia Award for Best Journalist of the Year. Jebreal worked as a journalist in Italy for twelve years, earning a reputation for being one of the toughest interviewers for her interviews with such figures as Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, Silvio Berlusconi, Bill Gates, President Abu Mazen, Bernard Kouchner, Mohammed ElBaradei, and Ingrid Betancourt. In 2006 she became the co-presenter of AnnoZero, an important and controversial political television show in Italy, together with Michele Santoro. In 2008 Jebreal created her own television show in Cairo at Al-Qahira Wal-Nas, (Cairo Centric) television station, where she filmed 30 episodes covering politics, economy, and the collapse of society in Egypt under the Mubarrak regime.
- MSNBC controversy
In a July 21 interview on MSNBC, Jebreal accused the network of being "disgustingly biased" in favor of Israel in its coverage of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, specifically highlighting the lopsided amount of airtime given to Israeli spokespeople and the pulling of Ayman Mohyeldin, an NBC correspondent, from Gaza for his coverage being "too pro-Palestinian." Hours after the interview aired, she stated on Twitter that upcoming television appearances of hers on the network had been canceled in response to her comments. In an interview with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes the following night, during which Jebreal reprised her claims, Hayes stated that her lost bookings were not a "grand conspiracy," but rather "a fairly predictable case of cause and effect" due to having attacked the network. However, an onscreen graphic during the interview labeled Jebreal a "Palestinian Journalist" instead of the previously-used "MSNBC contributor," a change which she later suggested undermined her objectivity as a journalist. The network released a statement explaining that the original "contributor" title was a mistake, as Jebreal had voluntarily ended her contract months earlier, and that her bookings had been canceled in order to re-air an interview with a Palestian-American youth who had been beaten by Israeli forces. Jebreal responded that, although her contract had ended, the "contributor" tag had still been used until the Hayes interview, while Talking Points Memo disputed the later claim, stating a search of MSNBC's programming showed only a single 37-second segment replay of the youth's interview. On her future with MSNBC, Jebreal said, “I’m done there. It’s not happening any more. My contract is over. I’m fine with it. I’m not complaining.”
Bill Maher controversy
On October 31, 2014 Jebreal got into a debate with Bill Maher over his criticism of Islam. In particular, she stated “When you talk about Islam in a certain way, I have to tell you, it’s offensive sometimes, and some people feel threatened." While on Bill Maher's show she likened him to an antisemite, and insisted that he was a bigot,  to which he retorted "As I just said, even Reza Aslan says I'm not a bigot so I rather resent the idea that I'm comparable to an anti-Semite. All I've ever done was basically read facts." She later added “The Muslim community feel threatened and feel offended and they are underrepresented in the media and underrepresented in political avenues. You never invite them here [on your show] on these issues.” “‘Never invite them here’? You’re here… They’re here all the time,” Maher responded.
Maher then asked her, “Can you be gay in Gaza? And live?” to which Jebreal responded, “Yes you can. Absolutely you can… You can be gay in Gaza. I traveled the Middle East.” Maher replied, “Is there a gay bar in Gaza?” Jebreal did not answer.
When Jebreal then challenged Maher to a “serious conversation” about Islam, the host took offense: “Every time I say something you don’t like it’s not a serious conversation or I’m a bigot. I’m sorry,” he said. “In your world, either I say exactly what you want me to say or else I’m a bigot. And that just doesn’t work for me.” 
In a later segment, Eva Longoria was promoting her documentary Food Chains about the plight of immigrant workers, Jebreal interrupted Longoria asking if the American farmers abusing the immigrant workers were Muslim. Longoria, confused, stated that she thought that they were not, but admitted that she didn't know.
In a subsequent interview, Jebreal attacked Maher, insisting that criticism of Islam was "un-American." 
Books and films
Jebreal's first novel Miral, written in 2003, was translated into 15 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide, and was eventually made into a film that was directed by Julian Schnabel, from Jebreal's screenplay. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2010, and won the UNICEF Protection of Children award. Miral held its U.S. premiere at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on March 14, 2011. Miral was the first film ever to have a premiere at the General Assembly Hall.
Jebreal's 2nd novel The Bride of Aswan was published in 2007, and was translated into five languages, winning the International Fince Europa Award. Her third book, Rejected, is a non-fiction study about the history of immigration in Europe. It was published in Italy and France, and is used in universities in Italy.
As a filmmaker, Jebreal wrote and produced a documentary titled Permesso di Soggiorno about the death penalty in China, the United States, and Iran during the United Nations debate over the death penalty moratorium in 2008. The critically acclaimed documentary aired on Italian television in 2008.
She has a teenage daughter whose father is an Italian artist. She dated Julian Schnabel from 2007 to 2011. In 2013, she married Arthur Altschul, Jr., son of Goldman Sachs banker Arthur Altschul.
- La strada dei fiori di Miral, BUR Biblioteca Univ. Rizzoli, 2005, ISBN 978-88-17-00850-1
- La sposa di Assuan, (Bride of Aswan) Rizzoli, 2005, ISBN 978-88-17-00867-9
- Divieto di soggiorno: l'Italia vista con gli occhi dei suoi immigrati, (Rejected) Milan, Italy: Rizzoli, 2007, ISBN 978-88-17-01270-6
- Wemple, Erik. "Rula Jebreal deplores MSNBC’s ‘Palestinian Journalist’ label". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "Rula Jebreal". TalkingPointsMemo. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Peter M. Brant (2010). "Rula Jebreal". Interview Magazine.
- "Julian Schnabel falls for Palestinian tale, then for its writer". McClatchy Newspapers. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Malle, Chloe (2011-03-23). "One Turbulent World Readied Her for Another". New York: The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "Palestinian Journalist and Author Rula Jebreal | Arab Girls, Arabic Girls Blog". Earabgirls.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Willies, Egberto. "Palestinian commentator Rula Jebreal explodes on MSNBC". Daily Kos. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- Salon Nov. 1, 2014
- Algemeiner - Palestinian Activist Rula Jebreal Compares Bill Maher to Anti-Semite; Maher Responds: ‘Is There a Gay Bar in Gaza?’
- http://www.salon.com/2014/11/03/exclusive_rula_jebreal_sounds_off_on_islam_debate_with_bill_maher_what_he_is_doing_is_un_american/ - Rula Jebreal sounds off on Bill Maher Islam spat: “What he is doing is un-American”
- Arifa Akbar (3 September 2010). "Schnabel's true romance inspires tale of love across cultural divide". The Independent (London).
- Kazanjian, Dodie (2010-10-26). "Rula's View". Vogue.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Rula Jebreal Pictures – Miral – Premiere: 67th Venice Film Festival". Zimbio. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Sacks, Rebecca. "For Rula Jebreal and Julian Schnabel, Miral Is a Labor of Love | Little Gold Men". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "Schnabel’s new young love". The New York Post. April 17, 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- New York Post: "Arthur Altschul, Jr. engaged to Rula Jebreal" May 2, 2013
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (January 2013)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rula Jebreal.|
- Official website
- Rula Jebreal at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Rula Jebreal in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- "Rula Jebreal (Miral) Interview", Tribute, Ola Sturik, Toronto International Film Festival, September 14, 2010
- "Rula Jebreal on Her Novel, Miral", WNYC, December 13, 2010
- "Interview: Rula Jebreal on the struggle to make "Miral" a film", Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, 22 March 2011
- "Rula Jebreal", collected articles at Radyoheval (Italian)
- "Palestinian broadcaster in Italy, Rula Jebreal, enjoys increasing acclaim". Haaretz. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- "Rula’s View", Vogue, Dodie Kazanjian, October 31, 2010
- "Extra | Rula Jebreal, Miral", AnOther, December 6, 2010
- Lydia Martin (January 13, 2011). "Julian Schnabel falls for Palestinian tale, then for its writer". McClatchy Newspapers.
- Book review
- "Book Review: Rula Jebreal’s Miral", Muslimah Media Watch, January 20, 2011