Rula Jebreal

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Rula Jebreal
Jebreal in October 2010.
Born (1973-04-24) April 24, 1973 (age 42)
Haifa, Israel
Ethnicity Palestinian[1]
Citizenship Israeli and Italian [2]
Alma mater University of Bologna
Occupation Journalist, commentator, author
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Arthur Altschul, Jr. (m. 2013)[citation needed]
Children Miral Rivalta[citation needed]
Relatives Rania Jebreal[citation needed]
Website Official Web site

Rula Jebreal (رولا جبريل; born April 24, 1973) is a Palestinian[3][4][5] foreign policy analyst, journalist, novelist and screenwriter with dual Israeli and Italian citizenship. She was a commentator for MSNBC.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Jebreal was born in Haifa, Israel, to Othman Jebreal and Zakia, and grew up in Jerusalem.[4] Her Nigerian-born father was an imam and groundskeeper at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[4] Her mother, who suffered from severe abuse in her childhood, committed suicide by walking into the sea[7] when Jebreal was 5.[8] She and her sister Rania were put into the Dar El-Tifel orphanage by their father,[7][8] in 1978, until 1991. She was raised in the orphanage, and regards its founder, Hind Husseini, as her teacher and mother, crediting her with saving her life.[9]

In 1993 she 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.[10]



Jebreal worked as a journalist in Italy for twelve years. In 2006 she worked with Michele Santoro as an interviewer on AnnoZero, a political television show in Italy.[11]

Books and films[edit]

Rula Jebreal and Julian Schnabel, 2010

Jebreal's wrote her first novel Miral in 2003. It was eventually made into a film that was directed by Julian Schnabel, from Jebreal's screenplay.[7][12][13]

Jebreal's second novel The Bride of Aswan was published in 2007. Her third book, Rejected, is a non-fiction study based on interviews with immigrants who have either made their way to successful careers in Italy or otherwise live on the margins of Italian society.[14]

Personal life[edit]

She has a teenage daughter whose father is an Italian artist.[13] She dated Julian Schnabel from 2007 to 2011.[15] In 2013, she married billionaire Arthur Altschul, Jr., son of Goldman Sachs banker Arthur Altschul[16] and member of the Lehman family.

She is fluent in four languages: Italian, English, Arabic and Hebrew.[17] She describes herself as a "secular Muslim".[18]



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Palestinian broadcaster in Italy, Rula Jebreal, enjoys increasing acclaim". Haaretz. December 11, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Peter M. Brant (2010). "Rula Jebreal". Interview Magazine. 
  5. ^ Wemple, Erik. "Rula Jebreal deplores MSNBC’s ‘Palestinian Journalist’ label". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Rula Jebreal". TalkingPointsMemo. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Julian Schnabel falls for Palestinian tale, then for its writer". McClatchy Newspapers. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  8. ^ a b Malle, Chloe (2011-03-23). "One Turbulent World Readied Her for Another". New York: The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  9. ^ Dodie Kazanjian, 'Rula’s View,'Vogue 24 October, 2010.
  10. ^ Delinda C. Hanley,'Diplomatic Doings_Lunch with Rula Jebreal,' WRMEA June-July 2013
  11. ^ 'Rula "senza testa", caccia al colpevole ma è un giallo di cattivo gusto,' La Repubblica 5 November 2006
  12. ^ Arifa Akbar (3 September 2010). "Schnabel's true romance inspires tale of love across cultural divide". The Independent (London). 
  13. ^ a b Kazanjian, Dodie (2010-10-26). "Rula's View". Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  14. ^ Roberto Conti, Divieto di Soggiorno: l’Italia vista con gli occhi dei suoi immigrati, Frontiere News,8 March 2011
  15. ^ "Schnabel’s new young love". The New York Post. April 17, 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  16. ^ New York Post: "Arthur Altschul, Jr. engaged to Rula Jebreal" May 2, 2013
  17. ^ 'Rula Jebreal' Huffington Post.
  18. ^ 'Maher vs. Muslim Journo on Berkeley Speech: "Whoever Told You You Only Had To Hear What Didn't Upset You?",' Real Clear Politics October 31, 2014

External links[edit]

Book review