Rula Jebreal is an Italian-Palestinian journalist, who has worked in Italy, Egypt and, now, the United States, where she is a frequent contributor for MSNBC.
Jebreal was born in Haifa, Israel; however, she was raised in East Jerusalem. After her mother committed suicide when she was 5, Rula and her sister were put in a Palestinian orphanage by her father. Jebreal eventually left the turmoil of East Jerusalem when she was awarded a scholarship by the Italian government to study at the University of Bologna. She went on to earn a masters in Journalism and Political Science.
Jebreal immediately began working for Italian newspapers. Her area of expertise is foreign affairs related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the uprising of Islamic movements, having lived at the center of it for so many years in East Jersualem.
In 2000, the combination of her strong personality and charisma led to her first job as an on-air reporter, and she quickly became a sensation in Italy as the first foreign anchorwoman broadcasting the 8pm news in the history of Italian television.
In 2004, Jebreal started her own daily talk show for Italian television, Ominibus, where she interviewed such prestigious global personalities as Silvio Berlusconi, Bill Gates, ex-prime minister Massimo D’Alema, president of the Italian Parliament Lamberto Dini, French minister of foreign affairs Bernard Kouchner, Palestinian President Abu Mazen, and Nobel Prize winner El Baradei.
By age 33, Jebreal earned the highest journalism award, the International Ischia Award for Best Journalist of the Year.
Having had a news show in Egypt and now having made the move to the U.S., Jebreal frequently contributes to MSNBC as a foreign policy expert.
Jebreal also authored the autobiographical novel Miral, which was made into a controversial and widely-publicized 2010 film starring Freida Pinto.
We all arrive at the certain age where we want to have fun, the love of your life, you have somebody to share your life with, a partner, and I think this is a delicate moment.
The real challenge for me was not on the professional side, it was to find that partner. Because if you are too successful, ambitious, if you are smart, well-spoken or opinionated then the reality of how this is perceived in a relationship and a couple is a harsh reality because most people are intimidated by that…you need to find somebody who is not intimidated by that, and actually embrace that part and consider it an advantage and consider it something beautiful. If we compromise on that you’ve already lost the game, you’ve lost the battle, and with that you lose yourself and your aspiration, your passion…you’re trading actually a career with love and love is not enough, it’s not enough. Love should be balanced by gratification coming from your work and your career, and if the partner does not understand that then he is not the right love.
Cinematography: Ian McAlpin
Edited by: Bowie Alexander
Interviewed by: Laura Lehmann
Produced by: Laura Lehmann
Story by: Danielle Calodney