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.
My daughter was born, I just turned 23, everybody was shocked and mortified like “you are so young, so young, so young.”
I would take her to the school, go to my university, come back and it was a bit struggle the first 2 or 3 years but it was I think it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life
I remember having my daughter…and I went to one of my exams 3 weeks after she was born so, the baby was in me, and I was given one of these exams, and it was a tough long exam and the professor was asking me a question and I was replying. Suddenly the baby started crying and I said just give me one second do you mind if I go out for 5 minutes, feed her and come back…I think that was my highest grade. I just, there’s not a moment of relaxing for me. I felt I was on a mission. And there was a fire inside of me that told me, that put me on that path. I knew that I can make it. I don’t know how.
Cinematography: Ian McAlpin
Edited by: Bowie Alexander
Interviewed by: Laura Lehmann
Produced by: Laura Lehmann
Story by: Danielle Calodney