Ray Hanania -- Additional Bio Info "Defining the moderate Palestinian Arab voice,
offering reason to the American, Israeli and Arab publics"
Profiles: Community Media Workshop | The Chicago Reader | Renee Sweis | Biographical Profile
2009 Sigma Delta Chi National Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for column writing
2009 M.T. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award
NATIONAL WINNER Best Ethnic Columnist (2006/07) by New America Media
Four (4) time winner, Society of Professional Journalists Peter Lisagor Award for Column Writing (85, 02, 06, 10)
Two-time winner, Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick-O-Type Award
Author, internationally acclaimed standup comedian, satirist, filmmaker, radio talk show host BOOK RAY HANANIA AS A SPEAKER
PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM/WRITING RESUME
NAMED "Best of the Best" Presenters/Speakers by LACONI
(Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois, 2007)
Ray Hanania is a MEDIA ANALYST AND SYNDICATED COLUMNIST, WRITER, AUTHOR, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST and INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED STANDUP COMEDIAN who addresses American politics and provides Middle East analysis that defines "the moderate Arab and Palestinian voice."
His media consulting company, Urban Strategies Group, provides Public Relations, Public Affairs and Crisis Management for dozens of private, public and government clients in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Washington D.C.
For many years, Hanania wrote a weekly column for the Jerusalem Post Newspaper (2009-2012), a column for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia, and as a blogger with PalestineNote.com. He hosted"Radio Chicagoland" on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 radio, broadcast every Sunday morning from 8 until 10 am. He hosts "Radio Baladi" on Friday mornings from (7-8 am Central) 8-9 am Eastern in Dearborn, Michigan.
Hanania has contributed opinion and analysis columns for many Middle East publications including for the Arab News newspaper in Saudi Arabia and al-Quds al-Arabi and Arabisto.com. He has written in the past for MidEastYouth.com blog, the New York Daily News, Newsday (NY), the Orlando Sentinel (FL), the Arab American News (Detroit), YnetNews (Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel), Sharq al-Awsat (Palestine), The Gulf News, al-Ayyam, al-Hayat (Palestine), al-Quds alAraby (Palestine), The Future News (Chicago), the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and more.
He also writes for the LAWNDALE NEWS newspaper. He was the political columnist at the Daily Southtown for seven years (1977-1985) and at the Southwest News-Herald (2002 - 2011).
Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" for 2006/2007 by the New America Media Association and was awarded the 2006-07 Society of Professional Journalists Peter Lisagor Award for Column Writing (his 3rd). He received the 2009 Dr. M.T. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award presented by the Mehdi Family. He is the 2009 winner of the Sigma Delta Chi National Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for column writing.
A veteran journalist with more than 30 years experience covering Chicago politics and Middle East issues, Hanania has also taken sabaticals from journalism to explore and expand his knowledge of communications, working as a media consultant for several Fortune 100 Corporations, governments and private organizations in the United States and in the Middle East. He also is a lecturer (get more information) who addresses a wide range of topics including defining the moderate Arab voice, and he uses the power of humor to address conflict scenarios performing standup comedy at the nation's foremost clubs, universities and Arab, American, Jewish and Muslim events.
AUTHOR: Hanania has authored several books including the humorous and serious memoir of his experiences growing up as an Arab child in America called "I'm Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing Up Arab in America" (Tahit al-Ard Press, 1996; 2002, 256 PP) and "Arabs of Chicagoland" an examination of the history of Arab American settlement in Chicago (Arcadia Publishing, 2005, 127 PP). (Read More)
STANDUP COMEDIAN: Ray Hanania is an internationally acclaimed standup comedian. As a direct result of the increased animosity by Americans against Arab and Muslim Americans, Hanania entered Standup comedy after Sept. 11, 2001 performing a unique mix of humor and satire that lampoons his unusual marriage to his wife, Alison, who is Jewish. He has performed at Caroline's on Broadway, the New York Comedy Club, and at clubs, colleges and universities around the country and in the Middle East (Jerusalem and Dubai, UAE). He has been featured on every major TV network program including the Today Show. Hanania avoids profanity and is the co-founder of Comedy for Peace which seeks to bridge the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using humor and understanding. He is the co-founder of the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour which performs standup comedy in Israel, Palestine, the Arab World and North America and Europe. (Read More)
ONLINE FILMMAKER: Hanania also hosted the weekly Cable TV program addressing Middle East issues called "30 Minutes." It was broadcast in 69 suburban Chicago communities, and occasionally on Chicago's CAN-TV and on Bridges Muslim TV. In 2005, Hanania launched ARAB AMERICAN TV ONLINE where viewers from around the world can view his Cable TV interviews and other films that he produces on Middle East issues on-demand. The award winning filmmaker has producer severa; documentaries including on that examined the hatred against Arabs seeking to build a Mosque in the Chicago Suburbs of Palos Heights and Orland Park. He also is a Video-Blogger for al-Jazeera International, the English language broadcast of the popular Arab World Satellite journalism news station. (Read More) Hanania also vido blogs for al-Jazeera's English Language Listening Post Segment.
RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hanania is the former host of a weekly radio talk show, Radio Chicagoland (www.RadioChicagoland.com) broadcast every Sunday Morning from 8-10 am on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 Radio. The lively talk show features topics and discussions on every topic under the sun and features call-ins from listeners as well as guests from every field. Listen to the show online or find archived audio show segments, download podcasts for your iPods by visiting www.RadioChicagoland.com.
He hosted Radio Baladi broadcast every morning from (7 until 8 am Central) 8 to 9 am Eastern in Dearborn, Michigan.
Hanania writes an award-winning column analyzing political and societal issues for the Southwest News-Herald. The Chicago Headline Club/Society of Professional Journalists have presented him with four (4) Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing/in-depth reporting (1984, 2002, 2006, 2009). Hanania cut his teeth covering
Chicago's tumultuous City Hall politics and seven Chicago Mayors from 1976
until 1991 for a major Chicago newspaper.
Hanania's writing is
founded in professional journalism and
is described as "compelling and poignant." Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist in America" 2006/07 by the prestigious New America Media Association in their national awards that have been dubbed "The Ethnic Pulitzers." He is the 2009 recipient of the Dr. M.T. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award for Journalism. Hanania is a four (4) time Award Winner (1984/5, 2002/3 2006/7, 2009/10) and seven-time finalist for the Society of
Professional Journalist "Lisagor Award" for Column writing. Hanania received the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi National Award for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has received
two Chicago Newspaper Guild Column Awards for Excellence. Hanania worked at the
Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1991) as a columnist and senior political writer for
the Page 10 column, and as a political reporter and columnist covering
Chicago City Hall. Previously, Hanania worked as the City Hall reporter and
political columnist (The Grapevine) for the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1977-1985). Hanania
published the Villager Newspapers (1993-1996) providing news coverage to 11
Southwest Suburban Chicago communities. Hanania also served in many roles with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which awarded
him a Media Freedom Award in 1988 and again in 1993, including recently as a
media advisor to the Chicago ADC board.
Hanania also hosted a lively radio
talk show on several Chicago stations including WLS AM/FM (1983-1992). And, Hanania has worked as a contributing field producer and associate producer including for WMAQ (NBC) TV ("A Different Kind of Teacher") in Chicago.
MIDDLE EAST WRITING & EXPERTISE
Hanania began his foray into American journalism in 1976 after being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force at the end of the Vietnam War. He
launched the Middle Eastern Voice Newspaper (1976-1978), which was Chicago's first-ever Arab American newspaper. It was published in English and focused on Arab American community activies as well as on Middle East related issues. Later, in 1998, he launched the
English-language Arab American View Newspaper (1998-2002) to supplement the growing Arab American newspapers that existed in Chicago prior to Sept. 11. There were seven Arab Newspapers in Chicago prior to Sept. 11. Afterwards, only one survived.
Hanania writes a regular column analyzing Middle East eventsand that seek to define "the
Moderate Palestinian view." The columns are internationally
syndicated and carried by major
American newspapers including the Chicago regional Daily Herald Newspapers,
as well as by newspapers in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
His columns run regularly in the Arab News in Jiddah Saudia Arabia, the Dallas Morning News, Newsday, Orlando
Sentinel, the Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), Sharq al-Awsat (London), al-Hayat al-Jadida, The Arab American Newspaper in Dearborn, the Jerusalem Times, and on the English language web page of Israel's largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. They also have appeared in many other
prestigious publications including in Editor & Publisher Magazine.
In seeking to define "the moderate Palestinian voice," Hanania believes that Arabs and Palestinians must more clearly
articulate the moral position between right and wrong in a region overwhelmed by
tragedy and suffering. Hanania's syndicated columns offer a unique
perspective on the Middle East conflict. He is the only Palestinian
American professional journalist whose columns are nationally
Hanania is the
former executive director and a founder of the National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA)
seeking to network Arab Americans who are engaged in professional journalism as a career, not activists engaged in writing or espousing partisan viewpoints. Hanania believes that as a journalist, he must always seek to write the truth, even when the truth might differ with community beliefs. He is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist on
many national TV and radio shows including
MSNBC, CNN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and more. He is recognized as
a reasoned voice on Middle East issues, professional journalism trends and
issues, and on public relations and media strategies.
"Secrets of New Media Networking: How to Sidestep the biased mainstream American Media" August 2009, CafePress.com/Hanania Enterprises Ltd. 237 Pages. Paperback. (Order?)
"Talking to Israelis", CafePress/Hanania Enterprises Ltd. July 2006. 279 Page, Paperback
of Chicagoland" Arcadia Publishing, 2005 128 Pages. (Order?)
"Ya Habibi: Growing
Up Arab in America" (USG Publishing, 1996,2006) a humor book which includes the 1990 Intifada series,
paper back; (order 2009 Edition)
"Slice of Life" (Tahit
al-Ard Press, 2004) a collection of 81 of his humor columns, paper back.
Times: Palestinian American Thought before and after Sept. 11th" which features 98 of his award-winning columns, paperback;
"Tabouli Tales" a cook
book that pairs his personal Middle Eastern recipe favorites with stories of
growing up Arab in America.
"Video Store Strategies" (USG Publishing, 1998 - 2005) manual;
"Midnight Flight: The Story of
White Flight from Chicago" (USG Publishing, 2000-2005) Read it Online only;
"The Grape Leaves of Wrath" (USG
"The Ansar Code," (CafePress/Hanania Enterprises Ltd. 2002
Hanania has also contributed essays in several books including:
Terror in the Holy Land: Inside the Anguish of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, (Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT. 2006.) A collection of essays by Palestiniams, Israelis, Arabs and Jews on the impact that the conflict has had on both sides. By Jud Kuriansky.
"Peace Fire: Fragments from the Israel-Palestine Story" (Free
Association Books, Blueear.com books, 2003), an essay on the post-Sept. 11th
backlash against Arab and Muslim American;
"Dispatches from a Wounded World," (Booksurge.com and Blueear.com, 2001) the first book published on the
aftermath of September 11th, 2001. An essay on the post-Sept. 11th backlash
against Arab Americans;
"Lest We Forget" (Turner Publishing, KY., 2001) Essay on his military service.
"Framing the Struggle: Essays on the Middle East and the US Media" by Ahmed Bouzid, Palestine Media Watch. 2003.
Hanania is featured and
several books examining including:
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Dale Maharidge, about post-Sept. 11 anti-Arab
bigotry, Seven Stories Press, NY. 2004.
Biography," Gale Group, Detroit/London, 1999.
"Blind Justice: A
shocking true story of murder and scandal," by Edie and Ray Gibson,
about the Diane Masters murder, St. Martin's Press, 1991.
"Devil's Game: How the US Helped Unleashed Radical Islam," by Robert Dreyfuss, 2005. Explores how Israel's rightwing government nurtured the rise of Hamas in the late 1970s and 1980s.
"The Arab Americans," by Randa Kayyali. (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006).
"American Orientalism: The United States and MIddle East since 1945," by Douglas Little. (I.B. Tauris Publishing, 2002).
"Contemporary US Literature: MultiCultural Perspectives," Diane Publishing Company, Dept. of State Electronic Journals.
his sabbatical from journalism, Hanania became active in advocating a peaceful settlement to
the Middle East conflict. Hanania served as the National President of the Palestinian American Congress (1995-1996) elected on a platform of peace. He
attended the 1993 White House peace signing between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir
Arafat, and participated in numerous meetings with President Clinton,
President Arafat and
officials of the Palestinian and Israeli Labor governments.
He was a board
member with Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam through the 1990s. He currently serves on
the Entertainment Council of One Voice for Peace, and served as an adviser
to TIKKUN. He is also a founder of Salam al-Ann! (Palestinians for Peace Now) which seeks to express a Palestinian
voice of peace in today's bitter conflict. He has participated in many press
conferences with Jewish
American and Israeli leaders supporting a peaceful, just compromise between
Palestinians and Israelis. He works with many Arab and Jewish organizations
including Americans for Peace Now and Brit Zedek v'Shalom.
And he is a founder of PunchLines for Peace, a professional
effort to bring Palestinian and Jewish American and Israeli comedians to
comedy stages in Israel and in Palestine and provide workshops and instruction on using the power of Humor to address conflict situations. Hanania is co-founder of the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour which performs comedy throughout the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Hanania hails from a
prominent Christian Jerusalem family. His mother is from Bethlehem. His
wife, Alison, is Jewish, demonstrating in life that Arabs and Jews can live
together in peace. As he explores the complexities of the Middle East, he
often taps this unique personal experience.
Hanania served in the US Air Force
during the Vietnam War and has a Vietnam Era Service ribbon among several
ribbons and distinctions. He served 9 1/2 years in the Illinois Air National
Guard station at Peoria, Illinois and has Honorable Discharges from both.
His father, George John Hanania, served during World War II in the 5th Army
in Europe and later with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and his
uncle, Moses Hanania, served in the US Navy during World War II. His brother
John served in the US Marine Reserves.
is available for public speaking engagements around the country. Please
contact him at 312-933-9855. Hanania is described as "one of the best
speakers in the country on Arab American issues. His use of humor as an
instrument of his presentations makes for a compelling and entertaining
presentation for all audiences." He has appeared before audiences at Harvard
University, the Congressional Institute in Washington D.C., the University
of Michigan, and at Middle East conferences throughout the United
Past Awards & Citations
Sigma Delta Chi Award for Column Writing, 2009 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
2009 Dr. M.T. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award for Journalism
Best National Ethnic Ethnic Columnist 2006-2007 by New America Media
P.O. Box 2127
Orland Park, IL 60462
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Please note, I am NOT a member nor am I an adviser to the "Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism." Although the group's principles are noteworthy, they tend to be a confrontational organization on the opposite extreme.