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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




I support Two-States, Palestine and Israel. I oppose extremism, but strongly speak out
against "extremists," whether they are Jewish or Arab.

I OFTEN criticize Israel's government, but my comments are always focused on the politics of the Government of Israel and the policies, and the politicians who support those policies. My comments are NEVER against Jews.

I recognize that Jewish extremists hate Arab Moderates because the Jewish Extremists don't want peace. They want to steal all of the land of Palestine and expel all of the Palestinians because they are Christian and Muslim and not Jewish. When I write about Jews, I do so in the contest of the conflict between Jews and Arabs.

I am proud to support Jews, Muslims and Christians. And I am proud to stand up to
racist hatred whether it is from a Jew, from a Muslim or from a Christian.

The Jewish extremists are just as bad as the Muslim and Christian fanatics,
who I also openly criticize without restraint.

I will NOT be silent about fanatics and extremism.

The Middle East conflict IS about the conflict between extremists and moderates, those who embrace hatred and conflict, and those who oppose racism and support peace based on compromise.



NAMED "Best of the Best" Presenters/Speakers by LACONI
(Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois, 2007)


Ray HananiaaRay 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."

Hanania analyzes Middle East issues in weekly print columns for the Arab News at ArabNews.com every week, and he writes media and political analysis column for the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper in Chicago.

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.

Hanania covered Chicago City Hall for 17 years writing for the Daily Southtown and the Chicago Sun-Times as the City Hall reporter, mentored by Harry Golden Jr.

Hanania has contributed opinion and analysis columns for many Middle East publications including for the Arab News newspaper in Saudi Arabia, where he continues to write, and for 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 has also written for the Jerusalem Post Newspaper (2009-2012), 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.

He is a co-founder of the National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA) and Yalla Peace, the movement to bring two-states to Palestine and Israel. Hanania is manager of the Arab American Writers Group Syndicate. His feature essays and profiles have appeared in Star Magazine, ALO Hayati Magazine, Chicago Magazine and ARAMCO Magazine.

ALL OF RAY'S COLUMNS are archived at: www.hanania.com or www.RayHanania.com

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.

HananiaGulfNewsAUTHOR: 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.

View Ray Hanania's Online Columns


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.


ray milHanania 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.

columnHanania 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 syndicated.

Ray Hanania's name in ArabicHanania 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.

He is an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists where he serves on the National Diversity Committee, and the Asian American Journalists Association where he serves on the National Media Watch Committee.


Hanania has authored several books including:

Caricature by al-Quds cartoonist Khalil Abu Arafeh, Oct. 12, 2004

  • "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

  • "Arabs 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.

  • "Troubled 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 Publishing 1999);

  • "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 quoted in several books examining including:

  • "Homeland" by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Dale Maharidge, about post-Sept. 11 anti-Arab bigotry, Seven Stories Press, NY. 2004.

  • "Arab American 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.

peace now
During 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 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. He also recently served as a media advisor to the Chicago ADC board. He is currently a board member. www.ADCChicago.com.


father George John Hanania in 5th Army WWIIHanania 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.

Hanania 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 States.


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
  • SPJ/Chicago Headline Club, "Lisagor Award" for column writing, 1985, 2002/2003, 2006
  • Excellence in Journalism award, NAAJA, March 2002, 2011
  • Arab American Community Leadership Award, 2001
  • Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a four-part series on Palestinian treatment
    under Israeli Occupation 1991 (By the Chicago Sun-Times/Earl Moses Editor)
  • Sigma Delta Chi/Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Finalist, 1987, 1998, 1999, 2000
  • Chicago Newspaper Guild Column Writing Award, 1985, 1986
  • UPI Writing Award 1983
  • ADC Media/Freedom Award, 1987-1988, 1993

Past Published Articles

Contact Information:

Ray Hanania
P.O. Box 2127
Orland Park, IL 60462
708-575-9078 eFax
For faster response, email rghanania@gmail.com

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.


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