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Jamal and Rania Daniel Series, University of Texas Press


The University of Texas is one of the largest public universities in the United States. It has one of the most diverse student population in the country and is a national leader in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to minority students. The University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people of Texas, the nation, and the world. In education and research, its depth and diversity are unmatched by most public universities. As an enduring symbol of the Texas spirit, the university promotes economic activity and social progress and is a leading center of knowledge and creativity.

The University of Texas Press is a non-profit book publisher - a focal point where the life experiences, insights, and specialized knowledge of writers converge to be disseminated in print. The Press has become a publisher of international scope, issuing works in a wide range of fields. Our books present the result of original research conducted all the across the United States and the geographic area known as the Levant (encompassed by the present-day countries of, , Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey).

Since the University of Texas is the alma mater of Jamal Daniel, founder of The Levant Foundation, he was ecstatic to provide a significant pledge to the UT Press to help publish scholarly books regarding the contemporary history, politics, cultures, religions, religious issues and/or future issues of the geographic area Levant. It will also publish scholarly books regarding the contemporary history, inter-religious interaction, and/or inter-religious relationships of the three major Middle Eastern monotheistic religions - namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In 2006, Daniel and his wife Rania established an endowment with UT Press to create the Jamal and Rania Daniel Series. The purpose of the series is to publish one to three scholarly books a year related to the contemporary issues of the peoples of the geographic area known as the Levant (encompassed by the present day countries of Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian State).

"With the Middle East being a major part of U.S. foreign policy and, more specifically, United States policy in the Levant region. a heightened level of exposure to the contemporary issues of the Levant region will hopefully help broaden the general reader's understanding of the social fabric of Levantine Society," said Daniel about the impact the endowed series will have on the reader's perception of the Middle East. He added, "[the books also] will shed a clearer light on the often complicated and not well understood more general East/West issues emanating from that context.”

Both Daniel and his wife believe in investing their time and effort in their culture. “We shall always be proud of learning more about our culture and humbled every time the opportunity arises, thus affording us to donate from what we are, on to our society and environment,” he said. Daniel's favorite books echo his Interest in his culture and the Levant region. He selected two titles: Kiterunner by Khaled Husseini (Riverhead Books), which describes events during the Afghan Revolution, and Snow, by Preby Orhan Pamuk (Editions Gallimard), a novel that depicts contemporary subjects such as the identity of Turkish society in a poetic and nostalgic tone. Yet his author of choice is Amin Maalouf, who has written award winning books such as Léon l’Africain and Samareande (Abacus, UK) and Origines (Grasset, France). Daniel is particularly interested in how this novelist depicts Levantine societies through a close study of their history.

By supporting a series of books that study the Levant region, Daniel is not only contributing greater understanding of this area of the world but also creating an opportunity for writers from this region to share their culture and history through their stories.

Here are the books from the Jamal and Rania Daniel series:

  1. A Young Palestinian's Diary, 1941-1945, by Kimberly Katz
  2. Reconstructing Beirut: Memory and Space in a Postwar Arab City, by Aseel Sawalha
  3. Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade, by Oleg Grabar
  4. Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine, by Laura Robson

For more information on the books published through this series, please visit http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/subjects/daniel.html