An Executive Active in News Media
About Jamal Daniel
An experienced businessman, Jamal Daniel founded a website dedicated to providing fresh perspectives on the Middle East. Called Al-Monitor, the news outlet received high marks from media stakeholders less than a year following its establishment. For instance, the Washington Post commented that the digital provider represents an “invaluable” source for Middle Eastern news. In addition to engaging with the journalistic world, Jamal Daniel serves as president of Crest Investment Company in Houston, Texas.
Complementing his business roles, Jamal Daniel created The Levant Foundation. The philanthropic organization seeks to spread knowledge concerning Levant and Middle Eastern culture as seen through the lens of three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Among its many achievements, the nonprofit played a key role in launching the Foundation for Inter-religious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue. Further, The Levant Foundation provided the funds necessary for the University of Texas Press to publish scholarly books on issues related to the Levant and the aforementioned religions. Mr. Daniel no longer serves The Levant Foundation as a board member, but he remains a principal benefactor.
Al Monitor Awarded IPI Free Media Award
With more than 30 years of experience managing investments in manufacturing, energy, technology, and real estate, Jamal Daniel is Chairman of Crest Investment Company, headquartered in Houston, Texas. With a sustained interest the Levant region, Jamal Daniel is the publisher of news and commentary website al-monitor.com, which has been awarded the International Press Institute (IPI) Free Media Pioneer Award.
The IPI Free Media Pioneer Award was established in 1996 to honor media companies or organizations that have fought to ensure press freedom in the countries in which they operate. The award is presented annually to distinguished organizations in the struggle for free and independent news coverage.
In 2014, Al-Monitor was honored with the IPI Award for its unrivaled coverage of the Middle East region during a time of particular socio-political upheaval. It was credited with providing daily coverage and analysis of the complex region in an introspective and independent way.
Al-Monitor was also recognized for its achievements as a news organization independently covering a region with many serious restrictions on the freedom of the press.
Established in 2012, Al-Monitor provides analysis and reports from experienced journalists and experts across the Middle East, with a sharp focus on Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Palestine, and Turkey.
Notable Accomplishments of the Levant Foundation
A graduate of the University of Texas, Syrian-born Jamal Daniel serves as Chairman of Crest Investment Company and Founder of the Levant Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Houston, Texas. The foundation aims to increase knowledge and research of Levantine culture, religion, and history.
Since its establishment, the Levant Foundation has propelled noteworthy accomplishments in the field of academia. In 1999, the foundation cofounded the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (FIIRD) with the University of Geneva in Switzerland. FIIRD subsequently established a humanistic academic program to explore the connections between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Additionally, in expounding this theme of interconnectedness, FIIRD published the three Holy Books (the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an) in their original languages and in chronological order.
Most recently, the Levant Foundation sponsored an academic grant at Georgetown University. The Jamal Daniel Fund for the Study of the Levant offered scholarships to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting professors at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
The Levant Foundation’s University of Balamand Support Project
An experienced investment executive, Jamal Daniel holds degrees from the University of Texas, Pepperdine University, and the University of Geneva. Currently, Jamal Daniel serves as the Chairman of Crest Investment Company in addition to his work as the founder of the Levant Foundation.
Located in Houston, Texas, the Levant Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to further understanding of the Levant region in the Middle East and the religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which stemmed from the area. The organization has engaged in a number of projects since its inception, including the launch of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, the establishment of the Jamal Daniel Fund for the Study of the Levant at Georgetown University, and support for the University of Balamand in Tripoli, Lebanon.
The Levant Foundation’s support of the University of Balamand focused on the the School of Tourism and Hotel Management. Specifically, funding from the foundation was used to build the Aida & Halim Daniel building at the school. The school, which is located adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, directly impacts the local Lebanese economy by providing education in the hospitality industry.
The Formation of Al-Monitor
The founder of the Levant Foundation, Jamal Daniel serves as Chairman of Crest Investment Company, which is based in Houston, Texas. Jamal Daniel is also the founder of Al-Monitor, which he serves as chairman of the board.
A recipient of the International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneer Award, Al-Monitor was created in 2012 to offer deeper coverage on issues pertaining to the Middle East. Based in the United States, Al-Monitor quickly developed a reputation for quality journalism, which has led recognition from publications such as the Huffington Post and The Washington Post, who rely on Al-Monitor as a valuable source of insight and information about what is happening in the Middle East.
Today, Al-Monitor publishes reports created by dozens of independent contributors and partners with an array of media publications throughout the Middle East. Partners include Al-Ayyam in Palestine, Calcalist in Isreal, Haber Turk in Turkey, Réalités in Tunisia, Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal in Lebanon, Al-Khaleej in the United Arab Emirates, and many others.
The Founding of Al-Monitor
Since graduating with an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, Jamal Daniel now lives in Houston where he is the chairman of Crest Investment Company. Jamal Daniel also founded the website Al-Monitor.
Thanks to the inspiration and dedication of Mr. Daniel who was born in Syria but raised in Lebanon, Al-Monitor was created on February 13, 2012. The analysis and reporting that has characterized the site have been without peer in its scope of coverage. Showcasing well-known journalists and experts from all over the Middle East, including Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Palestine.
Since its inception, Al-Monitor has been spotting the larger trends in the region while also covering current events, and it has partnered with two dozen media publications. The Washington Post has referred to the site as “invaluable,” while Huffington Post says it is "increasingly a daily must-read for insightful commentary on the Middle East.”