About the New Levant Initiative

Our Mission Statement

The New Levant Initiative (NLI) aims to revitalize the shared Levantine identity by highlighting the thousands of years of artistic, architectural, musical, culinary and other cultural contributions that constitute a rich Levantine mosaic. We are focusing on the history of cosmopolitanism and commerce that enabled this vibrant culture to thrive and linked so many Levantine cities. Our intention is to leverage this illustrious past to solidify a vision for improved quality of life and hope for the future.

The New Levant Initiative is currently developing dynamic community-centered programming that fosters a sense of shared purpose through dialogue, programs, support for research and outreach to key stakeholders.

If you are interested in connecting with us, or have recommendations for partnerships, please contact us at contact@new-levant.org.

Our Partners

NLI is also teaming up with exceptional organizations and civil societies as they develop a range of cultural programs from music to architecture, art and cuisine all under Levantine cities.

  • NLI supports the Humanities Research Center (HRC) at Rice University and their sustainable, multi-tiered, and data-driven Levant Carta initiative.

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  • The RAND Corporation has released their report on the promising outcomes of economically integrating the Levant through a comprehensive free trade agreement, as well as an interactive online calculator to examine these benefits using different scenarios and partner countries.

    Learn More

Our Ambassadors

NLI is joined by a distinguished group of Ambassadors who share our vision to rekindle Levantine identity by illuminating the rich cultural heritage of the Levant so that it will serve as an inspiration for the future. The speakers at our inaugural conference continue their involvement with the NLI as our first Ambassadors. 


Our Team

  • Jamal Daniel

    Founder and Chairman
    Jamal Daniel

    Jamal Daniel is the founder of Crest Investment Company. An entrepreneur and innovator, Mr. Daniel has over 35 years of experience managing a diverse portfolio of investments in media and entertainment, technology, hospitality, real estate, and energy sectors.

    Mr. Daniel is the founder of New Levant Initiative (NLI) which aims to promote peace and prosperity through economic integration and culture discourse among the people and countries of the Levant. In 2018, the NLI hosted a day-long conference at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to discuss the distinct Levantine culture that exists today and has existed throughout history.

    Founded by Mr. Daniel in 2012 and wholly owned by Crest Media, Al-Monitor features unmatched reporting and analysis by prominent journalists and experts from the Middle East. Published in Washington, DC, Al-Monitor’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding between the Middle East and the international community. Just two years after its launch, the International Press Institute honored Al-Monitor with its Free Media Pioneer Award – an award given annually to an organization that distinguishes itself in the fight for free and independent news.

    In 2009, Mr. Daniel launched Levantine Films which is focused on developing and producing compelling, character-driven stories that entertain, spark conversation and bring awareness to underrepresented segments of society. Notable films include Best Picture nominee Hidden Figures and Jerry & Marge Go Large.

    In 1999, Mr. Daniel founded The Levant Foundation, a private, non-profit organization committed to the furthering of knowledge of Levantine culture and history, as well as the relationships among the three monotheistic religions. The foundation supports many academic, cultural and humanitarian programs including an endowment at The Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut, UNICEF, a major expansion at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, the rebuilding of St. George Hospital in Beirut, endowed scholarships at Georgetown University, academic programs at Rice University, research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as an endowment at the University of Texas Press.

    Mr. Daniel was born in Syria, and moved to Lebanon when he was five years old. After completing his high school education in a Jesuit school in Lebanon, Mr. Daniel and his family moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he attended the University of Geneva. Mr. Daniel has a degree in business from Pepperdine University and a masters of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

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