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.
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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.
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.
Founder and Chairman
Jamal Daniel is President and Chairman of Crest Investment Company. An entrepreneur and innovator, Mr. Daniel has over thirty years of experience managing investments in high technology, media and film, mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, real estate and telecommunications. Through Crest Investments, Mr. Daniel has founded several companies including the award-winning global news organization Al-Monitor; Levantine Films, where Mr. Daniel was an Executive Producer on the Academy Award-nominated “Hidden Figures” and the critically acclaimed “Beasts of No Nation” and “Fundamentals of Caring”; and the highly regarded Levant Foundation, a private, non-profit organization committed to furthering the knowledge of Levantine culture and history in the Middle East, as well as the relationships among the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Mr. Daniel is also the founder of the New Levant Initiative which aims to promote peace and prosperity through economic integration and cultural discourse among the peoples and countries of the Levant. On March 1, 2018, he hosted a daylong conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the distinct Levantine culture that exists today and has existed throughout history as well as commonality of the Levant in art, film, literature, etc. Panelists who share Levantine heritage will examined its influence on their career and life as well as gave testimony to the uniqueness of the Levantine identity.
Mr. Daniel was born in Tartous, Syria, and moved to Lebanon when he was five years old. After completing high 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 an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.