Actress and poet
Dana Dajani is an award-winning Palestinian-American actress, poet and humanitarian. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater from Columbia College Chicago, and began her professional acting career on the Windy City’s stages. In 2011, she moved to Dubai, where she quickly gained recognition for her performances on stage and screen, in Arabic and English.
Ms. Dajani’s work as a performer and educator has taken her around the world, from performing at the Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, to teaching acting workshops at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center and creating a drama therapy program for children with autism in the U.A.E. She was honored as the Emirates Woman Artist of the Year and received the Young Arab Award for Entertainment in 2016. She was also named by Stylist Arabia among the 50 most influential and inspirational women in the U.A.E.
Known for her original poems performed with theatrical flair, she has been invited to share her poetry internationally. Part spoken-word, part one-woman show, she uses gesture, character and a simple scarf to transport audiences through various social justice themes presented in verse by her characters.
As a humanitarian advocate and activist, Ms. Dajani has worked with numerous N.G.O.s supporting causes like Palestine, clean water access, education for women, youth empowerment and more. She has delivered inspirational keynote addresses on topics such as: Dreaming into an Empowered Education, Pathways to Success, Finding Your Voice, Women in Conflict and Time Banking. Additionally, she is one of the founding members of the Spiral Sessions, a six-stage accelerator program to enable individuals and organizations to take positive change toward climate action and social welfare.
She currently lives in Doha, Qatar with her husband, Slovakian-Lebanese motion graphic artist Rami Kanso. Together, the couple have created a series of poetry films, including “Caged Bird,” which has received multiple awards during its international film festival tour.