Episode 04 - Dena Takruri
You might know Dena Takruri for her role as a senior presenter and producer at AJ Plus, Al-Jazeera’s Digital News platform. The videos she produces/hosts often garner millions of views on Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms. And for good reason.
*Dena has reported internationally on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and on Europe’s refugee crisis, where she was one of the first journalists to ever broadcast using Facebook Live. Among the domestic stories she’s covered are the 2016 presidential race, Flint’s water crisis, the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, and ICE’s crackdown on undocumented people under Trump. She has extensively covered the #BlackLivesMatter movement and issues related to Arab and Muslim communities in the U.S.*
So in other words, Dena is an amazing human being with a talent for storytelling. While you’re able to watch Dena tell stories online, you may not have heard about Dena’s backstory - and that’s what we discuss in this episode of Culture Study. She’s a first-generation American with strong Palestinian roots, and she touches on her constant search for balance between those two cultures. We talk about everything from the negative depiction of Arabs in Hollywood and the mainstream media to the horrific attacks on September 11th, 2001 and how that terrible moment in history has put a target on the backs of the American-Muslim community to this day. She also discusses her journey as a woman of color and how she navigated from her college days at UC Berkeley to her present-day role at AJ Plus.
Dena really embodies the Tailored Heritage motto that we are “More Alike Than Different” and she’s on the front lines of the fight for equality and justice for all. She often uses her platforms to give a voice to those who are unheard, and she has a relentless commitment to “speaking truth to those in Power”.
So with all of this being said, I hope you enjoy this episode of Culture Study. If you enjoy this episode, please me a huge favor and share it with one other person who would enjoy it as well. My only hope is to use this platform to inspire people to pursue their dreams by hearing about the amazing journeys of people such as Dena.