Mr. John Antone Dabeet
Professor of Economics and Statistics
Muscatine Community College
Mr. Dabeet was born in Jerusalem and resided in Ramallah, Palestine. Education is highly regarded in his family & he upholds this regard. He graduated from a private high school, Al-Ahlayah College, where he served as President of the Student Senate for three years. He continued his residency in Palestine attending Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine, until obtaining his BA in Business Administration/Economics and then went to the United States in 1989 to further his education. He attained his Master degree in Economics from Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA. His pursuit of higher learning continues by working towards a Ph.D. through The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. Mr. Dabeet is following in his father's footsteps by sharing his knowledge through teaching. He is currently an economics and business professor at Muscatine Community College, Muscatine, Iowa. He is very active with both students and staff at the college acting as Student Senate Advisor, Adjunct Faculty Committee Chair, and is a member of the Curriculum Committee, Staff Development Committee & Recognition Committee. He has authored study guides for macroeconomics and business statistics. Mr. Dabeet is also a visiting professor at Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; Vista University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; as well as an adjunct professor at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Several awards have been presented to Mr. Dabeet, some of which are the Chancellor's Award (Eastern Iowa Community Colleges,) Employee of the Month (Muscatine Community College,) Who's Who Among American Teachers (national award), Young Outstanding Man of America (national award), The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award (University of Texas at Austin), and 2002-2003 Muscatine Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Volunteerism Award.
Mr. Dabeet 's political involvement in bringing peace to Palestine began during his high school years. He was one of two people who originated the Palestinian student movement and was selected to represent this movement to the Palestinian National Committee consisting of 50 prominent Palestinian people. While attending Bethlehem University, 1984-1988, he continued his involvement in the student movement. This involvement prompted the Israeli security forces to imprison him several times and he was stopped at checkpoints. One imprisonment lasted for eighteen days in solitary confinement. From 1991-1995 Mr. Dabeet was an Adjunct Professor of Business and Economics at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA at which time he was involved in the beginning of the peace process with Palestinian negotiators. Also during this tenure he was active with human rights organizations gathering support for Palestinian people. In 1993 the Israeli government revoked his ID which prevented the freedom of his returning home to Palestine. Five years later, he returned to Palestine for the purpose of starting a student exchange program with Palestinian colleges and universities and to request the City of Ramallah to be a sister city with Muscatine. During this visit Israeli security forces detained him for two and 1/2 weeks. He was allowed to be released and return to the United States through necessary intervention by the US State Department, Congress and Senate.
Since Mr. Dabeet's return to the United States, he receives invitations from churches and schools to speak about the peace process. In January 2000 he founded AMPAL (Americans and Palestinians For Peace) with the belief in the creation of an independent Palestinian state and supports all peaceful efforts to achieve this goal. He continues to communicate with PNC (Palestinian National Council) members. His quest for peace does not lie only within the United States, Palestine and Israel. He is currently President of Muscatine Sister Cities, which has relationships with seven cities in Argentina, Japan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Uruguay. Mr. Dabeet is in the planning stages of writing a book telling of his journey through Palestine.