John Dabeet

Candidate for District 48

Meet John Dabeet

John Dabeet was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. He came to the U.S. in 1988 and became a citizen. In 1995 he began teaching at Muscatine Community College, where he is now a distinguished professor of economics and statistics. He chairs the business department and has served throughout the Eastern Iowa District in many capacities. He has also been a visiting professor at Moscow State University (Russia), Vista University (South Africa), Drohobych University (Ukraine), Al-Quds University (Jordan), and Birzeit University (Palestine).

John exemplifies a long family heritage of educational pursuits and accomplishments. Several members of his extended family followed him to settle and become successful in Iowa, a classic case of chain migration. His wife Abeer grew up in Syria; their twin sons Anton and Nabeel were born in Muscatine and attend Muscatine High School. Thoroughly American kids they are learning to appreciate their cultural roots at frequent family and church gatherings.

John is serving his third term on the board of the Muscatine Community School District, Where He is the current president. He is also president of Muscatine Sister Cities, Inc., and represents Iowa on the board of Sister Cities International (Washington, D.C.), where he serves as global outreach representative for Palestine. He is also the current president of the educational nonprofit U.S. Palestinian Council.

John has received national and international recognition for his work in education, citizen diplomacy, and politics. In 2017, Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa House of Representatives recognized his citizen diplomacy work with an Outstanding Citizen award. He was named Palestinian Person of the Year in 2020. In 2021, he served as a volunteer advisor for the Biden campaign’s foreign policy team and received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. He is a member of the Iowa Democratic Party central committee and chairs the international affairs section of the state party’s platform.