Jamil Khoury is Founding Artistic Director of Silk Road Rising. Promoting playwrights of Silk Road backgrounds is a passion that dovetails well with Khoury’s experiences living in the Middle East and his eleven years as a cross-cultural trainer and international relocations consultant. His vocation as a playwright lends valuable currency to fulfilling SRR’s mission as a playwright driven theatre. Khoury’s plays focus on Middle Eastern themes and questions of Diaspora. He is particularly interested in the intersections of culture, national identity, sexuality, and class.
Khoury holds a M.A. degree in Religious Studies from The University of Chicago Divinity School and a B.S. degree in International Relations from Georgetown University 's School of Foreign Service. He is a Kellogg Executive Scholar (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and has been awarded a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Nonprofit Management. Khoury has developed courses in Middle East Studies for The University of Chicago Graham School of General Studies and has lectured widely on Arab American affairs.
In fall of 2009, Khoury conceived of and curated the highly successful Silk Road Cabaret: Broadway Sings the Silk Road. Khoury also conceived of, and was a featured playwright in, SRR’s production of The DNA Trail: A Genealogy of Short Plays about Ancestry, Identity, and Utter Confusion (winter 2010). His DNA Trail short play, WASP: White Arab Slovak Pole, has been produced as a video play and will be released in early 2011. Khoury’s play Precious Stones won Gay Chicago Magazine's 2003 After Dark Award for Outstanding New Work and has been performed in ten cities across the U.S. His play Fitna was performed at University Theatre of The University of Chicago and his play Azizati was performed at Café Voltaire.
Khoury is the 2010 recipient of the 3Arts Artist Award for Playwriting.