He obtained a BA in the history of the Middle East at Haifa University and then worked in the fields of education and culture. He joined the Islamic Movement in Israel and chose the moderate division of this Islamist movement, called the Southern Branch and one of the forerunners of Ra'am.
In 2003 he entered local politics by sitting on the city council of his hometown, Sakhnin, until 2005. He then entered national politics by becoming a member of Knesset in 2009. Since 2015 he has both been leader of the Ra'am party and a politician in The Joint List of four parties.
Naftali Bennett (HaBayit HaYehudi) • Yael Cohen-Paran (The Zionist Union - HaTnu'a HaYeruqa) • Aryeh Deri (Shas) • Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism - Degel HaTorah) • Ilan Gilon (Meretz) • Masud Ghnaim (The Joint List - Ra'am) • Avi Gabbay (The Zionist Union - HaAvoda) • Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) • Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) • Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) • Ya'akov Litzman (United Torah Judaism - Agudat Yisrael) • Tzipi Livni (The Zionist Union - HaTnu'a) • Benjamin Netanyahu (HaLikud) • Ayman Odeh (The Joint List - Hadash) • Ahmad Tibi (The Joint List - Ta'al) • Jamal Zahalka (The Joint List - Balad)