Born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Daanish has lived and worked in New York for 16 years. After 9/11, Daanish worked as a community organizer to assist immigrants facing discrimination under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, a system for registering non-citizens on US soil that was initiated in 2002 as part of the War on Terrorism.
In 2007, Daanish joined the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a special UN initiative launched under Kofi Annan and continued under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that pursues experimental projects to investigate the role of identity in violent conflict. In this capacity, Daanish has run projects with local stakeholders in multiple regions around the world to address religious, cultural, and ethnic tensions.
In May 2014, he joined BeAnotherLab to develop conflict resolution applications for The Machine to Be Another, a system that merges interaction protocols from neuroscience research in embodiment with performance, storytelling, and virtual reality to give users the illusion of seeing themselves in the body of another person. The Machine has been widely covered in the media by Wired Magazine, Discovery Channel, the BBC, and The Verge among others. Daanish studied analytic philosophy at New York University and speaks Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu.