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ABAS, IHSAN (1920-2003)

Born in Ein Ghazal near Haifa on 2 Dec. 1920; completed high school in Haifa and Acre, then attended four years at the Arab College in Jerusalem (1937-41); worked as a teacher at Safad College from 1941-46; received a BA in Arabic Literature from Cairo University in 1950; taught at private schools in Cairo, then moved to Khartoum, Sudan, where he worked between 1951 and 1960 as a teacher at the Gordon Memorial College (later known as the University of Khartoum), while still continuing his graduate studies; received an MA (1952) and PhD (1954) in Arabic Literature from Cairo University; was appointed Professor of Arabic Literature at the AUB in 1961 and remained there until his retirement in 1985; moved to Jordan in 1986 where he was assigned to conduct a research project on the history of the Levant for the University of Jordan; published numerous books, studies and articles on history and Arabic Literature with a focus on Arab Andalusian Literature, in addition to translating world literature into Arabic, for instance, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; has published his autobiography in Amman in 1996; was awarded several honorary prizes like the King Faisal International Prize in 1980 and the Jerusalem Medal for Culture and Arts awarded by the PLO in 1990; died in Amman in July 2003.




Born in Zakariya near Hebron in 1945; Diploma from the Teachers’ College, Lebanon; BA in Arabic Language and Literature from Beirut Arab University (1977); MA (1982) and PhD (1990) in Arabic Language and Literature from the Jesuit University, Lebanon; teacher at Hebron University from 1982-1990; Professor at Al-Quds Open University, Bethlehem branch from 1990-92; Associate Professor at Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, from 1996-99; Professor in the Jerusalem branch of Leeds University from 1998-2002; Chairman of the Arabic Language and Islamic Culture Dept., UNRWA College, Ramallah; editor-in-chief of Al-Isra’ newspaper; has many publications dealing with literary criticism, books for university students, short story collections, novels and studies related to the Arab-Islamic culture; some of his works have been translated into French, English, Russian, Czech, and Hebrew; received awards like the Palestine Prize for Literature in 1989; a prize presented by late Pres. Yasser Arafat in 1997; an award by Pope Shenuda of Egypt; and received the Jerusalem Medal, Beirut, in 2004; member of the General Union for Palestinian Writers; Board of Trustees member, Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies, Bethlehem; member, Higher Islamic Council; member, Higher Islamic Sufi Council; Executive Committee member, Union of Arab Historians; Board of Trustees member, Al-Aqsa Islamic Schools; Advisory Board member, Faculty of Qur’an and Islamic Studies, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem; his books include Non-Violence in Islam (Arabic, 1995).




Born in Safad in 1935; left as refugee for Syria in 1948; worked as an elementary teacher and later gained a BA in Law from Damascus University (1958); worked as Director of Personnel in Qatar’s civil service in 1957; began, at the same time, to manage and organize Palestinian groups; founding member of Fateh; member of the Fateh Central Committee since 1964; member of the PNC since 1968 and the PLO Exec. Committee since 1980; leading Palestinian figure devoted to the search for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; advocated negotiations with Israelis, since the early 1970s and initiated dialogue with Jewish and pacifist movements; earned a PhD from the Oriental College in Moscow in History (on Zionism) in 1982; led negotiations with Matityahu Peled that resulted in the announcement of “principles of peace” based on a two-state solution in Jan. 1977; became head of the PLO Arab and International Relations Dept. in 1984 (until 2000); elected by the PLO Exec. Committee to succeed Khalil Al-Wazir (assassinated in April 1988) as chairman of the portfolio on the Occupied Territories in May 1988; coordinated the negotiation process during the 1991 Madrid conference; was the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in Jan. 1993, and ‘apologized’ to the Gulf countries for the PLO’s stand during the crisis; headed the Palestinian negotiating team to the secret Oslo talks and signed the DoP on 13 Sept. 1993 on behalf of PLO; head of the PLO Negotiating Affairs Dept. from 1994 until his becoming a PM in 2003; signed the Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in Sept. 1995 on behalf of the PLO; returned to Palestine in Sept. 1995 after almost 48 years in exile and took residences in Gaza and Ramallah; authored an account on the Oslo negotiations entitled Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo (1995); drafted together with his Israeli counterpart Yossi Beilin the controversial ‘Framework for the Conclusion of a Final Status Agreement Between Israel and the PLO’ (better known as Abu-Mazen-Beilin Plan) in Oct. 1995 (although its existence was denied for five years before being published in Sept 2000); head of the Central Election Commission from 1996 until 2002; was elected in the Jan. 1996 PLC elections in the Qalqilya district; served as head of the Refugee Dept.; became Sec.-Gen. of the PLO Exec. Committee since April 1996; headed (with Uri Savir) the first session of the Israeli-PA final status talks in May 1996; criticized the direction of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in late 2002, calling for an end to all military operations; nominated PM by Pres. Yasser Arafat on 10 March 2003 and sworn in as PM and PA Interior Min. on 30 April 2003; resigned from the Fateh Central Committee in July 2003; submitted his resignation as PM on 6 Sept. 2003 (naming mainly Israel’s unwillingness to implement its road map commitments and undertake constructive measures, but also blaming the international community and the Palestinian side for its lack of support, incitement and accusations); following the death of Yasser Arafat, was elected the new head of the PLO and endorsed by the Fateh Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the Presidential Elections on 25 Nov. 2004; elected as President of PA in the 9 Jan. 2005 Presidential Elections (gaining 62.52% of the votes) and sworn in on 15 Jan.; began to reform the government and security services, incl. forcing top security leaders into retirement. Headed the Fateh 6th convention in Bethlehem in August 4th 2009 and was elected as head of Fateh movement and its central committee.
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ABBOUSHI, FAHMI (1895-1975)

Born in Jenin in 1895; Mayor of Jenin from 1935-37; dismissed from the post by British Mandate authorities in 1937; as a result, the Abboushi family left and lived in exile in Beirut until 1940; had a close relationship with Awni Abdul Hadi, co-founding the prominent Arab Independence Party (Al-Istiqlal) in the 1930s; chairman of the Arab National Bank, Jenin branch in the 1940s; also served on numerous national committees during and after the British Mandate of Palestine; well known for his oratory skills; died in 1975.



Abdeen, Abdel Qader (Sheikh) (1927-2003)

Born in Hebron in 1927; raised in Hebron and Jerusalem, where he attended Al-Ibrahimiyyeh School; studied at Al-Azhar University, Egypt, gaining a degree in Islamic Shari’a Law in 1950; specialized in Shari’a Law (1952) then in Education (1954); worked as teacher in Cairo from 1950-57, Saudi Arabia and Jordan; returned to Jerusalem in 1962 and worked as a teacher in Rashidiyeh Boys’ School, Al-Ma’muniyeh Girls’ School and the Agricultural School of Al-‘Urub; also taught at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dar Al-Aytam Al-Islamiya (Islamic Orphanage School); then worked in the Shari’a Court in 1973; became a member of the Court of Appeals, then its Acting Chairman and Higher Shari’a Court Judge until his retirement in 1998; member of the Higher Islamic Council; appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by the Jordanian Government after the death of Mufti Sheikh Suleiman Al-Ja’abari in Oct. 1994; held a separate office from that of the PA-appointed Mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, died in Jerusalem on 18 June 2003.



Abdi, Abed (1942-)

Born in Haifa in 1942; paints since his childhood; held his first exhibit in Tel Aviv in 1962; studied graphics and mural painting at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in Germany, graduating in 1971; received the 2nd Prize at the University and spent another year, specializing in murals and environmental sculpture; returned to Haifa in 1972, where he worked as a graphic designer, painter, sculptor and teacher of arts; received the Young Artist’s Award at the Berlin International youth festival in 1972; was awarded the ‘Herman Struck Best Artist of the Year’ Prize in Haifa in 1972 and 1999; prepared murals and monuments, incl. a sculpture commemorating the 1976 Land Day massacre (jointly with Israeli artist Gershon Knispel) and a memorial sculpture celebrating 75 years of Shafa Amr Municipality in 1984; teaches Fine Arts at the Arab Education College of Israel since 1985; participated in joint Palestinian-Israeli exhibits in Germany in 1988-90 and 1995-96; is a founding member of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah; exhibited his works for “solidarity with the Palestinian people” activities in different parts of the world; founding member of the Ibdaa’ Society for the Promotion of Visual Arts among Arabs inside the Green Line; member of the London-based Artists Without Frontiers; organizes exhibits for young artists.




Born in Sidon, Lebanon, in 1878; moved with the family to Nablus, where he received his education; served as General in the Ottoman Army; became Dir.-Gen. of the Ottoman Agricultural Bank in Nablus and later with the government in Iraq in 1908; served as Dir.-Gen. of the Ministry of Finance in Syria and in Transjordan, and, in 1919, as Minister; moved after the occupation of Syria to Jordan, where he assisted in establishing the government led by Emir Abdullah; was appointed Minister of Finance; moved to Al-Hijaz, then – following British pressure to remove politically-active Ministers from their posts – to Cairo; returned to Palestine and worked as General Inspector of the Palestinian Waqf under Hajj Amin Al-Husseini from 1925-30; co-founder of the Arab National Bank in 1930 with his son-in-law Abdul Hamid Shuman, and served as its Chairman in the early 1940s; helped founding the Agricultural Bank; was active in several financial, credit and economic institutions; early member of the Istiqlal Party; member and named as treasurer to the first Arab Higher Committee formed in 1936; among those Arab Higher Committee members who got deported to the Seychelles Islands by the British in 1937; established the Arab National Fund in Aug. 1943, which supported the Istiqlal Party; named by King Abdullah in charge of the administration in Jerusalem on 15 May 1948; formally appointed Military Governor in Jerusalem in June 1948; named first PM of the All-Palestine Government’s cabinet, established in Sept. 1948 in Gaza; then appointed District Military Governor under Hashemite rule in the West Bank; appointed representative of the All-Palestine Government to the Arab League on 30 Oct. 1948 and subsequently moved to Cairo, where he established the Al-Ummah Arab Bank; left Cairo for medical treatment in Lebanon, where he died on 29 June 1963; buried in Jerusalem.





Born in Jenin on 9 Feb. 1943; BA Geography, Damascus University, Syria (1964); teacher of Geography at Jenin Secondary School from 1964-68; Education Supervisor in Jenin from 1968-73; PhD in Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany (1980); Assistant Professor at the Middle Eastern Studies Dept., Birzeit University (1978-80); Dean, Faculty of Arts, Birzeit University (1980-82); Chairman, Middle Eastern Studies Dept. (1982-83); Dir., Research Center, Birzeit University (1983-84); Associate Professor, Geography Program, Dept. of History, Geography and Political Science, Birzeit University (1984-90 and from 1994-present); Visiting Professor, Villanova University (1990-91 and 1995-96); Associate Professor, Geography Program, Birzeit University (1991-93); Visiting Professor, Bayreuth University, Germany (1993-94); Chairman, Contemporary Arab Studies MA Program, Birzeit University (since 1996); former member of the Council of Higher Education in the West Bank and Gaza (1982-89); member of the editorial board of Afaq Filastiniyya (Birzeit University’s Research Journal); made numerous contributions to Palestinian organizations, incl. being founding member of the Palestinian Geographical Society, Board of Trustees member of the Arab Studies Society, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) (since 1987) and the Arab Though Forum in Jerusalem; worked together with other Arab Geographers on the Arab Homeland Atlas, published by the Union of Arab Universities and served as member of the Union’s Board of Directors (1982-1986); also member of the German Geographical Society and has participated in the Atlas Vorderer Orient, published by the University of Tübingen, Germany; holder of the Abdul Hamid Shuman Prize for Arab Scientists in Social Sciences (1983) and the Palestine Prize for Social Sciences (Geography), 1997; specialist on Palestinian Geography, incl. the Judaization of the Palestinian cultural landscape and the destruction of Palestinian villages, a topic which he researched extensively (e.g., Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century, co-authored with Wolf Dieter Hütteroth, Fränkische Geographische Gesellschaft, Erlangen, Germany, 1977; and Mountain, Farmer and Fellah in ‘Asir, Southwest Saudi Arabia. The Conditions of Agriculture in a Traditional Society, (Erlangen, Germany, 1981).



ABDUL HADI, AMIN (1897-1967)

Born in 1897; Member of the Ottoman parliament; appointed by the British Mandate authorities to a provisional Advisory Council (to serve as a legislative body until a formal council dealing with self-government issues was established) in May 1923; appointed member of the Supreme Muslim Council in 1929; appointed by the Jordanian government as head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem on 20 Dec. 1948 succeeding the Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini; moved to Cairo in the late 1960s, where he lived until his death in 1967.




A man of literature and landlord in Arrabeh and Jenin, he studded law in Istanbul and served as “Mustantaq” district a attorney in Beirut in 1915. He joined the Decentralization party and was exiled to al-Anadhol by Jamal Pasha. He is the father of Afif, Aziz, Mohammad, Omar, Fouad, Kasim, Rasim, Durah, Nadadah, Azezeh and Awni Abdul Hadi, 'Awni Abdul Hadi, one of the founders of "al-Fata al-'Arabiyyeh" Society and al-Istiqlal party in 1932, Haj Abdul Hadi died in 1938.


ABDUL HADI, AWNI (1889-1970)

Born in Nablus in 1889; landowner and lawyer; pan-Arabist; educated in Palestine, Beirut, Istanbul, and at the Sorbonne University in Paris; there he became a founding member of the Al-Fatat nationalist society in 1911, which was devoted to Arab independence and unity; member of the Decentralization Party; among the organizers of the first Arab Nationalist Congress that took place in Paris in 1913; became the private secretary of Emir Faisal I after WWI; legal advisor to the Hijazi delegation of Sharif Hussein at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919; then advisor to Emir Abdullah in 1921 in Transjordan; chief of the Hashemite Court in Jordan; returned to Palestine in 1924, where he practiced as lawyer and became one of the chief spokespersons of the Palestinian-Arab nationalist movement; elected representative to the 5th (Aug. 1922, Nablus) and 6th (June 1923, Jaffa) Congress of the Arab Executive Committee for Jenin and to the 7th (June 1928) for Beisan; Secretary of the Exec. Committee’s Congress in 1928; presented Palestinian viewpoints before the 1929 Shaw Commission; member of the Palestinian Delegation to the UK in 1930; lawyer for the Supreme Muslim Council; founder, Sec.-Gen. and first elected President of the Palestinian Istiqlal (Independence) Party, the first Palestinian political party regularly constituted on 2 Aug. 1932; member and Sec.-Gen. of the first Arab Higher Committee formed in April 1936; partially responsible for the Revolt of 1936-39; arrested in June 1936 and placed in the Sarafand Detention Camp; banned from re-entry to the country when the British decided to deport the Arab Higher Committee members in 1937; remained in exile until 1941; member of the Palestinian delegation to the London Conference, St. James’s Palace, in Feb. 1939; upon his return to Palestine in 1941, helped revive the Arab Higher Committee; member and appointed Minister for Social Affairs of the All-Palestine government, established in 1948; served as Jordan’s Minister (later Ambassador) to Cairo, 1951-55; Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs in Jordan from 1955-58, and later Senator in the Jordanian Upper House; from 1958 Chairman of the Arab League’s Judicial Affairs Committee in Cairo; died on 15 March 1970 in Cairo.




Born in Nablus in 1951; arrested together with her mother, Issam Abdul Hadi, who, at the time, was the President of the GUPW, in April 1969 and deported from Palestine; earned a BA in Arabic Literature from Jordan University, Amman (1973) and a BA in Theater Criticism from the Institute of Advanced Theatrical Art, Cairo (1973); then studied towards an MA and PhD in Arabic Literature, Cairo University (1982 and 1990); worked as a poet, writer, journalist, lecturer and research consultant, particularly on literature, women and oral history; member, GUPW, Cairo, from 1982-98; organized free weekly art and literary sessions for children during 1988-98; founded and organized Abbad Al-Shams in 1987 (a youth choir which won first prize at the ART competition, Cairo Opera House, 1994); lecturer at the Faculty of Arabic Literature, Cairo University, Egypt, from 1996-97; lecturer, Women’s Studies Dept., Birzeit University, from 2000-2001; Dir.-Gen. of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee from 2001-2002; consultant, MOPIC, Directorate of Gender Planning and Development, from 1998-2003; special coordinator for the OPT to the “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005” Association; has widely published, incl. Heroines in Modern Palestinian Novels (Cairo, 1997) and The Palestinian Woman and Memory: Papers of the Workshop on the Political Oral History of the Palestinian Woman (editor, Ramallah: MOPIC - Directorate of Gender Planning and Development, 1999).



Abdul Hadi, Faisal Qasem (1948-2006)

Born in Nablus on 27 Sept. 1948; studied in the schools of Nablus until he was arrested for his Fateh affiliation and subsequently moved to Jordan in Nov. 1967; went to the UK and enrolled at Chelsea University, from where he graduated in 1976 as an Aviation Engineer; returned to Jordan and worked for a year; then moved to Dubai to work in the field of shipping and freight services (by land and sea); became a famous businessman in the Arabic Gulf in the 1980s and 1990s; after 2000, he contributed to the establishment of the Popular Committee for the Support of the Intifada in Dubai, UAE; worked as Director of the Projects Committee of the Welfare Association in Geneva in 2004; established several IT companies during 2004-06, the most important of which was the Arabic Internet Standards Association, which he formed in cooperation with Dubai Media City; died on 15 March 2006 in Dubai.



ABDUL HADI, Fu'ad (1900-1977)

Born in Beirut in March 1900; studied at the Islamic College in Beirut then attended the Frères and St. Joseph Schools in Jaffa; joined his brother Awni Abdul Hadi in Paris, where he studied at Hughes College in Versailles; also graduated in 1930 with a law degree from the Palestinian Law School in Jerusalem; worked with Awni in their law office in Jerusalem and looked after the family property in Nablus, Jenin and Arrabeh between 1930-47; during the 1948 Nakba, became a refugee to Beirut, Lebanon; returned to Palestine in 1950 and joined the Jordanian judiciary system; was appointed as District Attorney in Nablus in 1950, then as judge in the Jerusalem District Court in 1953; in 1955, became a Judge in the Jerusalem Court of Appeals, and in 1958 Attorney General in the West Bank; served as Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Justice in Amman from 1960-62; was appointed by a royal decree as member of the Jordanian Upper House (Jordanian Parliament) and headed its Legal Committee, through which he also contributed to the drafting of the first Jordanian Civil Law in 1963; became a PNC member in 1964; was active in its Legal Committee and took part in the drafting of the Palestinian National Charter; after the 1967 June War, was one of the founding members of the Higher Islamic Council and member of the first National Guidance Committee; died in Jerusalem on 25 June 1977.




Born in Nablus in 1954; arrested for the first time at the age of 11 by the Jordanian authorities in 1965 for participating in demonstrations; following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 was put under house arrest in Nablus, then sentenced by Israeli authorities for one year imprisonment in 1969 under allegations of joining activities organized by Shadia Abu Ghazaleh; after her release continued her education and was active in community and political committees; arrested again in 1992 and detained for one month; founded Hawwa Center for Culture and Arts in Nablus in 1994; member in the Higher National Committee - Nablus District, the GUPW, and the Female Political Prisoners’ Committee; member of the right of return committee and the Committee for the Defense of Freedom; involved in community work.




Born in 1872; Palestinian notable from Jenin; important landowner in the areas of Nablus, Arrabeh and Jenin; worked as a tax collector during the Ottoman times; supported the Decentralization Party under Ottoman rule; brother of Salim Ahmad Abdul Hadi (a member of the Decentralization Party who was executed by the Ottomans); died in 1916.



Abdul Hadi, Ibrahim Hilmi (1927-2002) )

Born in 1927; studied at the University of Tennessee, USA; worked in his chosen field - agriculture - for several years; settled in Nablus and became a successful businessman, who, with others, established 17 companies in the fields of insurance, real estate and hotels; has been involved in philanthropic activities and projects; has insisted in investing in Palestine rather than abroad and supported small businesses in order to promote the Palestinian economy; passed a policy in his insurance company, which assisted students by paying for their university fees; was a member of various charity organizations and a founding member of the Patients Friends’ Societies; died on 20 Dec. 2002.




Born in Nablus in 1928; educated at A’ishiyyeh School in Nablus and later at the Friends’ School in Ramallah; involved in Palestinian women’s activities in the West Bank since 1949; attended the first PNC at which the GUPW was formally established in June 1964; elected Sec.-Gen. of the Arab Women’s Union in Nablus in 1949; long-time leader of the GUPW and its elected President in July 1965; imprisoned by Israel and deported with her daughter Faiha Abdul Hadi, in April 1969 after arranging a sit-in and hunger strike at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, in protest of the Israeli army’s killing of women in Gaza; worked through the Save Jerusalem Committee in Amman; appointed to the PLO Central Council in 1974; re-established GUPW in Lebanon in the mid-1970s; headed the Palestinian delegation to the first UN International Women’s Conference in Mexico City in 1975; elected Pres. of the General Union of Arab Women in 1981; Vice-Pres. of the International Democratic Union of Women from 1981-92; returned to the West Bank in 1993; was awarded the Ibn Rushd Prize by the Berlin-based Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought in 2002; was one of eight Palestinian women nominated for the Noble Peace Prize as part of the Project “1000 Women for the Noble Peace Prize 2005”.




Born in Nablus on 15 Dec. 1957; studied at the Qadri Tuqan Boys School in Nablus; earned a BA in Political and Administrative Sciences (1982) and an MA in Political Science (1983) from the Lebanese State University; editor of Palestine Daily’s section for the Palestine Research Center in Beirut from 1981-83; worked as a researcher and marketing manager at the Center for Production Development in Ramallah (MATTIN) from 1983-87; founder and manager of the United Clothing Company from 1988-89; founder of the Bisan Center for Research and Development in Ramallah in 1989 and its Director since; conducted a number of training, assessment and evaluation programs for different local and international organizations since 1992; member of the PNGO (since 1993), the Arab NGO Network for Development in Beirut (since 1995), and the National Team for Poverty Alleviation in Palestine, led by MOPIC (since 1999); Steering Committee member of the Palestinian Council for Peace and Justice (since 1996) and the Women Court in Lebanon (since 1997); from 1993-97 enrolled at the Development Studies Dept. of the University of East Anglia, UK in 1997 to study towards a PhD but did not graduate); Board of Trustees and Directors member of the Center for Women’s Economic Project (Asalah) since 1997; Board of Trustees member of Al-Haq (1995-98 and since 2000); member of the International Council of the World Social Forum; was appointed to become the Palestinian representative to Australia in Oct. 2005; has published numerous articles and studies, incl. Volunteers and Voluntarism in Palestine (Cairo, 1999).




Born in Nablus in 1927; educated at A’ishiyah School in Nablus; Diploma in Education, Dar Al-Mu’alimat Institute, Jerusalem (1946); worked as a teacher in UNRWA schools; attended an educational supervision/inspection course organized by UNESCO in Beirut in 1973; earned a BA in Arabic Literature, Birzeit University (1981); worked as a teacher at A’ishiyah School in Nablus from 1946-57 and then in the Aden Protectorate from 1957-59, where she also became the educational supervisor for Arab Language Teaching in 1959 (until 1962); supervisor for UNRWA schools in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts from 1962-64; Director of Education for UNRWA Schools in Hebron from 1964-67 and in Nablus from 1968 until her retirement in 1987; participated in the founding of the GUPW in 1965; Vice-Pres. of the Union of Voluntary Women’s Societies, West Bank; Board member, Charitable Social Care Society; member, Arab Women’s Union Society since Dec. 1987; became the Director of the Arab Women’s Union Society in Nablus in 1992 and of GUPW in the Nablus area; received an award from the Nablus Municipality on 8 March 1997 and the Charitable Organizations Award in 1998.




Born in Nablus in 1944; son of Fu’ad Abdul Hadi; spent his early childhood in Jaffa, from where his family fled during the 1948 Nakba, becoming refugees in Lebanon, where he attended St. Joseph’s School in Junieh, Beirut; grew up – after the family returned to Palestine in 1950 – in Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jerusalem, where his father served as a judge; was enrolled at several schools, incl. the Friend’s Boys School in Ramallah and the Rashidiyeh School in Jerusalem; was arrested by the Jordanian authorities for setting up an Pan-Arab student union in Jerusalem and detained for one month; was released and completed his secondary school (tawjihi) in Cairo in 1963; returned to Jerusalem and worked as a clerk in the Jerusalem District Court until 1965; went to Syria to study at the School of Law at Damascus University, graduating with a BA in 1970; did not practice law because of the Lawyers’ Strike in protest of the Israeli occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem; co-founder (with Yousef Nasser), and editor of Al-Fajr daily newspaper from 1972-74; left the paper to write two books (one on The Palestine Question and Peaceful Solutions 1934-1977, Sidon, 1977; and The Evolution of the Arab Flag, Amman, 1977); established the Nadi Al-Ghad Youth Club in Jerusalem in 1973 and was elected as its Chairman (serving until 1974); set up the Public Relations office at Birzeit University in 1977; co-founder and Sec.-Gen. of the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank from 1977-80; founder and elected Pres. of the Arab Thought Forum in Jerusalem from 1977-81; author of the first book on Israeli Settlements in Occupied Jerusalem & West Bank in 1977, continued his studies and earned a PhD from the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University, UK (1984); became a member of the Jordanian-Palestinian Joint Committee and special advisor to the Ministry of Occupied Land Affairs in Amman, Jordan, from 1985-86; fellow of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (1985) and of the Salzburg International Seminar (1986); returned to Jerusalem and founded the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) in March 1987; serves as its elected Chairman since; member of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations/multilateral working group on refugees in the early 1990s; member of several Palestinian organizations, incl. the Jerusalem Arab Council headed by Faisal Husseini (1992), the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace in Ramallah (1994), the Association of Palestinian Policy Research Institutes (APPRI); (founding) member of several regional and international organizations, incl. the Black Sea University Foundation in Bucharest (1990); the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (EuroMeSCo), headquartered in Lisbon (1994), the Arab Social Science Research Network (ASSR) in Beirut (1996), and the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Beirut (2000); member board of trustees of the Arab Thought Forum headed by HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan since 2001, member of board of trustees of Yaser Arafat Foundation 2007, and a member of the Palestinian National Dialogue in Cairo 2008/2009. July 2006, was awarded the civilian decoration (medal) of Commander in the Order of the Crown by King Albert II of Belgium for services rendered to the Belgium-Palestinian relations and his lasting commitment to the cause of peace and justice; author of numerous articles, monographs, and essays and editor of many publications, incl. 100 Years of Palestinian History, A 20th Century Chronology (PASSIA, 2001), and Palestinian Personalities, A Biographic Dictionary (PASSIA, 2005).




Born in Jaffa in June 1945 to a family originally from Kufr Qaddoum near Nablus; took refuge with his family in Nablus during the 1948 Nakba; completed his secondary education in Nablus in 1964; his family moved to Al-Bireh in 1970; joined Alexandria University Business College, graduating with a BA in 1968; MA from Birzeit University (1981); worked at Al-Nuseir Auditing Office in Nablus (Sept. 1968); in March 1969 became an Instructor in Business at UNRWA’s Ramallah Women’s Training Center; promoted to Head of the Business Dept. in 1975; promoted to Deputy Field Relief Services Officer in Aug. 1988 then to Head of the Program for Relief and Social Services in 1994; serves on the Board of Directors of several local NGOs; represented UNRWA at several conferences, incl. the World Summit for Social Development; served as the chair of the UNRWA Teachers’ Union (1981-88); was member in the Association of Bookkeepers of London.




From Nablus District and another Othoman educated man of Law. He was inclined to economy both Islamic economies and modern ones. He used to publish his articles in the local newspapers at the time.



ABDUL HADI, NAIM (1912-1996)

Born in Nablus in 1912; attended An-Najah National School in Nablus; graduated from the AUB with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1934; served for three years as an engineer in the Public Works Dept. under the British Mandate, then as District Governor (1938-48); was appointed by Jordan’s King Abdullah I as Military Governor of Lydda in May 1948, but removed following the Nakba; Provincial Governor of Hebron, then of Ajlon, until his resignation in 1951 over fraud in the parliamentary elections; was elected Mayor of Nablus in the 1951 municipal elections (until 1955); contributed much to the city’s development, especially in creating a public service infrastructure (construction of road, electricity and water networks); joined Sa’id Al-Mufti’s government and was appointed Minister of Public Works but resigned in 1955 in protest against Jordan’s joining the Baghdad Pact; was elected as member of the Jordanian Parliament for Jenin in 1956; joined the Cabinet of Suleiman Nabulsi as Minister of National Economy in 1956-57 (when the government was forced to resign); was arrested for being part of an attempted coup d’état by Nabulsi’s National Party; placed under house arrest and then in Ma’an Prison; upon release in 1958 sought political asylum in Damascus; lived in Cairo from 1961 until the 1980s, before a Royal Decree of Pardon allowed him to return to Amman, where he died in May 1996.



ABDUL HADI, RADI (1900-1982)

Born in Nablus in 1900; attended Al-Darwishiyah School in Nablus; studied in Damascus from 1918-20, then at Salahiyya School in Nablus; joined the Teacher College in Jerusalem in 1922 (from 1925 the Arab College) and graduated in 1926; taught at various schools in Palestine during 1929-34; served as school principal until 1948; after the War of 1948, ended up in Damascus from where he moved to Jordan in 1950; became principal of Al-Hussein Secondary College in Amman and later Dir.-Gen. of the Education Dept. in Hebron, Jerusalem and Ajloun; Under-Secretary at the Jordanian Ministry of Education until 1961, then Provincial Governor for the districts of Karak (1963) and Balqa’ (1964); rejoined the Ministry of Education as Under-Secretary in 1966 until retiring in Aug. 1967; author of numerous school textbooks dealing with Arabic language, history, geography, and literature, among which are: A Summary of the History of Arabs and Muslims (Arabic, 1957), Ancient Cultures (three volumes, Arabic,1966), The Geography of the Arab Homeland and the Middle East (Arabic, 1957), and The Martyr (Arabic, 1950); died in 1982.



ABDUL HADI, RUHI (1885-1954)

Born in Jenin in 1885; attended the Jesuit College and the Frères College in Beirut; studied at the Lycée Imperial in Istanbul and graduated in 1905; earned a higher degree in Law from the Institute of Law in Istanbul in 1908; worked as a legal translator for the Ottoman Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as teacher of French in the Royal School; served many years in the Ottoman diplomatic and consular corps, incl. in the post of Deputy-Consul General in Greece, Russia and Romania; was arrested by France during WWI in 1914 and sent to Tolon, then Switzerland, where he was released and appointed Secretary of the Turkish Consulate in Bern; in charge of Public Administration (1915) and of Private Administration (1916) in the Ottoman FM; served in different Ottoman diplomatic posts before moving to Damascus in July 1920; left Damascus three days after the French occupation and moved to Haifa; held senior positions in the Palestinian administration under the British Mandate; was elected Secretary to the first Palestinian delegation to London in 1921 but could not participate for personal reasons; was appointed by the British authorities as Assistant District Officer of Jerusalem, then as Assistant Secretary of the Palestinian Government in 1930; became District Governor of Jerusalem and later Senior Assistant Secretary of the Palestine Government in 1944; held various ministerial posts in Jordan, incl. FM in 1949, and Justice Minister in 1949 and from 1952-53; died on 16 July 1954 in Nablus.



ABDUL HADI, Salameh Fu’ad (1945)

Born in Nablus on 15 Aug. 1945; youngest son of Fu’ad Abdul Hadi; was educated at a Jesuite boarding school in Lebanon and the Quakers-run Friends’ Boys School in Ramallah, graduating with a high school diploma; then attended the English School in Cairo, obtaining the General Certificate of Education (GEC) in 1965; enrolled the same year at the AUC, graduating with a BA in Economics and Political Science in 1969; returned to Jerusalem and taught Economics and Philosophy at Birzeit University in 1970-71; also taught Economics and Business Admin. at the UNRWA Vocational Training School in Qalandia from 1971-72; in later 1972, joined the US State Dept. as a Middle Specialist, and served there until 1979, first in Washington, Cyprus, Beirut, London, and finally in Amman; during his tenure in Amman, met HRH Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and became his Press Secretary and Information Advisor in 1979 (until 1999), later also serving as his special advisor (from 1987); was the treasurer of the Geneva-based Independent Commission for International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI) from 1984-88; retired following the death of the late King Hussein of Jordan in 1999; is a Board of Trustees member of the Arab Management Society in New York, co-founder of the Geneva-based Rights and Humanity; co-founder of the New York-based International Commentary Service, and member of the Washington-based Conference of World Mayors; worked as a consultant for several multi-national firms (incl. Impregilo Corp.; Salini Corp.; Sumitomo Corp., and the Dresdner Bank) until 2001; he is still active in the media and business fields and currently works on publishing a book on his personal memoirs.




Born in Jenin in 1870; educated in Jenin and Nablus; worked as a judge before resigning in order to work in agriculture; member of the Administrative Council of Jenin; founded the Decentralization Party in Cairo in 1912, demanding autonomy for the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire; founded a Palestinian section of that party in the Haifa-Jenin area in 1913; belonged to the 1st Arab nationalist group (11 martyrs), who were executed by the Ottoman military governor of Syria, Jamal Pasha, in Beirut on 21 Aug. 1915 for membership in the Decentralization Party, which demanded autonomy for the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire.



Born in Jerusalem, 7 th of May 1942. Studied at the Friends Boys School in Ramallah and graduated from High School in 1959. He joined the American University of Beirut and graduated in 1964 with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering. 1964-1968 worked as Site Engineer and then Chief Engineer in a Contracting Company in Tripoli-Libya. 1968-1972 he worked with the Ministry of Housing in Libya as Design Engineer then Head of Design Section. In 1972 he joined Consolidated Engineering Co. (Khatib & Alami) in Dubai as Area Manager for the Arabian Gulf. 1975 he became an Associate in the firm and in 1977 he was appointed as General Manager. In 2000 he became a member of the Board of Directors and in 2003 he was elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Board. During his work in Dubai & the Emirates for the period 1972 till now, he contributed a lot to the construction in the Gulf Area. Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alaim) is one of the leading consulting engineering firms in the Area. He is a member of the Engineering Syndicate in Jordan and Engineering Society in UAE. He's a member of the board of Trustees for the Welfare Association ( Geneva) and the Palestine International Institute for Research (Amman).



ABDUL HADI, TARAB (1910-1976)

Born in 1910; became together with Matiel Moghannam the first official representatives of a Palestinian women’s delegation to meet with High Commissioner Lord Chancellor in Oct. 1929; gave a speech at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the Arab Women’s March to Holy Sites on 15 April 1933, warning of the replacement of the Arab population of Palestine with Jewish immigrants; one of many activists in the 1930s campaign aiming at the removal of the veil; died in 1976.



AbdUl Hamid, HayEl (Abu al-Hawl) (-1991)

Refugee from Safad; lived in Yarmouk RC, Syria; joined Hani Al-Hassan in coordinating Palestinian activism from West Germany; joined Fateh in 1963/64 and led Fateh groups in Egypt and Syria; received military training in China in 1967; became Fateh's representative in Cairo in 1969, and head of Fateh's security apparatus in April 1973; member of the Fateh Central Committee; assassinated by the Abu Nidal group in Tunis on 15 Jan. 1991, together with Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad) and Fakhri Al- Omari.


Born in Nazareth in 1910; received his elementary and secondary education from Rawdat Al-Ma'aref College in Jerusalem; moved to Haifa; became editor of Al-Yarmouk paper and later of An-Nafir and Al-Difa' ; was employed at the Arab Bank in Haifa; served as Director of As-Siraat Al-Mustaqim paper in Jaffa; is well remembered for his poetry; died when a train hit his car in 1937; was posthumously awarded the Jerusalem Prize for Culture and Arts by the PA Ministry of Culture in 1990.


AbdUl MUNEIM, BAKER (1942-)

Born in 1942 in Ramleh; became refugee in Amman, Jordan, in 1948; studied Mechanical Engineering at Cairo University (BSc in 1966); was head of a Jordanian power station; returned to Cairo University and graduated with a MSc in 1975; became the Vice-Pres. of the International Union of Students, representing the GUPS from 1978-1983; PNC member since 1979; PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 (Czechoslovakia); PhD in Economics in 1985 (Germany); PhD in Political Science in 1988 (US); was elected to the Fateh Revolutionary Council in 1989; served as PLO representative to Japan from 1983-95 and as head of the General Delegation of Palestine in Canada from July 1995-2005; in Oct. 2005, was appointed to become the Palestinian representative to Moscow; has translated and authored several works on Palestine and other issues in Arabic, English, and Japanese, incl. Palestine in My Heart (Shakaihihyosha, 1991, in Japanese), The PLO and the Gulf War (Daisanshokan, 1991/992, in Japanese and English); Songs to Hiroshima (Poems) (Al-Shorok, 1996, in Arabic), and The Wisdom of Japan: Old Japanese Folktales (translation into Arabic) (Al-Shorok, 1996).


Abdul Qader, As'ad ( known as sALAH tA'MARI ) (1943- )

Born in Bethlehem in 1943; studied English Literature at Cairo University, graduating with a BA; became a Nasserist, then joined Fateh in 1965; became Sec.-Gen. of the GUPS in Cairo; after 1967, Fateh commander in Jordan, in charge of the Karameh base; married King Hussein's ex-wife Dina Abdul-Hamid; relocated in South Lebanon becoming responsible for the PLO youth; rose through the ranks of Fateh to Lt.-Col. and commanded several army units in South Lebanon during Israel's invasion in 1982; arrested by Israel in Sidon in 1982 and put in solitary confinement for three months, before being transferred to Ansar Prison Camp in South Lebanon; released at the end of 1983; became Chairman of the Internees' Committee; returned to the West Bank after the 1993 signing of the DoP; elected PLC member as an independent in the Bethlehem district in the Jan. 1996 elections; member of the PLO Central Council; appointed spokesman of the PA's ‘Emergency Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Lands' and chair of the PLC's Land and Settlement Committee since Aug. 1998; member of the Negotiations Affairs Dept., with special responsibility for the issue of Israeli settlements; led the Palestinian delegation to negotiate the fate of Palestinian activists hiding in the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, during Israel's re-invasion of West Bank towns in spring 2002; strongly supported the no-confidence motion of 11 Sept. 2002 that led to the collective resignation of the PA cabinet; appointed Min. of Sports and Youth in the Nov. 2003 cabinet of PM Ahmed Qrei'a (until the cabinet reshuffle in Feb. 2005); appointed as Governor of Bethlehem in 2005 to 2008.



AbdUL Rahim, TayyEb (full name: At-Tayyeb Abdul Rahim Mahmoud Abdul Halim ) (1944-)

Born in Anabta in 1944; enrolled at Al-Azhar University and graduated with a BA in Commerce in 1967; involved with Fateh since 1967; Dir. of Fateh Broadcasting from 1969-70; Director of Voice of Palestine / Sawt Filastin radio from 1973-78; PLO ambassador to China, Egypt, and Yugoslavia; PNC member since 1977; member of Fateh Revolutionary Council since 1980; represents Fateh in the PLO Central Council since 1989; PA ambassador to Jordan until 1995, then appointed by Yasser Arafat as Sec-.Gen. of the PA, responsible for presidential affairs; elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Tulkarem constituency in the Jan. 1996 elections; headed a Committee appointed by Arafat to oversee dialogue with PLO-affiliated opposition groups in 1996; appointed by Arafat to head a commission to investigate the PA corruption report in June 1997; made the official announcement of the death of Pres. Arafat on 11 Nov. 2004 in Ramallah; was reappointed as Sec.-Gen. of the PA under the leadership of Pres. Mahmoud Abbas (until the Jan. 2006 PLC elections), was elected member of Fateh Central Committee of Fateh 6th convention in Bethlehem on August 4th 2009.



Abdul Rahman, Ahmad (1943-)

Born in Beit Shannah, Ramleh, on 12 Nov. 1943; studied at Damascus School of Law, graduating with a BA in 1969; joined the Palestinian resistance and Fateh in June 1967; was one of the founders of the Fateh Tanzim in the Palestinian Student Union in Damascus; in charge of the Fateh student network in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan between 1967-68; joined the Voice of Al-Asifa radio in the Cairo Broadcasting Services in 1968; was assigned to represent Fateh in Sudan in mid-1968; was assigned to represent Fateh in missions in Latin America in 1969 and 1971; served as a Director of Voice of Al-Asifa radio when it was broadcasting from Der’a in Syria from 1970 until it was closed down by the Syrian government in Oct. 1973 and he was arrested and jailed in Al-Maza Prison in Damascus for a few weeks; became close to Yasser Arafat from July 1973, when he joined him at the International Youth Festival in Berlin; served editor-in-chief of Filastin Ath-Thawra from Jan. 1974 until 1994 (the paper was printed in Lebanon from 1974-82, then moved to Cyprus from 1982-94); elected Sec.-Gen. of the Palestinian Union of Writers and Journalists in 1974 (until 2005); enrolled at the AUB and studied towards an MA in Political Science but was unable to graduate due to the Israeli June 1982 invasion into Lebanon; left with the PLO to Tunis following the PLO’s exodus from Beirut in 1982; PNC member in 1983; appointed as a PLO spokesperson and the PNC since 1983; was sent back to Lebanon in 1983 to challenge Abu Musa’s splinter Fateh Uprising; remained in charge of the unified media of the PLO; Fateh Revolutionary Council member since 1984; returned to Palestine with Mahmoud Abbas in Sept. 1994 for a short period, then went back to Tunis; eventually settled back in Palestine in Jan. 1996; was appointed as a PA Cabinet Sec.-Gen. and given the title of a Minister in May 1996 (until 2003); appointed by Pres. Arafat as Advisor for Political Affairs in 2003; was reappointed to that post by Pres.-elect Mahmoud Abbas in Nov. 2004; observer in the PLO Exec. Committee since Jan. 2005; wrote numerous articles as well as a booklet about the need to establish a Palestinian state under a pen name in 1974.



Abdul Rahman, As'ad (1944-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1944; BA in Public Administration from the AUB (1965); became close to the PFLP in the late 1960s; became PNC member in 1969; left Palestine in 1970 to become an assistant researcher at the Palestinian Research Center in Beirut (1966-67); then took charge of the research section at the Center from 1968-70; continued his higher education and earned an MA in Public Administration and PhD in Political Science from the University of Calgary, Canada (1973); returned to the Palestinian Research Center in Beirut as research consultant from 1973-74; began a teaching career as Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Kuwait in 1974 and became full Professor in 1984; member of PLO Central Council since 1977; editor-in-chief of the Social Sciences magazine in Kuwait from 1975-84; became the second Dir.-Gen. of the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation in 1981, and was appointed to its Board of Directors in 1997; PLO Exec. Committee member in charge of Refugees' Affairs; head of the PA's Higher Council for Refugee Camps; resigned in July 2000, saying he is unwilling to take the responsibility for the Camp David results on the refugee issue; has authored several studies on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.



Abdul RazZeq, Omar (1960-)

Born in Salfit in 1960; earned a PhD in Economy from the University of Iow in 1986a; received several awards and honors for his writings and research, incl. the Abdul Hamid Shoman Award for Arab Young Scholars in Social Sciences (1991); has worked as researcher at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) in Ramallah worked as Professor of Economics at An-Najah University in Nablus; was arrested twice by the Israelis and held in administrative detention; upon his release in March 2006, he was appointed PA Minister of Finance in March 2006; was arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006, and is still imprisoned as of July 2006.


AbdUl RazZeq, HISHAM ALI HASSAN (1953-)

Born in Rafah, Gaza Strip, in 1953 to a refugee family originally from Zarnuqa; Fateh member and leading activist in Jabalia RC; spent 21 years in Israeli jails for political activism; was finally released in 1994; studied Geography for two years; holds a BA in Israeli Politics from Al-Quds University, Jerusalem; member of the Fateh Higher Committee in Gaza since 1994-95; spokesperson for Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails in 1995; elected to the PLC in 1996, representing the Jabalia District; appointed PA Minister of Detainees and EX-Detainees' Affairs in 1998; reappointed to that position in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003 and the successive cabinet of PM Ahmed Qrei'a on 12 Nov. 2003 (until the cabinet reshuffle in Feb. 2005); was among the negotiators of the so-called ‘Geneva Accord' in 2003; run in the Jan. PLC 2006 elections (Fateh, Jabalia) but was not re-elected.



Born in Gaza in 1919; son of Sheikh Muheiddin Abdul Shafi; received his early education in Gaza, secondary education at the Arab College in Jerusalem, graduating in 1936; studied Medicine at the AUB, graduating with a MD in 1943; while in Beirut, joined the ANM; after graduation, worked in the British Government Hospital of Jaffa; joined the Jeish Al-Badiah (Desert Army) of the British Jordanian Army in 1944 as medical officer; returned to Gaza in 1945 and opened a private practice; co-founder and member of the Arab Medical Society since 1945; participated in the first Palestine Medical Congress in 1946; provided medical aid to Palestinian guerillas in the clashes that erupted in the wake of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, then helped in humanitarian relief efforts until UNRWA was established in 1951;left for further studies in surgery at the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, US, returning in 1954; worked as surgeon at the Tal Zahur Hospital in Gaza; named member of a municipal council installed by Israel during its 1956 invasion/occupation of Gaza, but refused to serve; appointed by the Egyptians as Director for Medical Services in the Gaza Strip, 1957-60, then returned to private practice; first head of the Gaza Parliament’s Legislative Council from 1962-65; member of the first all-Palestinian conference in Jerusalem in 1964, which established the PLO, and elected one of three assistants to chair Ahmed Shuqeiri; member of the first PLO Exec. Committee established in Aug. 1964 and member of the opposition against Shuqeiri; volunteer at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the War of 1967; in 1967, temporarily detained by Israel, in 1969 expelled for three months to Nahal, Sinai, and in Sept. 1970 deported for two months to Lebanon – all for support of PLO activities; founded the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza in 1972 and served as its head since; prevented from leaving Gaza after publicly opposing the 1978 Camp David talks; head of the Palestinian team of the Palestinian-Jordanian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in Oct. 1991; led the Palestinian negotiation team for 22 months in the subsequent Washington talks; called for a referendum in the OPT on whether or not to pursue the peace process in Sept. 1992; resigned in April 1993 (over the issue of settlements), then resumed position under pressure but eventually left the Palestinian negotiating team over the Oslo Accords, predicting its collapse from the outset; strong critic of the lack of democracy within the PLO; led a delegation to Tunis in Jan. 1994 to demand that Arafat share power and set up collective leadership; among the Palestinian figures from various political backgrounds who met in Amman in Dec. 1994 to establish the Palestinian Democratic Party; elected to the PLC in 1996 (Gaza Constituency); ran for the post of PLC speaker, but lost to Ahmed Qrei’a by 57-31 votes; became head of the PLC’s Political Committee; walked out of the April 1996 PNC meeting after being denied to express his opinion for not amending the PNC Charter until Israel gave reciprocal recognition; resigned from PLC in Oct. 1997 (effective from 30 March 1998) on the grounds that it lacked real power to change the Palestinians’ situation; initiated unity talks for all factions in Gaza in April 1998; highly respected secular nationalist leader and non-partisan figure in Gaza; founding member of the Palestinian National Initiative (Mubadara), launched in Ramallah in Jan. 2002, together with Mustafa Barghouthi and Ibrahim Dakkak; member of the Birzeit University Board of Trustees; Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR) until 2004, he died in Gaza on Tuesday 25 September. 2007.

Related Link: Haidar Abdel Shafi obituary /


Born in 1872; Palestinian notable from Gaza; father of Haidar Abdul Shafi; Al-Azhar graduate; member of the ‘ulama (religious notables); served in many posts for the Ottomans until WWI; Director of Waqf properties; Shari’a Court judge in Gaza; Custodian of the Holy Places in Gaza and Hebron from 1925-27; appointed member of the Supreme Muslim Council for Gaza and Southern Palestine in 1930 until 1948; held this position until his death in Gaza in 1954.


Born in Jerusalem on 1 April 1939; received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Damascus, Syria, in 1965, and a Diploma in Psychology from the Beirut Arab University, Lebanon, in 1969; worked as Director of the Fateh Foreign Relations Office in Beirut from 1969-72; PNC member since 1979; continued his studies and earned an MA in Sociology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, in 1982; also was a PhD candidate in International Relations but did not graduate; served as head of the Palestine Mission and Director of the PLO Office in Canada from 1972-90; then became Ambassador of Palestine to Greece from 1990-Oct. 2003; also served as Vice-Pres. of the Institute for Middle East Studies - Al-Ma'moun (IMSAM) in Athens, Greece, in 1997; Chairman of the Parliamentary Relations Dept. in the PNC since 1996; served also as the PA's Deputy FM since 28 Oct. 2003 (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections); was elected as PLC member (Fateh list) in the 2006 elections and subsequently appointed as head of the PLC Political Committee.

Abed, George T. (1938-)

Born in Jifna near Ramallah on 18 Dec. 1938; PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkley (1972); Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California (1973); worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1973-83; co-founder of the Palestine Welfare Association in Switzerland and its Dir. Gen. until 1993; rejoined the IMF in 1993 and became Deputy Director of its Fiscal Affairs Dept. from 1997-2002, and later Director of its Middle Eastern Dept. from July 2002-Dec. 2003; then became Special Adviser to the Managing Director of the IMF; appointed Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority in 2005; published widely on Economics, Development and Fiscal Reform; among his publications are: The Palestinian Economy: Studies in Development Under Prolonged Occupation (editor, London: 1988); The Economic Viability of a Palestinian State (Washington: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1990), Governance, Corruption, and Economic Performance (co-edited with Sanjeev Gupta, IMF, 2002), Growth and Globalization in the Middle East and North Africa (with H. Dawoodi, IMF, 2003).



ABED RABBO, YASSER ( Abu Bashar ) (1945-)

Born in Jaffa in 1945; became refugee in 1948; MA in Economics and Political Science from the AUC; in 1968, co-founder (with Nayef Hawatmeh ), former leader and Deputy Sec.-Gen. of the DFLP after it split from the PFLP; DFLP representative to the PLO Exec. Committee from 1971 and head of its Information and Culture Dept. from 1973. In Aug. 1973, he first proposed establishing a state in the WBGS rather than claiming all of historic Palestine; believed to be the main force behind the 1988 adoption of the two-state solution of the PNC in Algiers; took part in dialogue with Jordan and the US during the period 1988-90; expelled from the DFLP politburo in April 1991 after quarrels over leadership; subsequently formed a new group – Fida (Palestinian Democratic Union) in Sept. 1991, which abandoned Marxism-Leninism and accepted the proposed peace conference; FIDA Sec.-Gen. ever since; head of the PLO Information Dept. in Tunis; member of the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid talks; helped in the secret Oslo talks in 1993; Minister for Information and Culture in the PA since 1994; won a seat in the Tulkarem Constituency in the Palestinian elections in Jan. 1996; considered a leading PLO moderate; member of the PLO Exec. Committee (FIDA), head of the PLO Media Dept. and close advisor to Arafat; since 1998, head of the PLC Committee for Education, Culture and Science; appointed to head the negotiating team to the final status talks in 1999, but resigned – although with no effect - in May 2000 over the revelation of ‘secret' talks in Stockholm, Sweden; member (Minister of Culture and Information) of the reduced PA cabinet of June 2002 and the new cabinet of 29 Oct. 2002; since 29 April 2003 Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas (until the Nov. 2003 cabinet reshuffle under PM Ahmed Qrei'a ); co-initiator (with Israeli Yossi Beilin) and signatory to the unofficial Dec. 2003 Geneva Accord; head of the Palestinian Peace Coalition, a non-governmental grassroots institution that aims at promoting a strong partnership for a just and lasting Palestinian-Israeli peace.

ABID, SAMIH (1947-)

Born in Al-Bireh in 1947; BSc in Urban Planning and Architecture, Al-Azhar University, Cairo (1970); received an award by Al-Ahram newspaper for his project ‘Re-planning the Old City of Jerusalem,' Cairo, June 1970; continued his studies and earned an MA in Urban Design from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA (1973); worked as a community planner at the State Dept. of Transportation in Raleigh from 1974-76; Assistant Director, Central Planning Dept., Ramallah from 1976-80; received a PhD in Regional Planning from Liverpool University, UK, in 1987; lectured in Architecture at Birzeit University from 1987-92; Director of the Engineering Center for Planning and Design, Ramallah, from 1992-93; Head of the Architecture Dept., Birzeit University, and team advisor for PECDAR, 1993-94; team leader for the Infrastructure Group (a Palestinian expert team assisting the World Bank mission in Palestine) from 1994-95; PA Deputy Minister of Planning since 1995 (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections) ; Board of Trustees member of the Arab Studies Society; member of the Council of Higher Education; member of the Higher Planning Committee; member of the Palestinian negotiation team to the Camp David (July 2000) and Taba (Jan. 2001) talks; supervised numerous projects and studies; author of Palestinian Diseur: The Role of the Third Party (2004).

ABIDI, MAHMOUD (1906-1978)

Born in ‘Assira Ash-Shamaliyeh in 1906; graduated from Dar Al-Mu'allimin (Teachers' College) in Jerusalem in 1927; worked as teacher in Nablus, Bethlehem and Safad; after the Nakba of 1948, opened an evening school; worked in the Education Ministry and in the Archaeology Dept. in Amman and then as a cultural consultant; represented Jordan in different conferences; elected in 1976 as the head of the Jordanian Writers Union; part-time lecturer of Archaeology at the University of Jordan; wrote 38 books on topics related to history, archaeology, education, literature and the Arab-Israeli conflict; died in 1978.

Abu ‘AITA, MITRI Tanas JiriEs (1941-)

Born in Bethlehem in 1941 to a Christian family; graduated with a BA in Law from Damascus University; practiced as lawyer and served as the Chairman of the Jordan Bar Association from 1994-98; then got involved in the hotel and tourist industry for over 20 years; elected PLC member (independent, Bethlehem district) in the Jan. 1996 elections; elected Deputy PLC Speaker from 1996 to 1998; appointed PA Minister of Tourism in 1998 until June 2002, when he was appointed Minister of Transport; part of the PA team to negotiate an end to the Church of Nativity standoff in April/May 2002; became Minister of Tourism in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003, and of the successive cabinet of PM Qrei'a on 12 Nov. 2003 (until the Feb. 2005 cabinet reshuffle under PM Ahmed Qrei'a ).

Abu Amr, Ziad MAHMOUD (1950-)

Born in Gaza City on 22 June 1950; received a BA in English Literature and Language from Damascus University in 1973; lived and worked as teacher and translator in Syria, Bahrain, and Oman, during the 1970s; studied towards an MA in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, US, graduating in 1979; taught at Georgetown from 1979-83; worked as Research Director at the Center for Research and Publishing in Washington, DC, from 1983-85; earned a PhD in Philosophy and Comparative Politics from Georgetown University in 1985; returned to the West Bank and became a Assistant Professor of Political Science (and a year later also of Cultural Studies) at Birzeit University in 1985 (until 1993); served as Exec. Committee member of the Arab Organization for Political Science from 1987-2000; went back to his teaching position at Birzeit University, also serving as Chairman of the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Dept. in 1988-89; received a Diploma in US Foreign Policy Process from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland; was a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University and a member of the Brookings Working Group on Arab-Israeli Peace during 1990-91; was a member of the Exec. Committee of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in Washington, DC, from 1991-96; Associate Professor of Political Science at Birzeit University since 1993; was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS) in Nablus from 1993-96; served as Deputy Chairman of the Independent Group for Palestinian Elections in 1994; was a Visiting Scholar at the State University of New York in 1995; was elected PLC member for Gaza City in the 1996 elections; Chair of the PLC Political Committee and member of the Human Rights and Oversight Committees from 1996-2003; Pres. of the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations in Gaza since 1998; Board of Directors member of Miftah since 1998; member of the PLC Political and Budget Committees since 2003; became Minister of Culture in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003 (until Oct. 2003); member of the Higher Education Council; member of the PLO Central Council; was re-elected as PLC member (Independent, Gaza City) in the Jan. 2006 elections; has written numerous articles and research papers as well as authored several books, incl. The Origins of Political Movements in the Gaza Strip: 1948-1967 (Arabic; Dar Al-Aswar, Acre, 1987), The Intifada: Causes and Factors of Continuity (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 1989), Emerging Trends in Palestinian Strategic Political Thinking and Practice (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 1992), Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza (Bloomington: 1994), Civil Society and Democratization in Palestine (Cairo: Ibn Khaldun Center, 1995).



Born in Jerusalem in 1948; was a leader of the Palestinian Students Union while in secondary school; was arrested in March 1969 for his activism and imprisoned for 18 months; received a BA in Agricultural Science, University of Mousel, Iraq; one year of MSc studies in Economic Development with a Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, Colorado State University in 1987; foundingmember of the Palestinian Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), the PNGO Network, and the Palestinian Council for Peace and Justice; Director of the Arab Thought Forum, Jerusalem, and editor-in-chief of its quarterly Shu’un Tanmawiyeh (Development Affairs); contributed to several studies on democratization in Palestine and Israeli settlement policies; also known for his paintings depicting angles from the Palestinian culture.


Abu Arafeh, Khaled (1961-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1961; received a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technology University in Baghdad in 1983; was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the Israelis between the early 1980s and 1995; served as head of Public Relations in the Silwan Charitable Society; headed also the Holy Qur’an Home Institute in Ras Al-Amud, Jerusalem; is a member of the Land Defense and Silwan Real Estate Committee; one of the Hamas leaders in Jerusalem; was appointed Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in March 2006; was arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006; refused to resign from the PA government as demanded by Israel and had his Jerusalem residency permit and Israeli ID card subsequently revoked by Interior Minister Roni Bar-On on 30 June 2006; is still detained as of July 2006.



Born in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1957; holds an MA in Architecture from Kiev University, Ukraine (1983); worked - besides drawing cartoons - as an architect ever since; was imprisoned several times by Israel and spent a total of 14 months in Israeli jails during the years 1986-1992; editorial cartoonist for Al-Quds daily newspaper; adopted the pen-name ‘Ghassan’ in the mid-1980s; received the Ghassan Kanafani Award for excellence as a cartoonist in 1996; prepared cartoons to supplement several Palestinian brochures and books; held exhibitions locally and internationally; collected some of his cartoons in a book in 1996; head-writer to the Palestinian version of the Sesame Street TV program in 1997; some of his cartoons were censored by Israeli authorities.



Born in Nazareth in 1961; educated in the field of Aviation Engineering in the Netherlands (1981-87), where he also worked as an assistant film-maker; founded with Rashid Masharawi the Aylul Company for Film Productions; returned to Palestine in 1989-90; his films include: Ford Transit (Fiction, 80min, 35mm, 2002), Rana’s Wedding (2002) and Paradise Now (a German-French-Dutch production) which won the AGICOA’s Blue Angel Award for the best European film in Feb. 2005, received three major prizes in the Berlin Film Festival, and was nominated for “Best Foreign Language Film” in the 2006 Oscar awards.


Abu Al-Assal, Riah Hanna (1937-)

Born in Nazareth in 1937 to a Christian family; fled with his family to Beirut in 1948; returned to Nazareth in 1949; took Israeli citizenship in 1959; attended Bishop’s College in 1960’s specializing in Islamic Studies; was ordained Deacon of the Anglican Church in 1965 and Priest in 1966; served as Vicar of the Christ Episcopal Church in Nazareth from 1967 for over 30 years; co-founded the Nazareth Democratic Front in 1975; was a founding member of the Committee for Defense of Arab Land in 1976, of the Progressive Movement in 1981, and the Progressive List for Peace in 1984 serving as its Sec.-Gen. from 1985); was banned from traveling by the Israeli authorities during the years 1986-90 for his contacts with Yasser Arafat; became Archdeacon of the Jerusalem Diocese in March 1989; became Co-Adjutor Bishop of Jerusalem in June 1995, and the 13th Anglican Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East in Aug. 1998; published his autobiography, entitled Caught in Between, in 1999.


Abu Ayyash, Radwan (1950-)

Born on 15 June 1950 in the Askar Refugee Camp near Nablus to a family originally from the destroyed village of Jamazin; moved to Ramallah in 1965 to study at the Teacher Training Center, where he gained a Diploma in 1970; worked with Ash-Sha‘ab newspaper in Jerusalem from 1975; earned a BA in English Language and Literature from Birzeit University (1982); Fateh member; worked as editor-in-chief of Al-Awdah magazine (1982-86); imprisoned, put under house arrest and restricted from traveling by Israeli authorities; head of the Arab Journalists’ Association in the OPT from 1985-91 and later of the Palestinian Journalists’ Association; Director of the Arab Media Center in Jerusalem since 1988; head of the Advisory Committee of the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid conference; chaired the Palestinian Coordinating Committee of NGOs at the UN in 1991; appointed head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Ramallah, since 1993, until 2005, when he was appointed as Dep. Min. for Culture (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections).


Abu Bakr, Tawfiq (1942-2004)

Born in Ya’bad on 10 Dec. 1942; graduated from Damascus University, Dept. of Arabic Language and Literature (1966); lived in Kuwait from 1969 to 1990; worked as commentator for several Arab papers like the Jordanian Al-Dustur, the Palestinian Al-Ayyam, and the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, among others; Exec. Director of the Amnesty International chapter in Jordan in the early 1990s; established the Jenin Center for Strategic Studies in Amman, Jordan, in 1997 and serves as its Director since; PNC member; member of the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace, Ramallah; member of the Arab Thought Forum in Amman; awarded the Arabic Journalism prize by the European Commission in 2003; conducted a number of interviews for different papers and wrote a several books, incl. Palestine and the World (1977), and Issues of Reform & Democracy in the Palestinian Arena (1994); died on 10 Dec. 2004.


Abu Eisheh, Samir (1960-)

Born in 1960 in Nablus; earned a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Pennsylvania; served as Vice-President for Development and Planning at An-Najah University, Nablus; was also Dean of the Engineering Faculty; has published over 60 studies on planning and related issues; was appointed PA Minister of Planning in March 2006; was arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006, and is still imprisoned as of July 2006.


ABU GHARBIEH, NIHAD ‘Ulayyan (1913- 2009)

Born in Jerusalem to a Hebronite family in 1913; received his early education in Hebron and at Al-Rashidiyyeh School in Jerusalem, where he graduated in 1929; obtained a certificate from the Arab College in 1931; worked as Director of the Ibrahimieh National School in Jerusalem from 1931-45 (the sole proprietor of which he became in 1935) and developed it into today’s Ibrahimieh Community College, serving as its Pres. since 1945; member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council from 1951-67; received a BA in History, University of London, Britain, 1955; became Director of the Arab Farms in 1966; member of the Higher Islamic Council from 1967-73; member of the Young Muslim Men Association, from 1967-1973; President of the Committee of Private Schools in Jerusalem since 1991; Board of Trustees member of the College of Science and Technology, Abu Dis, of Al-Quds University, and of the Industrial School of the Arab Orphans’ Committee; Pres. of the Board of Trustees of Ibrahimieh Community College since 1983; of the Wajdi Abu Gharbieh Institution (later Wajdi Abu Gharbieh Institute of Technology, named after his son who died in 1999 at the untimely age of 38) since 2002. Died in April 2009 in Jerusalem.




Born in Khan Younis in 1916; participated in armed resistance during the revolts of 1939 and the Nakba of 1948; among the leaders of the Holy Salvation Army and in the battles at Al-Qastal in 1948; co-founder (with Abdullah Rimawi and Abdullah Ni’was) of the Ba’ath Arab Party’s branch in Ramallah (Renaissance Party) in 1952 and member of its leadership from 1949-59; member of the first PLO Exec. Committee established in Aug. 1964, where he headed the opposition to Ahmed Shuqeiri; member of the PNC; formed, together with Subhi Ghosheh and Ishaq Duzdar, the Civilian Resistance Committee in Jerusalem in May 1967; once more on the PLO Exec. Committee in 1971-72; joined the Rejectionist Front in 1974; stood for PNC presidency in 1977, but was defeated by Khaled Fahum; later head of the Ibrahimiyyeh College in Jerusalem; published his war memoirs - In the Midst of the Struggle for the Arab-Palestinian Cause: The Memoirs of Freedom Fighter Bahjat Abu Gharbieh, 1916-1949 (Arabic, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993), describing his role in the Palestinian resistance particularly during the Great Rebellion (1936-1939) against the British and the 1948 War; addressed a major right-of-return rally in Amman in December 2001; a second volume of his memoirs covering the period between the Nakba and the Intifada (1949-2000) is published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publication in 2005.




Born in Jerusalem in 1946; moved in the early 1950s with his family to Hebron, where he completed his secondary education; involved in different political activities, leading to his arrest in 1963 by Jordanian authorities; member of Fateh since 1963; studied at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University; arrested again and jailed in Hebron Prison in 1966; left the university following the War of 1967 and joined Al-’Asifa forces; enrolled at the Nankin Military Academy, People’s Republic of China, graduating as a Lieutenant in 1969; appointed General Officer of Al-’Asifa forces in Jordan; became Assistant Commander of the 201 Battalion in Jerash and the Jordan Valley; participated in the battles between Lebanese forces and the fedayeen in the Fall of 1969; started a military cadres school for Al-’Asifa forces in Lebanon; among the Palestinian fighters in Jordan during the Black September events; left Jordan following the offensive of the Jordanian army on the fedayeen and the death of Walid Nimr (Abu Ali Iyad); took different Palestinian military posts in Lebanon; assigned by Fateh on various military missions, incl. a visit to the Republic of Yemen; participated in the 1973 resistance in Southern Lebanon and then in the Golan Front; graduated from a Military Academy in the USSR in 1976; returned to Fateh military missions in Lebanon; was briefly imprisoned by the Lebanese Kata’eb forces during the War in Lebanon; joined the Fateh Mobilization and Organization Office in 1977, while continuing his work with the military cadres school; appointed to the Fateh Dept. for European and Asian Issues, facing different battles with Zionist organizations; survived an assassination attempt in Istanbul; elected Fateh Revolutionary Council member in 1980; Vice-Commissioner of the Fateh Mobilization and Organization Office; assigned to lead Fateh’s forces in Syria following the moving of PLO leadership to Tunisia in 1982; joined Fateh in Tunisia in 1983; PNC member since 1984; PLO Central Council member; opposed to the Oslo Accords but returned to Palestine following the establishment of the PA; served as an assistant of Pres. Arafat on Fateh’s Political and National Guidance Dept.s; survived another assassination attempt near his home in Ar-Ram, near Jerusalem; became Chairman of the PNC’s Parliamentary and External Affairs Committee; member of the PLO Higher Military Committee; elected by the Fateh Revolutionary Council as head of the Membership Committee (sub-committee of the Conference Preparation Committee) at its 6th conference in Feb. 2005. was elected member of Fateh Central Committee at Fateh 6th Convention in Bethlehem on August 4th 2009.




Born in Amman in 1913; BA in History and Political Science from the AUB, 1935; law degrees from the Lawyers’ Union in London and London University in 1940; continued his higher education in the field of philosophical law in 1942; practiced law in Palestine from 1944-48; worked as a deputy at the Appeals Court in Jerusalem from 1948-51; appointed member of the Jerusalem Appeals Court from 1951-52; became deputy of the High Court in Khartoum, Sudan, from 1956-59; then appointed as Dir.-Gen. of Al-Aqaba Port from 1959-61; made Governor of Jerusalem in 1961; appointed Minister of Transport in Dec. 1962; re-instituted as Governor of Jerusalem in 1963 (until Dec. 1965); then Jordan’s Ambassador to Spain, and in 1967, its Ambassador to Iran; died in Jerusalem in 1972.




Born in Jerusalem in 1935; BSc, Medicine, Kings College, Cambridge, 1960; BSc and MSc in Surgery, Kings College, Cambridge, 1960 and 1962; Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, Bank of Palestine (early 1970s); member, Arab Municipal Council, Gaza, 1970-71; Vice-Chairman, Bank of Palestine, 1967-84; founding member and Vice-Chairman of the Citrus Producers Union, 1967-84 and member of the Cooperative Citrus Market; Chairman, Society for the Care of Handicapped Children in Gaza from 1975; in charge of a program involved in sending teachers to home-staying mothers; community activist and public speaker; his studies include a needs analyses on children in the Gaza Strip.




Abu Ghazaleh, Hatem Siddiq Abdul Khaleq (1932-)

Born in Nablus on 3 Feb. 1932; received his primary and secondary education from schools in Nablus; graduated with the high school diploma from the Salahiyyah Secondary School in 1948; enrolled at the University of Damascus in 1949 and graduated in 1956 with BSc in Science and a PhD in Medicine; was several times arrested during demonstrations in Syria under the Shishakli regime; joined the Algerian revolutionists and worked as a doctor in the hospital of Ghalizan, Algeria; after Algeria earned its independence, moved to Jordan in 1962, where he was elected as a member of parliament, representing Nablus, until the parliament dissolved six months later; was arrested afterwards and imprisoned for eight months in the Jafar Prison; was released in 1965 and left for Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a doctor in a Kuwaiti-Saudi company; was again arrested after ten months on suspicion of conspiring against the regime and put in Ad-Damman Prison, then exiled; returned to the West Bank and was arrested in 1967 by Israel for resisting the occupation; was released in 1968, re-arrested in 1969 and imprisoned for one year and a half followed by a 3-year house arrest; however, was shortly re-arrested after the 1970 Black September events and kept as a hostage (in return of kidnapping planes in September by Palestinians at Al-Mafraq Airport); was banned from leaving the West Bank for ten years from 1967-1977; owns and operates a private clinic in Nablus; is an elected member of the Nablus Municipal Council; has written several books on economics, history, politics and sociology, and contributed numerous articles in Palestinian newspapers.





Abu Ghazaleh, Hiyam (1934-)

Born in Jaffa on 17 June 1934; BA in Sociology from Birzeit University (1976); MA in Adult Education and Community Development from Manchester University, UK (1987); from 1952-67, worked as a social worker and Director of the Girls’ Education Club, run by the Jordanian Ministry for Social Affairs; founder and Director of a dept. for technical developmental activities in literacy and adult education at Birzeit University from 1976-99; founder the Palestinian Net for Literacy and Adult Learning in 1999 and serves as its director since; member of the Executive Council for the Arab Net for Literacy & Adult Education in Cairo since 1999; advisor and consultant for the distance learning program of the Development Studies Department, Birzeit University (1999-2000); authored several publications in the field of literacy and adult learning; supervised and participated in the writing of educational books for adults; received two awards from Birzeit University (most recently in 1999) and two awards by the Arab Organization for Education, Culture & Science (most recently in 2000).




Born in Jaffa on 2 Dec. 1939; BA in English Language and Literature from Cairo University (1964); worked as teacher at the Ramallah Girls’ School and at Al-A’ishiyah School in Nablus during the years 1964-1976; became an English language teacher at An-Najah College in Nablus from 1972-74; returned to university and earned an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Wales (1977); became Associate Professor at the English Language and Literature Dept. at Birzeit University (1970-77 and 1983-present); founding committee member of Al-Zaituna Theater in Nablus in 1976; founding member of the Arab Students’ League in Florida in 1979; earned a PhD in Text Linguistics from Florida University in 1983; upon return, became head of the English Language Dept. at Birzeit University, 1984-85 and Al-Ibrahimieh College, Jerusalem, 1984-86; Pres. of the Birzeit University Linguistics’ Program Committee, 1983-90, and of the English Dept. Council, 1985; member, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Nazareth College, Rochester, New York (1990-91); affiliated with the Women Studies Program at Birzeit University since 1990; founding member of the Institute of Women Studies, Birzeit University; Board of Trustees member of Al-Ibrahimieh College in Jerusalem since 1991; founding member of various organizations, incl. the Institute of Arab Women Studies, Washington (1989) and the Discourse Analysis Program at Birzeit University in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam (1993-94); Advisory Board member of the National Committee for Palestinian Theater since 1995, and the Arab Thought Forum since 1997; member of the editorial board of The Jerusalem Daily (1965-66), Al-Fajr Daily (1975-76) and Al-Kateb journal (1991-93); writings include Women of Silence (Union of Palestinian Writers, 1997).




ABU GHAZALEH, RAJA’ (1942-1994)

Born in Beirut in 1942; educated in Beirut; moved to Amman; studied English Literature in London; worked as writer, artist, and translator; contributed with a weekly article in Al-Ra’ie newspaper in Jordan; was a member of the General Union of Jordanian Writers; was awarded three prizes by the Jordanian Dept. for Culture and Arts; passed away in 1994; published several poetry and short story collections and a novel which came out after her death.




Abu Ghazaleh, Samira (1928-)

Born in Nablus in 1928; studied in Ramleh and Jerusalem; graduated from the Teachers’ College for Women in Jerusalem in 1947; volunteered with the Egyptian Red Crescent Society in Al-Ramleh in 1948; established the Young Arab Women’s Association in 1950; was elected Sec.-Gen. of the Jordanian Red Crescent Society in Jerusalem; worked as a teacher at Dar Al-Mu’allimat in Ramallah; in 1952 enrolled at the AUB to study Education and Psychology, but was dismissed for her political activity; obtained a BA (1956) and MA (1962) from Cairo University focusing on Arabic Literature; established the Palestinian Women’s Union in Cairo in 1963; was one of the founders of the GUPW in Jerusalem in 1964; was elected to the PNC; member of the PLO Central Council since 1985; her writings include: Diaries of an Arab Girl (Arabic, Cairo, 1962).





Born in Nablus on 8 Jan. 1949; early education from Al-Fatimieh School and Al-’A’ishiyah School in Nablus; joined the ANM in 1964; studied for a year at the Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences at Ein Shams University in Cairo but left following the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 and moved to An-Najah College in Nablus; joined a local PFLP group; organized and led women’s military units; was among the first Palestinian women to participate in military resistance after the 1967 occupation; died in her home while preparing an explosive in Nov. 1968.




Born in 1940 in Jaffa; moved to Nablus in 1947; attended courses in Political Science and Economics at Dartmouth College, USA, in 1965; earned a BSc in Philosophy, Psychology and Social Science from Kuwait University in 1970; became Assistant Director of the Cultural Dept. at Kuwait University from 1972-80; volunteered as head of the GUPW’s Folklore Committee in Kuwait from 1975-90 and was responsible for the organization of a number of exhibitions and other cultural events both regionally and internationally; worked as a consultant at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research in 1979; volunteers as head of the cultural committee of the Palestinian Cultural Society in Jordan since 1991.





Born in Jaffa in 1938; studied Business Administration at the AUB, graduating with a BA in 1960; worked at the Saba & Partners Inc. from 1960-70; founded the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) firm in Kuwait in 1972 and serves as Chairman of its Board of Director since; founded the International Arab Projects Co. in 1980; established the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Graduate School of Business and Management at the AUB in 1980, the Talal Abu Ghazaleh Research Center at Canisius College, Buffalo, US in 1988 and the Abu Ghazaleh Cambridge IT Skills Center in Amman in 2001; serves as Chairman of many bodies, incl. the Licensing Executives Society Arab Countries in Amman, the Arab Knowledge & Management Society in New York, the Arab Society for Intellectual Property in Munich, and the Arab Society of Certified Accountants in London; serves as Board member of numerous Arab and international organizations, incl. World Links World Wide, Washington, King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, National Music Conservatory, Amman, and the World Bank Development Gateway; has received several honors, incl. an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Canisius College, the French Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and decorations from Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.




Abu Hamda, Shawkat Mahmoud (1931-2007)

Born in Kharbath village near Ramleh in 1931; was raised and studied there until the 1948 Nakba, during which he became a refugee in Jerusalem; studied at Ibrahimieh College from 1948-51; joined the Royal Military College in Jordan from 1951-56, graduating as a police officer; serving in the Jordanian Police Force until 1962, then joined the Jordanian intelligence services as director of the Hebron Office until the War of 1967, when he became a refugee for the second time; was appointed first Director of the Executive Office for Occupied Land Affairs in Jordan in 1971; was a member of the Jordanian-Palestinian Joint Committee since its establishment in 1979, serving until 1985, in charge of municipality affairs, land and housing issues, as well as Jerusalem, incl. renovation of the Old City; became first Undersecretary of the Ministry of Occupied Land Affairs in 1980, and its Minister in 1984; retired in 1985. Died in 2007 in Amman.






Born in Al-Reineh, near Nazareth, in 1928; educated in Nazareth; then attended the Teachers’ College in Jerusalem in 1948; published articles in different Palestinian newspapers, incl. Al-Ittihad, Al-Difa’ and Filastin, promoting his progressive leftist ideas related to revolution and resistance, incl. solidarity with Cuba and Africa; imprisoned in Al-Ramleh in 1958 for his activism against Zionism; received a degree in English Language and Literature from Haifa University; became Director of the National Orthodox College in Haifa; lectured in the Arabic Language and Literature Dept. at Haifa University; renown poet, writer and translator from Romanian into Arabic; many of his poems depict the struggle of the Palestinians inside the Green Line for freedom.




Abu Hanoud, Mahmoud (full name: Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmad Abu Hanoud Ash-Shouli) (1967-2001)

Born in ‘Assira Shamaliyya, near Nablus, on 1 July 1967; attended the village school; was active in the first Intifada that started in Dec. 1987; earned a BA in Shari’a Law from Al-Quds University, Jerusalem; was among the deportees to Marj Az-Zuhur, South Lebanon, in Dec. 1992; was arrested by the PA for firing at settler vehicles near Nablus in 1994; wanted by Israel as top commander of Hamas’ ‘Izz Eddin Al-Qassam brigades in the West Bank, responsible for several suicide attacks on Israeli targets since 1997; escaped an Israeli assassination attempt in ‘Assira Ash-Shamaliyya on 26 Aug. 2000, in which three Israeli special forces were killed by friendly fire; escaped to Nablus, where he was taken into custody by PA police and - on 1 Sept. 2000 - sentenced by a State Security Court to 12 years in prison on charges of having established military cells; remained in prison until 18 May 2001, when Israeli jets bombed Nablus prison and the PA released prisoners to ensure their safety; eventually killed - together with two aides Ayman and Mamoun Aweissa - on 23 Nov. 2001 by an Israeli missile attack on the car he was driving outside Yassid village near Nablus.




Born in Deir Estia in 1919; early education in local schools; then attended AUB, graduating as a physical doctor in 1946; opened a clinic in Nablus which also became a meeting venue for different thinkers; became member of the Jordanian parliament in 1950 and was elected representative of Nablus in 1952; active in the Communist Party, which at the time founded the Farmer Reform Union, the Youth Union and the Peace Supporters Movement; gathered 140,000 signatures denouncing nuclear weapons; won a seat in the parliament elections in Oct. 1956; left Jordan for some time to Egypt after the fall of the Nabulsi government a couple of months later in 1957; returned and worked as a physician in Gaza until 1965; became a member in the National Guidance Committee; died in Nablus in 1972.





Born in Deir Istia, near Nablus, in 1928; attended the Ramallah Friends’ School; completed his secondary education at Al-Rashidiyeh College in Jerusalem in 1948; volunteered with the Iraqi Army during the 1948 War, based in ‘Anin village near Jenin; was wounded during the confrontations and resigned in 1949; was appointed English language teacher at Al-Fadiliyyah School in Tulkarem; moved to Saudi Arabia in 1950 and worked as Arabic language teacher for foreign students; returned to Palestine in 1953 and became teacher at Al-Sa’diyyah School in Qalqilya and later at Al-Fadiliyyah School in Tulkarem; after 1957, taught in Syria; moved to Beirut in 1959 and wrote under the pen name of Omar Al-Dirawi; worked as translator for the publications of Dar Al-’Ilm Lil Malayin educational publishing house in Beirut; served as Secretary of Al-’Ulum scientific magazine in 1964-65 and as editor of the English section of Al-Risala magazine in Beirut from 1962-66; earned a degree in History and a Diploma in Education from the Beirut Arab College in 1968; studied towards a PhD at the Lebanese University; has authored and translated numerous books, incl. Two Women by Italian writer Alberto Moravia (Beirut 1962).




Born in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, in 1955; detained in 1974 and 1975, while still in high school, by Israel for membership in the National Front; obtained a BA in Law from Egypt; member, DFLP; worked in the Public Works Union in Abu Dis in 1979 and served as its secretary until 1985; co-founder and secretary of the Workers’ Unity Block Union in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 1980-85, for which he was put under house arrest by Israeli authorities; member of the General Federation of Palestinian Trade Unions from 1982-85; imprisoned in 1985 on suspicion of organizing guerrilla cells and deported to Jordan in 1986, where he worked with the PLO; PNC member since 1989; returned to the country in Sept. 1991 as part of a prisoner exchange between the DFLP and the Israeli authorities; founded the Freedoms’ Defense Institute in 1992 and served as its Director until 2000; founder and general coordinator of the Jerusalem Center for Democracy and Human Rights since 2003; writes and lectures on issues related to democracy and human rights.




Abu Al-Huda, Tawfiq (1895-1956)

Born in Acre in 1895; relative of Suleiman At-Taji Al-Faruqi; attended school in Acre, then completed his secondary education at the Sultani School in Beirut; started studying Law in Istanbul but could not continue when WWI broke out and he had to join the Ottoman army as a reserve soldier in 1915; was trained in a military school to become a deputy officer and appointed as a clerk for the Ministry of War in Istanbul; was an active member of the Arab literary circle (Al-Muntada Al-Adabi, established in Istanbul in 1909), which the Ottomans soon prohibited for its pan-Arab ideas; served with the Ottoman army in Iran but fled to Aleppo, where he witnessed the entry of the Arab Army to Syria led by Emir Faisal in 1918; moved to Lebanon, then back to Acre; was appointed as clerk in the office of the Dean of the Law Institute in Damascus in 1920; moved to Amman in 1921 and was appointed head of the Imports Dept. in Emir Abdullah’s Emirate of East Jordan, then head of the accounting section in the Ministry of Finance (in the government of Ahmad Hilmi Abdul Baqi); became Dir.-Gen. for the Land Registration Dept.; served as Sec.-Gen. for PM Hassan Pasha Abul Huda from Oct. 1929-Feb. 1931, then for PM Sheikh Abdullah Al-Sarraj until Oct. 1933; was appointed as head of the Jordanian Agricultural Bank in Oct. 1933; was bestowed the title of ‘Pasha’ by Emir Abdullah; was first appointed PM in 1938 and served in that position with several short interruptions until 1955, holding, at times, also the posts of FM, Justice Minister, and DM; represented Jordan at the 1939 St. James Palace conference in London; became head of the Arab Establishment Project in Jerusalem in 1945; participated in the talks that led to the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948; committed suicide in his house in Amman on 2 July 1956.



Abu al-Hummus, Na’im (1955-)

Born on 28 Jan. 1955 in Birzeit to a refugee family from Lydda; Fateh member since 1969; studied Education at the University of Jordan (BA, 1976) and at San Francisco State University (MA, 1980); from Jan. 1982-Sept. 1988, Instructor at the Education and Psychology Dept., An-Najah University, and the Dept. Chairman, Nablus; during this time he also continued his education and received a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco in 1985; served as Sec.-Gen. of the Palestinian Council for Higher Education from Feb. 1989-Aug. 1994; became Deputy Minister of Education in Aug.1994 (until June 2002); appointed PA Minister of Education and Higher Education in June 2002, a post to which he was reappointed in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003; member (as Education Min.) in the Oct. 2003 Emergency Govt. of the PA, and the subsequent Qrei’a govt. of 12 Nov. 2003; PNC member; observer member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council; member of the Central Elections Committee; Chairman of the Palestinian General Examinations Board and the Palestinian Curricula Development Committee; author of several books on education and politics like The Palestinians: Generation of the Intifada (1990); received different awards, incl. the Academic Palm Award from the French Gov. in 1994; nominated as Minister of Education in the Cabinet of PM Ahmed Qrei’a, approved by the PLC on 16 Feb. 2005 (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections)





Born in 1891 in the village of Massoudeh, Jaffa. Studied in local schools and worked in agriculture and trade. He later became Secretary-General of the Central Society for Villages of Jaffa and a member of the Agricultural Society in Lydda during the British Mandate.




Born in 1912 in Ein Anoub in Lebanon. Studied at the American School in Lebanon then at the National University at Shwaifat. Graduated with a BA in political science in 1929. He came to Palestine in 1930. Appointed with the General Police in Haifa in 1933, then as Inspector of Police in 1937. He later became a captain in the criminal investigation branch in 1938. In 1943 he joined the British army until 1944. During his service he was in charge of extradition matters between the British Authorities in Palestine and Austria. In the last years of the British Mandate, he joined the Palestinian School of Law in Jerusalem, and graduated as a lawyer.




Born in Jaffa on 1 May 1929; Brevet from the St. Joseph Sisters School in Jaffa (1945); General Certificate of Education from Oxford (1947); Diplome d’Etude Literaire Superieur Française from the Jesuit University in Beirut (1952); volunteered with the delinquent girls’ section at the Syrian Social Committee in Damascus during 1952-53; became Director of an UNRWA center for girls’ education in Gaza from 1955-57; worked as Exec. Secretary at the Educational Medical Service Dept. in Kuwait from 1960-63; founded the Pioneer Nursery in Kuwait in 1963 and worked there until 1989; member of Fateh since 1965; founded Dar Al-Hanan Private School in Kuwait in 1965 and worked there until 1990; member of the GUPW Board of Directors since 1967; became a PNC member in 1972 (until 1997); chaired the second (1974) and third (1980) conference of the GUPW; member of the Palestinian Higher Council for Culture, Science and Education since 1976; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council since 1980; chair of the Palestinian delegation to the NGO Forum of the Second World Conference for Women, Copenhagen in 1980; chaired the official Palestinian delegation to the Third World Conference for Women, Nablus, 1985; member of the PLO Central Council; Sec.-Gen. of the GUPW; Sec.-Gen. of the Fateh Women’s Bureau; member of the Palestinian Constitution Consultative Committee.





Born in 1900 into the Abu Kheshek family of Jaffa. He became the chief of Abu Kheshek when he was sixteen, upon the death of his father. In 1929, he was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for participating in the 1929 Palestinian uprising. Upon the protestations of Arab leaders, the British High Commissioner replaced the prison sentence with a fine of two thousand five hundred Egyptian pounds. He was a member of the National Front and the head of the village society of Jaffa.



Abu Kweik, Samih (QADRI) (1941-)

Born in 1941; Ba‘athist, who joined Fateh in the early 1960s; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council from 1968-1983; became Fateh’s Secretary for the regional command in Jordan in 1969 (briefly replaced by Hani Al-Hassan in early 1970); was an assistant to Salah Khalaf in Fateh’s Jordan Bureau; leader of Fateh’s leftist branch; elected to the Fateh Central Committee in 1980 (until 1983); elected member of the PLO Central Council from 1980-1984; outspoken Arafat critic who supported, along with Nimr Saleh, a memorandum presented in Jan. 1983 by Sa‘id Musa Muragha (Abu Musa) to the Fateh Revolutionary Council in Aden, strongly criticizing the political direction of the movement, incl. the Fez Summit resolutions, the PLO-Jordanian dialogue, and PLO contacts with Egypt and the Israeli peace camp (leading to the formation of the Fateh Uprising group); his Fateh membership was subsequently suspended; merged with the Abu Nidal group to take charge of the Anti-Arafat dissident movement, but the alliance ended quickly when Syria seized their office and exiled the supporters; left politics in the 1980s; runs a law office in Damascus.




Born in Arrabeh, near Jenin, in 1954; holds a PhD in Statistics from Cornell University; Deputy-Director of the technical committees supporting the Palestinian negotiating team during the Madrid/Washington talks; stated his belief in an ultimate federation between Jordan and a Palestinian entity; began work on an Emergency Assistance Program for the World Bank via PECDAR in 1994; serves as Deputy Director of PECDAR and as Pres. of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics; writes short stories; was assigned by PM Ahmed Qrei’a’s as his Chief Bureau Minister in 2004; approved by the PLC as Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in the Qrei’a Cabinet on 16 Feb. 2005 (until the 2006 PLC elections). Appointed as Gen. Sec. of the PA Government headed by P.M. Salam Fayyad in 2009.




Born in Jaffa on 15 Feb. 1929; educated at Amariyya School; while in high school, involved in the struggle for Palestinian rights and against British and Zionist policies; fled Jaffa in 1948 and moved to the US via Beirut; gained his BA and MA from the University of Illinois (1953 and 1954) and his PhD in Middle East Studies from Princeton University (1957); worked three years as a field expert for UNESCO in Egypt, then returned to the US; founded in 1968 and led thereafter the Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG); taught Political Science at American universities in the 1970s and 1980; was elected to the PNC in 1977 and began work on the establishment, under the auspices of Unesco, of a Palestine national Open University in Beirut (which came to an end with the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon); one of two PNC members (with Prof. Edward Said), who met US Sec. of State Shultz in March 1988 to discuss his peace proposals; resigned from the PNC in 1991 in order to be able to return to the West Bank as an American passport holder the year after; was appointed Vice-President of Birzeit University and helped establishing the Faculty of Graduate Studies; author and editor of many works on the question of Palestine, incl. The Transformation of Palestine: Essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Northwestern, 1971); co-founder of and active in the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights (PICCR), the Palestinian Curriculum Development Center, and the Qattan Cultural Center in Ramallah; one of the leading Palestinian academics and intellectuals; died on 23 May 2001 of cancer in Ramallah, and was buried next to his father in the family plot, at the Ajami district cemetery in Jaffa.




Abu Marzuq, Musa (1951-)

Born in Rafah, Gaza, in 1951 to a family originating in Yabna (Al-Majdal); completed his basic education in the Gaza Strip; studied Engineering at Ein Shams University in Cairo, graduating in 1977; managed an aluminum factory in the UAE and worked as Engineer at the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Co. until 1981; left to the US to continue his studies, earning a MA in Construction Management in 1984 and a PhD in Industrial Engineering in 1991; gained US residency rights while staying there; returned to Jordan and was elected as Chairman of Hamas’ politburo in Jordan in 1991; was expelled from Jordan in July 1995 and arrested by US authorities at New York’s JFK International Airport “for plotting acts of terrorism” but without any charge; spent 22 months in a solitary confinement; released for lack of evidence and returned to Jordan in May 1997; a US federal court ordered to extradite him to Israel upon Israeli requests in early 1997, but then Israeli authorities preferred not to receive him; was subsequently deported to Jordan in May 1997; became Deputy Chairman of the Hamas politburo; was arrested again and expelled when the Jordanian government closed the Hamas offices in Aug. 1999; now operates from Damascus; led the Hamas delegation to the Fateh-Hamas talks in Cairo in Nov. 2002, aimed at ironing out tensions between the two factions, strengthen the Al-Aqsa Intifada and halt suicide attacks in Israel; was one of six senior Hamas leaders named by US Pres. Bush in Aug. 2003 as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, freezing any assets in the US and prohibiting transactions with US nationals; founding and Board member of the Al-Quds Foundation.




Abu Maizer, Abdul Muhsin (1931-1992)

Born in Hebron in 1931; became a Ba‘ath Party member in the early 1950s; studied Law in Cairo in 1951; became a lawyer and member of the Jerusalem City Council from 1955; elected Secretary of the Ba‘ath Party in Jerusalem from 1956, but went underground in 1957; left to Syria where he became a leading Ba’athist; leader of the Palestinian National Front (PNF); editor of Al-Wihda newspaper (1958-60), Al-Sahafa (1961-62), and Al-Ba‘ath (1963-65); member of the committee that drafted the Syrian constitution in 1964; returned to Jerusalem in 1965; after 1967, became member of the Islamic Supreme Council and leader of the Higher Committee for National Guidance; deported for PNF membership in Dec. 1973; member of the PNC from 1973-1987 became head of the PNF in March 1974; member of the PLO Central Council from 1974-87; appointed to the PLO Exec. Committee in June 1974 (until 1984) and served as its official spokesman; became official spokesman of the PNF in 1984; died in Damascus in 1992.




Born in Gaza in 1944 to a Bedouin family; LLB graduate from Alexandria University, Egypt, in 1971; returned to Gaza and practiced law; member of various Palestinian councils and associations; elected Chairman of Gaza Bar Association from 1989-94; Board of Trustees member of PASSIA from 1991-94; member of the Palestinian negotiating team to the 1991 Madrid peace conference and the subsequent Washington talks; in the 1996 elections, elected PLC member for the Deir Al-Balah district (Fateh); PA Minister of Justice from 1994 until the 2002 cabinet reshuffle.




Born in 1871; Sheikh of a tribe from Beersheba, Negev and Gaza area; took part in the Arab Revolt of 1916, was appointed as a member in the first Advisory Council by Herbert Samuel in October 1920. The Council consisted of eleven officials and ten non-officials (four Muslim, three Christian, and three Jewish); Sheikh Fraih was a member representing the south, and the others were; Ismail Husseini (Jerusalem), Dr. Habib Salim (Nablus, Christian), Michel Beiruti (Jaffa, Christian), Suleiman Nassif (Haifa, Christian) and Suleiman Abdel Razzak Tuqan (Nablus Muslim); Sheikh Freih was re-appointed to the second Advisory Council in May 1923, which had Eight Arab – Muslim, members: Ragheb Nashashibi, Aref Dajani, Ismail Husseini, Abdel Fattah Al-Saadi, Amin Abdul Hadi, Suleiman Abdel Razzak Tuqan, Mahmud Abu Khadra (mayor of Gaza). The two Christians were Suleiman Nassif and Anton Jalad (of Jaffa); In 1922 Sheikh Freih became mayor of Beersheva; In January 1929, he was nominated to a legislative Assembly established by the high commissioner sir John Chancellor. Other member were Musa Kazem Huseini, Ragheb Nashashibi, Aref Dajani (all of Jerusalem); Azem Said (mayor of Jaffa), Mahmoud Abu Khadra (mayor of Gaza), Suleiman Tuqan and Haj Shafi Abdul Hadi (both from Nablus), Mahmoud Al- Madi (Haifa), Tawfiq Fahum (Nazareth) and Yakoub Farraj & Moghannem Moghannem (both Christians); After the Nakba in 1948, he took refugee in Gaza. Died in 1955.




Abu AN-Naja, Ibrahim Musa (1943-)

Born in Khan Younis in 1943; received a BA in Psychology and a Diploma in Education from the University of Alexandria, Egypt, in 1965; Fateh member; returned to the OPT after Oslo in 1994; was assigned to be the Political Commissioner for National Security in Gaza from Aug. 1994-1996; held the title of Brigadier General; was elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Khan Younis district in the Jan. 1996 elections; was elected first deputy PLC speaker from 1996-2003; Director of the Higher Follow-up Committee for the Intifada since Oct. 2000; was acting PLC speaker from Nov. 2003 (replacing Ahmed Qrei’a who had been appointed PM) until March 2004 (when Rawhi Fattouh was elected new speaker); was appointed Minister of Agriculture on 10 June 2004 until the cabinet reshuffle of Feb. 2005; served as Secretary of the Follow-Up Committee of the Palestinian Higher National Committee in summer 2005; was involved in Palestinian national dialogue for unity talks in the last few years; ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 PLC elections (Fateh, Khan Younis district).




Born in Nablus on 10 Nov. 1933; received his primary and secondary education in Nablus, graduating from high school in 1952; received a Diploma from the Teachers’ Training College, Amman, in 1954; worked as a school teacher in Jordan until 1958; BA from the School of Arts, Damascus University, 1959; worked as a teacher in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates from 1959-66; joined Jordan’s General Intelligence Dept. as a political analyst in 1965; became Minister of Culture and Information in Jordan from 1970-72 and in 1973-74; Board of Trustees member of the University of Jordan from 1972 (until 1985); fellow at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (1975-76); worked as (Jordanian) Minister of Information (1976-79 and 1980-84) and Minister of the Court (1984-88); member of the Jordanian Higher Council of Education from 1985 until 1991; served as political advisor to King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan from 1988-91; appointed Chief of the Royal Court in Amman in Nov. 1991 (until March 1992); appointed permanent representative of Jordan to the UN, New York, from March 1992-July 1995, and as non-resident Ambassador of Jordan to Cuba from Feb. 1993-July 1995; senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace, Washington DC in 1995; was hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington in 1997; served as political advisor to King Abdullah II of Jordan in 1999, but resigned in 2000; member of several organizations, incl. the Arab Thought Forum in Amman, and the International Consultative Group on the Middle East (ICG); since July 2004 elected member of the ICG Board of Trustees; has widely published, incl. Jordanians, Palestinians and the Hashemite Kingdom (Washington DC, 1999).



Abu RAHMEH, FAYEZ (1929-)

Born in Gaza on 23 Dec. 1929 to a renowned merchant family; graduated from the Arab College of Jerusalem in 1947; studied Law at Fu’ad I University (now Cairo University), graduating with a BA in 1951; began studies in Journalism at Cairo University in 1952 but stopped to join the Attorney General’s office in Gaza in 1953; resigned in 1955 and worked as a lawyer; was chosen to become a member of the first Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference in Cairo in 1957; member of the High Committee of the Palestinian National Union of Gaza from 1961-67; head of the Gaza Bar Association from 1976-85 and again from 1987-89; served as Vice-Chairman of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza since 1979; was, together with Hanna Siniora, the only Palestinian accepted by the US and Israeli governments in Aug. 1985, to become part of a joint Jordanian‑Palestinian delegation to the peace talks; Board of Trustees member of An-Najah National University since 1986; after its establishment in 1994, became a legal adviser of the PA; was appointed by Pres. Yasser Arafat in July 1997 to replace Khaled Al-Qidrah as Attorney General; resigned in May 1998.



ABU RISH, MOHAMMED (known as ABU SAID ABU RISH) (1909-2005)

Born in Bethany, Jerusalem, on 1 May 1909; schooled in Bethany and two years in the Frères College in Jerusalem; close to Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who assigned him during the Arab Revolt of 1936 to assassinate British District Governor Hugh Foot, a mission he failed to carry out after British military intelligence discovered the plot (Foot, later known as Lord Caradon, authored UN Resolution 242 in 1967); opened together with two friends the Orient Taxi Company, through which he met many journalists to which the Mufti asked him to explain the Palestinian cause; then became a journalist himself, working as assistant to Daily Mail Correspondent O’Dowd Callagher; was sacked by the Daily Mail for withholding information about the bombing of the Palestine Post in 1948 while using it to boost his reports; assistant correspondent to the New York Times in Beirut; moved to work with Newsweek after being asked to open its bureau in Beirut; switched to Time Magazine in 1952; was arrested by Lebanese authorities in 1963 under allegations of an attempted coup d’état in Beirut but released after charges were dropped; retired from Time in 1989 and moved to Seattle, US, to live with one of his sons; died there on 3 May 2005.




Born in Gaza on 8 Dec. 1949; enrolled at the AUB and received a BSc in Public Health in 1972 and a MSc in Parasitology in 1977; later continued his studies at the University of Texas, where he earned a PhD in Environmental Science in 1986; was appointed PA Minister of Environmental Affairs in Aug. 1998; was nominated Chairman of the PLC Committee on Natural Resources, in Aug. 1998; held various administrative and academic positions at local universities; became a delegate to the Middle East peace negotiations, working as part of the Multilateral Working Group on Environment; has authored several publications on the issue of water and the environment in Palestine.



ABU SALEM, François (1951-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1951 to a French mother and a Palestinian father; grew up in Jerusalem; attended a Jesuit college in Beirut; was engaged as an actor to the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris in 1968; returned to Jerusalem in the early 1970s, worked as actor, director and author; established Al-Hakawati (today Palestinian National Theater) in Jerusalem in 1977; transformed the - Nuzha Cinema in Jerusalem into the first drama theater in Palestine in 1983 and became its Artistic Director; inaugurated a cafe-theater / cabaret in the theater in 1987; directed in Hebrew Doron Tavori’s The White Sect at the Haifa Municipal Theater the same year; co-wrote and directed The Story of Kufur Shamma in 1988, which toured Europe, the USA, the Arab World and Latin America for three years; other plays he co-wrote, staged or directed, and went on tour with include In Search of Omar Khayyam, Passing by the Crusades (1991), Saint Genet en Coulisses, Conference of Birds (1992-93), and Jericho in the Year Zero (1994); in 1995, filmed Gates to the City, a documentary on Jerusalem; returned to France the same year; wrote and performed in Motel, directed Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in 1997-98; received the Palestine Prize in 1998; more recent works include Shams (1999), Carmen, Roméo et Juliette (2000-1), Shams & Co. (2000-1), the rock opera Qui est fou? (Who is Mad?) (2002), He is Not Dead (2002), and The Epic of Gilgamesh (2003); took a Sabbatical in 2004 and studied Psychology; re-staged in 2005, acting in a Palestinian version of the epic Gilgamesh 3.


Abu Salem, Ibrahim Sa’id Hasan (Abu Ishaq) (1948-)

Born in Sidreh village near Ramleh in 1948; graduated from Al-Aqsa High School in 1967; received a BA in Shari’a from the University of Jordan in 1971; returned and worked as a teacher in Ma’had Al-Mu’alimin in Ramallah from 1976-80; works as lecturer in Shari’a at Al-Quds University since 1980; received an MA in Fiqh and Shari’a from Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif, Egypt, in 1981; was arrested at least 13 times by Israel since 1986; continued his studies and earned a PhD in Comparative Fiqh from Al-Jenan University, Tarablus-Tripoli, Libya, in 1992; was among the deportees to Marj Az-Zuhur, South Lebanon, in Dec. 1992; has published widely on Islamic Fiqh and related issues; was arrested by Israel and has been in administrative detention since Sept. 2005; was elected as PLC member (Change and Reform, Jerusalem district) in the Jan. 2006 elections, while still under administrative detention; he was released on 2 March 2006 but re-arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006 and is still imprisoned as of July 2006.



Abu Samhadana, Jamal ATTAYA ZAYED (Abul Ataya) (1963-2006)

Born on 8 Feb. 1963 in Al-Maghazi RC, Rafah, Gaza; finished high school and joined Fateh; spent time in Damascus and Morocco and studied at officers’ schools in Germany and Algeria; lost two brothers, one in fightings in Lebanon in 1975 and one during the first Intifada; became wanted by Israel in 1982, but fled to Egypt, then to Damascus, Morocco, and Tunisia where he stayed for two years; joined a Military School in Germany, graduating in 1989; moved on to live in Algeria and Baghdad, where he stayed during the 1991 Gulf War; returned to Algeria after the War, then to Gaza in 1994, after the Oslo Accords were signed, though opposing them; was known for his opposition to coordination and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and to normalization activities with Israel; criticized the PA for imprisoning members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad; was himself arrested by the PA Preventive Security in 1997 and put in jail in Gaza for 19 months (accused of involvement with Islamic Jihad operations against Israel); was a member of Fateh and the Tanzim before he founded of the Popular Resistance Committees during the Al-Aqsa Intifada; was appointed by PA Interior Minister Said Siam as Dir.-Gen. of the Police Forces in the Interior Ministry in April 2006 (a move that sparked new criticism on the Hamas government from the US and Israel and intensified the internal struggle for control of the security forces); was considered the number two (after Mohammed Deif) on Israel’s most-wanted list (for his alleged involvement in several attacks, incl. one on a US diplomatic convoy in Oct. 2003 in Gaza) and escaped several Israeli assassination attempts; was eventually killed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah on 8 June 2006.




Born in Jerusalem on 4 June 1948; received a BA in Commerce from Cairo University (1971) and an MA in Association Management (2003), American Society of Association Management, Washington DC (2003) and Faculty member of the International School of Association Management; owner and manager of Technical Supplies Company in Ramallah from 1971-83; Commercial Manager, Al-Bireh Trading Co., 1975-80; Director of the Tenders and Supplies Dept. at Birzeit University from 1982-96; representative of 32 main international publishers in Palestine and Jordan and promoting academic textbooks and journals, 1996-1999; Director of the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry since Jan 1999; contributes in activating cultural life in East Jerusalem through studies and working with various organizations, incl. the Palestinian National Theater, the Arab Thought Forum, the Jerusalem Society for Welfare and Development, and the Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights; works as a columnist, contributing to Al-Quds newspaper and other Palestinian magazines; his work as playwright includes two TV series Khirbet Mabroke and Bab El-Silseleh, Palestine TV (awaiting for production finance since 2004); publishes satirical writings related to the daily life of the Palestinians, incl. Mish Heik Ya Balad (Arabic, 1999) and Tar El-Hamam (Pigeons Flew) (Arabic, 2004).




Born in Jerusalem in 1896; studied at the American School in Jerusalem, and at Salahiyyah College, Jerusalem, which was founded by Jamal Pasha to turn out Arab youth who would contribute to the advancement of the Arab and Islamic Worlds after the WWI; continued his higher education at Al-Azhar University in Cairo; co-founder of the Rawdat Al-Ma’arif School in Jerusalem in 1916; the location of his house near Al-Buraq (Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque) was among the reasons of his flaming the first spark of Al-Buraq revolution in 1929; he was also an orator; one of the prominent persons of the Palestinian Arab Party (established in 1935) advocating Arab unity and opposing the policies of the British Mandate; Mufti of Al-Shafi’yah Madhab (School of Islamic Jurisprudence) in Palestine; Shari’a Court Judge in Ramleh; controller of Shari’a Islamic courts; captured by Allies in 1945 in Berlin, where he had fled with Mufti Amin Al-Husseini at the end of WWII; managed to leave to Switzerland while the rest of the Palestinian leaders were taken into custody by the Americans; Vice-Chairman of the All-Palestine Government, established in 1948; died in Cairo in 1957.




Born in Jerusalem in 1874; studied Medicine in Istanbul in the last decade of the 19th Century, then served as physician of Sultan Abdul Hamid; returned to Palestine, where he worked as a doctor in the Islamic clinic in Jerusalem; member of the solidarity committee with Syrians suffering from the French attack on Damascus in 1925; advocated for the national liberation; was brought before a Military Tribunal in ‘Aleh, Lebanon, together with other members of the Al-Muntada, an Arab association established in Damascus around 1910 during the Jamal Pasha period, but managed to escape trial; became a member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council in the 1920s; one of the active members of Al- Dif’a Party, 1934; died in 1938.





Born in Jerusalem in 1855; studied in Istanbul and at Al-Azhar University in Cairo; Judge and Mufti of the Shafi’i Mathhab (School of Islamic Jurisprudence) in Palestine from 1902-1920; was an enthusiast of arithmetic and astronomy studies; wrote several books in Turkish and Arabic on various sciences; commissioned the two sun clocks at the southern outside wall of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem; died in 1920.



ABU AL-SAUD, TAWFIQ (1902-1981)

Born in Jerusalem in 1902; educated in Jerusalem; became a scholar, lingual researcher, politician and orator; wrote several radio acting plays for the Jerusalem Broadcasting Service during 1935-1960; his main grammar research work as well as seven volumes authored by him were lost in 1948; served as Sec.-Gen. of the National Committee in Lydda during 1947-1948; worked as teacher, headmaster and inspector of education in Jerusalem and other Palestinian cities; lecturer at Birzeit College; became the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Birzeit University from 1976-1981; co-founder and Board member of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (1949), Al-Maqassed Society (1962) and the Higher Islamic Council (1967); reopened the Arab schools in Jerusalem after the wars of 1948 and 1967; wrote down a version of the Arab legend King Seif Ben Thy Yazan (1946); died in 1981.



Abu Shanab, Ismail (ABU HASSAN) (1950-2003)

Born in Gaza’s Nuseirat RC in 1950 to refugee parents originally from Al-Jiyah (near Asqalan); joined the Teachers’ College in Ramallah where he majored in English Language; studied Engineering at Al-Mansura University in Cairo, graduating in 1975; worked as engineer for the Gaza municipality; founded the Palestinian Engineers’ Association and the Islamic Society in Gaza in 1976; continued his studies at Colorado State University, graduating with an MA in Engineering in 1982; became an instructor of Engineering at An-Najah National University in Nablus (began studying towards a PhD but then returned to teaching at An-Najah, which was in dire need of Engineering instructors); became the head of the Civil Engineering Dept. from 1983-88 (the university was closed down during the first Intifada from 1988); participated in the reform committee aimed at reconciliation between different Palestinian factions in 1986; worked as engineer with UNRWA from 1988-89, when he was imprisoned on 30 May for his role in establishing Hamas and serving as a deputy to Sheikh Ahmad Yassin; was released in April 1997; elected - on the Hamas slate - chairman of the Palestinian Engineers’ Association in 1996; became an instructor of Engineering at Gaza Islamic University; served as Hamas’ observer to the PLO Central Council; one of the leaders and spokespersons - especially with regard to the foreign press due to his good English skills - of Hamas’ political wing in Gaza, considered the movement’s leading pragmatist and a moderate voice; Hamas representative to the 2002 talks in Gaza of all major factions towards a unified Palestinian position as well as to the summer 2003 talks with PM Mahmoud Abbas on a (temporary) ceasefire agreement (hudna); Hamas’ liaison with PM Abbas; was assassinated by Israel on 21 August 2003 along with his two companions in an air missile strike at a car carrying him in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City.



Abu Sharar, Majid (1936-1981)

Born in Dura, near Hebron, in 1936; received his elementary and preparatory school education in Gaza (where his father had moved with the Egyptian forces as part of Al-Jihad Al-Muqaddas in the 1940s and was working as a Judge); received a Law degree from Alexandria University in Cairo in 1958; became a Muslim Brotherhood member; returned to Dura, then moved to Jordan, where he worked first as teacher, then as school principal; since 1959, editor of Al-Ayyam in Saudi Arabia, where he also joined Fateh in 1962; Fateh leader since 1966 and active in its Tanzim; moved to Jordan following the 1967 War and worked with Fateh’s Media Dept. under Kamal Adwan and as editor-in-chief of the Fateh magazine; served as Sec.-Gen. of the Fateh Revolutionary Council from Sept. 1971; became Director of the PLO Information Dept. following the assassination of Adwan in 1973; in charge of the media and the operations section in the PLO; PNC member; was elected to the Fateh Central Committee in May 1980; active member of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists since 1972; played a role in the dialogue between Fateh and other factions; killed by an explosion in his hotel room on a visit to an international Palestinian solidarity conference in Rome on the eve of 9 Oct. 1981; was buried in Beirut.





Abu Sharif, Bassam Tawfiq (Abu Omar) (1946-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1946; graduated from the De La Salle Frères College; grew up in Amman; moved to Beirut in 1963 and graduated from the AUB in 1967; was an active student leader at both the student council and the GUPS; became involved with the Arab National Movement while in Beirut; founding member of the PFLP, in its Central Council (1968) and politburo member (1972); elected Secretary to the General Union of Palestinian Journalists and Writers (GUPJW) in 1972; became deputy editor and editor of the Lebanese weekly magazine Al-Hadaf; seriously wounded and partially blinded by a Mossad letter bomb on 25 July 1972 in Beirut; after months of operations and rehabilitation, he resumed his work at Al-Hadaf and as PFLP politburo member in charge of information in 1973; elected as PNC member in 1974; Secretary to the International Organization of Journalists in 1974; in 1978, elected as a member of the Board and Vice-Pres. of the GUPJW; favored closer cooperation of the PFLP with Fateh; was removed from the politburo in 1981 and drew closer to Yasser Arafat; during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, in charge of information for the joint Palestinian-Lebanese leadership; left Beirut with the rest of the Palestinian leadership in Sept. 1982; was expelled from the PFLP in 1987 and became special advisor to Arafat, advocating the two-state solution and non-military means in solving the Palestine problem; published a statement about negotiated peace in the Middle East on 5 June 1988 (‘Abu Sharif Document’), which led to an internal Palestinian debate and the adoption by the PNC of a political program calling for a two-state solution; played a central role in drafting Arafat’s address at the UNGA in Geneva on 13 Dec. 1988, renouncing terrorism and recognizing Israel; authored several books about Liberation Movements and Middle East politics, incl. Tried by Fire (UK: Little Brown, 1995 – entitled Best of Enemies in the US), co-authored with Israeli former intelligence officer Uzi Mahnaimi; returned to Ramallah in 1996 after 28 years in exile; served as Arafat’s special advisor and PNC member since and writes op-eds for Arabic and English papers, incl. Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat; editor-in-chief of One Palestine, published in Ramallah since 2002.




Abu Shbak, Rashid (ABU HATEM) (1954-)

Born in Jabalia Refugee Camp in 1954 to refugee parents; holds an MA in Political Science; joined Fateh while at secondary school in 1971; was arrested and detained by Israel numerous times, first in 1972, and longest in 1973, when he served 14 years; soon after his release he was jailed again in 1988 for 6 months; then was out in administrative detention 27 months; was in charge of Fateh’s military wing (Black Panthers, later Fateh Hawks) in 1990; left for Tunis in 1991; returned to Palestine following the establishment of the PA in 1994; served for many years as deputy head of the Preventive Security Service (PSS) under Mohammed Dahlan; appointed head of the PSS in Gaza by Pres. Yasser Arafat in June 2002, following Dahlan’s resignation; offered to resign on 16 July 2004 in complaint over the state of chaos and the lack of reforms in the security services; was removed from Israel’s list of wanted terrorists as a goodwill gesture toward Pres. Mahmoud Abbas in early 2005; was promoted by Pres. Abbas to overall PSS chief in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in April 2005; member of the Fateh Higher Committee.




Born in the destroyed village of Al-Abbasiyeh (near Jaffa) on 15 May 1926; ended up in the Aqabat Jabr Refugee Camp after the War of 1948; enrolled at Fuad I University (now Cairo University) graduating in 1950 with a degree in Literature, Political Science and Journalism; taught in Aleppo, Syria, at Birzeit School (now Birzeit University), Al-Sadee School in Qalqilya, and at Al-Ibrahimieh School in Jerusalem (now Al-Ibrahimieh College); wrote in several local and Arab newspapers; well-remembered for his column in Al-Manar Newspaper titled “Hakatha Daa’at Biladi” (This is How My Country Was Lost) between 1964 and 1967; joined the staff of Al-Quds newspaper, where he worked for some time; established a weekly political newspaper called Sawt Al-Jamahir (Voice of the Masses); translated and published several books; known for his sarcastic style in writing about Palestinian history; was among the first to advocate a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a capital of two cities in a book entitled No Peace Without a Free Palestinian State (Arabic, 1971); passed away on 24 March 1995 in Jerusalem after a long struggle with cancer; buried in Jerusalem.






Born in Ma’in Abu Sitta, Bir As-Saba’, in 1918; attended Al-Rawda College in Jerusalem; joined the Arab Revolt (1936-39) and became leader of the southern district of As-Saba’; liberated with his comrades Bir As-Saba’ from the British in 1938 and established a national rule in the area for a year; following British recapture of Bir As-Saba’, moved to Egypt as a political refugee; returned to Palestine in the 1940s and formed a force, which coordinated with volunteers from the Muslim Brotherhood, to defend the district of Bir As-Saba’ from 1947 until the Egyptian Army entered Palestine on 15 May 1948; after the War of 1948, he formed a political organization for refugees and became the Sec.-Gen. for the Executive Committee of the Refugees Conference; reformed the fedayeen inside Palestine in the 1950s; elected to the first Legislative Council in Gaza in 1961; represented Palestine in a number of non-aligned conferences; appointed the first Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar; returned to Jordan in 1970 to gather support for the Palestinian cause; was assassinated by the Jordanian Army in Sept. 1970.





ABU SITTA, HAMED Mahmoud (1925-)

Born in Ma’in Abu Sitta, Bir As-Saba’, in 1925; earned a BSc in Civil Engineering from Cairo University in 1949; while a student, underwent three months of military training with a group of volunteers aiming to defend their home village in May 1948; worked as a civil engineer and contractor in Saudi Arabia in the 1950s; contributed half of the money he earned to establishing the PLA in the early 1960s; worked closely with Ahmad Shuqeiri, visiting many Palestinian communities to promote the idea of forming the PLO; consequently became a founding member of the first PNC in Jerusalem in 1964; PLO Exec. Committee member since the late 1960s (until he retired at the onset of the Oslo process in 1993); played a moderating role during the 1970 clashes between the PLO and the Jordanian government (‘Black September’); served for 20 years as head of the Occupied Homeland Dept., which aimed to support the Gaza, West Bank and Golan populations’ resistance against Israel’s occupation.






Born in Ma’in Abu Sitta, Bir As-Saba’, in 1937; studied Civil Engineering, graduating with a BSc from Cairo University in 1959 and with a PhD from the University of London in 1964; became a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers, UK; member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Ontario, Canada; co-founder of the Canadian Arab Federation in 1967; served as member of the British Institute of Arbitrators, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Executive Council of the International Association of Spatial Structures and the (US) Committee for the Design and Construction of Power Structure; PNC member (Independent) since 1974; Chairman, UNRWA/ Welfare Joint Committee, Welfare Association, Geneva; member of the Welfare Association Board of Trustees; member of the Advisory Board of several institutions, incl. Badil Center in Bethlehem, the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London, and the Canadian Palestinian Educational Exchange (CEPAL) in Canada; founder and Pres. of the Palestine Land Society (an independent non-political scholarly society devoted to research and information on Palestine Land and People); General Coordinator of the Right of Return Congress (RORC), an international Palestinian lobby to defend the right of return; has published maps and books related to the Nakba of 1948 and the refugee issue, incl. Palestine 1948 – The Towns and Villages Depopulated by the Zionist Invasion of 1948 (Map); The Palestinian Nakba 1948 – The Register of Depopulated Localities in Palestine (London: PRC, 2001); The Atlas of Palestine 1948 (Palestine Land Society, Dec. 2004).





Abu Sneineh, Suleiman MAHMOUD (1945-)

Born in Hebron on 18 June 1945; enrolled at Cairo University, Egypt, in 1964 and received a BSc in Law in 1969; was an active member of Fateh since 1970 and member of its southern leadership (Hebron area) from 1980-85; was for this activism imprisoned by Israel for one year; practiced as lawyer with a private legal office in Hebron from 1970-95; Steering Committee member of the West Bank Lawyers’ Union, Jerusalem, from 1981-97; treasurer of the Board of Directors of the University Graduates Union in Hebron since 1986; Secretary of Fateh’s Institutions Committee from 1987-93; Secretary of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee since 1994; Dir.-Gen. in the PA Ministry of Interior from Aug. 1995-March 1996; elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Hebron area in the Jan. 1996 elections; member and reporter of the PLC Legal Committee from March 1996-April 2002; Chairman of the PLC Legal Committee from April 2002-Nov. 2003; Board member of the Palestinian Housing Council, Jerusalem, since Sept. 2003; was a Minister of State in the PA Council of Ministers from Nov. 2003-Jan. 2006; ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 PLC elections (Fateh, Hebron district).






Born in Amman on 21 Jan. 1958; completed high school at the Arab-Jordanian Institute in Jerusalem in 1975; received a Diploma in Education and a BA in English Literature from Bethlehem University in 1984; continued studying towards an MA (1985-88), then PhD (1988-93) in Philosophy at Boston College, US; became a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy at Boston College from 1989-93; served as President of the Islamic Society of Boston (1990-92); member of the American Philosophical Association from 1993-99; Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, from 1993-95 and head of its Dept. of Philosophy from 1994-95; Research Fellow at the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), University of Malaysia, from 1995-96; joined Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, as Associate Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies in 1996; was a visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University in 2003-04; Director of the Islamic Research Center at Al-Quds University since 2000 and Coordinator of the MA Program in Contemporary Islamic Studies from 2000-02; won the Science and Religion Course Award of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, in 2001; member of the American Academy of Religion since 2001; member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of Islam and Science; Board of Trustees member of PASSIA since 2005; has widely published in several papers on Islamic Epistemology, Al-Ghazzali and contemporary Islamic issues; has also co-authored and edited several publications, incl. Al-Thaqafah Al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Culture) (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 2005).





Abu Ter, Sheikh Mohammed Hassan (1951-) (official name: Mohammed Mahmoud Hasan)

Born in Jerusalem in 1951; from the East Jerusalem village of Umm Tuba; joined Fateh in the early 1970s; was imprisoned for his political activism; while in jail, became religious and joined the Muslim Brotherhood; later became member of Hamas; was detained in Israel on several occasions, spending, on and off, nearly 25 years in Israeli prisons; was released in 2005 after serving seven years in prison; ran on the second spot on the Change and Reform (Hamas) list in the 2006 PLC elections and was elected PLC member in Jan. 2006; was arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006; refused to resign from the PLC as demanded by Israel and had his Jerusalem residency permit and Israeli ID card subsequently revoked by Interior Minister Roni Bar-On on 30 June 2006; is still detained as of July 2006.






Born in Hebron on 2 July 1948; raised in Jerusalem; enrolled in photography courses in Jerusalem (1989-90) and Italy; participated in a number of exhibitions; covered news scenes for different magazines and agencies, incl. Reuters; founding members of the Palestinian Photojournalists’ Committee in Jerusalem in 1998 and serves as its treasurer; founding member of the Arab Union of Photographers in Baghdad in 1999; was detained on several occasions and treated for back and head injury from Israeli army assaults during the Al-Aqsa Intifada; works as freelance photojournalist through his Sunbula Media office; serves as spokesperson for homeless Palestinians at the Sumud (Steadfastness) Camp in Jerusalem.




Abu Zayyad, Ziad ALI KHALIL (1940-)

Born in Bethany, Jerusalem, in 1940; graduated in Law (LLB) from Damascus University (1964); worked as supervisor to the Passport Dept. for the Jordanian Government (until 1967); in 1969, worked as part-time teacher and wrote columns for Al-Quds newspaper; became translator for Al-Quds newspaper in the early 1970s; Israeli news editor for Al-Fajr newspaper from 1977-86; practiced as lawyer in Ramallah from 1983-86 and was Executive Director of the Arab Council for Arab Affairs; editor and publisher of his own bi-monthly Hebrew language paper Gesher (Bridge) since 1986; held under arrest by Israel in 1990 for six months; noted for his willingness to make compromises with Israel; head of the advisory committee to the Madrid process; elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Jerusalem district in the Jan. 1996 elections; served as PA minister without portfolio and head of the PA’s ‘Office for Jerusalem Affairs’ in Abu Dis, established in Aug. 1999 (until 2006); ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 PLC elections (Fateh, Jerusalem district).





Born in Rafah, Gaza, in 1967; began to study at the Islamic University in Gaza but was imprisoned for over five years for his political involvement; was released in 1994 and continued his studies, graduating with a BA in History from the Islamic University; was elected Head of the Islamic University Student Council between 1994-97 and head of the Islamic bloc until 2002; worked as coordinator of the Continuing Education Dept. at the same University from 1998-2001; pursued his graduate studies in History in the Islamic University while also lecturing in the History Dept. and earned his MA in 2004; continues his work as lecturer; official spokesman of Hamas in Gaza; serves as Hamas’ representative to the Follow-Up Committee of the Palestinian Higher National Committee since summer 2005; was Involved in ceasefire and Palestinian unity talks in the last few years.



ABU ZULOF, MAHMOUD (1924-2005)

Born in Jaffa in 1924; received a degree in Media from the AUB; returned to Jaffa and worked as a journalist for Al-Difa’ (owned by Ibrahim Shanti) (until his resignation in 1953); founded Al-Jihad newspaper in Jerusalem (1951) (together with Salim Sharif and Mahmoud Yaish); following a Jordanian law to limit the number of daily newspapers, Al-Jihad and Al-Difa’ were joined together to form the Jerusalem daily, Al-Quds, on 21 March 1967 (closed during the War of 1967 and reopened on 19 Nov. 1968), of which he was chief editor and owner until his death on 28 March 2005.






Born in Bethany (near Jerusalem) in 1935; attended university in the US and subsequently became a correspondent for Radio Free Europe, where he served as a reporter in lieu of his US Army service; later became a correspondent for The Daily Mail; consulted on Middle East business for 12 years and was an advisor to the Iraqi government in the 1970s/80s; returned to full time writing in 1983 and contributing to different papers, incl. The Sunday Times, Observer, Mail on Sunday, Washington Post, Spectator, Liberation, La Vanguardia, LA Times, Jolland-Posten and Al-Quds where he was a columnist for three years, and authoring many books, incl. Children of Bethany: The Story of a Palestinian Family (Tauris, 1988), The Forgotten Faithful: The Christians of the Holy Land (Quartet Books, 1993), A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite (St. Martin’s Press, 1998) and his controversial biographies Saddam Hussein (Bloomsbury, 2001), The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud (Palgrave MacMillan, 1996), Arafat: from Defender to Dictator (Bloomsbury. 1999) and Nasser: The Last Arab (Thomas Dunne Books, 2004); writer and journalist based in London.





Al-Adhami, Ali Naji Awad (NAJI AL-ALI) (1937-1987)

Born in Shajara village (Galilee) in 1937; his family was forced out of Palestine during the 1948 Nakba and ended up in Lebanon; grew up in Ein Al-Hilweh Refugee Camp, near Sidon, Lebanon; finished his school education in Sidon; then enrolled in an art institution but was unable to continue due to his family’s difficult financial situation; his talent in drawing was discovered by Palestinian poet Ghassan Kanafani while on a visit in the late 1950s; left to Kuwait in the early 1960s to work in Al-Taliah magazine; returned to Beirut in 1971 and joined the Editorial Board of the Al-Safir newspaper; began also contributing drawings to Al-Khalij newspaper in the UAE; campaigned against the absence of democracy, corruption and inequality in the Arab World, for which he was repeatedly detained and censored in the 1950s-60s; after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, he decided to return to Kuwait where he worked for Al-Qabas newspaper, and from 1984 also for Al-Khalij newspaper; was expelled from Kuwait for political reasons in 1985 and resettled in London, from where he continued to work for Al-Qabas and to contribute his work to Al-Khalij; his cartoons became famous and were published in numerous newspapers in the Middle East as well as in London and Paris; famous for his satirical drawings showing the struggle and plight of the Palestinian people though the eyes of a spectator – the little boy Hanthala who appears in his cartoons; was shot on 22 July 1987 in London as he left the Al-Qabas offices; died after five weeks in a coma in a London hospital on 30 Aug. 1987; was posthumously awarded the annual Golden Pen award of the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers (FIEJ) in 1988




Born in the village of Barbara (near Gaza) in 1925; became refugee in the course of the 1948 Nakba; was involved with the Popular Resistance Front against occupation in Gaza during 1956-57 and was arrested by Israel; worked as teacher in Qatar in the late 1950s; later studied Petroleum Engineering in Cairo; founding member of Fateh and one of its lifetime key figures; attended the first PNC in 1964; among the top leaders of the Black September Organization; PLO leader in charge of operations in the OPT; in charge of Fateh’s Occupied Homeland Bureau from Sept. 1971; Fateh Central Committee member since 1971; killed in an Israeli retaliatory commando raid on Beirut on 10 April 1973.



AL-AGHA, RIYAD (1940-)

Born in Khan Younis on 1 Dec. 1940; received a BA in Education from Alexandria University, Egypt, and an MA in Education (1976) as well as a PhD in Educational Planning and Instruction (1978) from Kansas University; worked as Assistant Professor at Riyadh University, Saudi Arabia from 1978-79; founded the Gulf Arab States Educational Research Center in 1979 and served as its director until 1980; returned to Palestine and became Pres. of the Islamic University in Gaza from 1980-83; the worked as consultant for Hebron University from 1983-87; Board of Trustees member of the Al-Hakawati Palestinian National Theater, Jerusalem (after 1986); Board member of the Arab League program on Higher Education - Technical Institutions, Cairo; Pres. of the College of Science and Technology in Khan Younis since 1990; was brought before court in 1995 under accusations of misuse of state money; Director of the Palestinian Center for Strategic Studies in Gaza; was briefly arrested by PA Preventive Security forces in July 2005 after criticizing the PA security apparatus in a program aired on the Palestinian Satellite TV.


Al-Agha, Zakaria (1942-)

Born in Khan Younis in 1942; studied Medicine at Cairo University and graduated in 1965 with an M.B.B.Ch and an MD in General Medicine; worked as a physician and head of the medical section at Nasr Hospital in Khan Younis until his dismissal by Israel for making political statements to the press without military permission in Aug. 1987; member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Medical Association from 1977-85 and its chairman from 1985-92; member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Higher Education from 1985-92; Fateh Central Committee member; worked at Al-Ahli Arabi Hospital since 1989 and became part of its administration; Chairman of the Council of Health Services in Gaza since 1990; member of the delegation to the 1991 Madrid conference and the subsequent talks in Washington; appointed by Yasser Arafat to head the Fateh High Command in Gaza since mid-1994; PA Minister for Housing from 1994-96; ran as a Fateh candidate in the Jan. 1996 elections for the PLC, but lost; independent member of the PLO Exec. Committee since April 1996 (one of three members from – for the first time – ‘inside’ the OPT); known as Arafat loyalist; led the Fateh delegation to the Palestinian national dialogue talks in Cairo in Nov. 2002.




Born in the Old City of Jerusalem on 18 Aug. 1950; of Armenian descent; educated at the Frères College; received a Diploma in Middle Eastern Studies from Birzeit College and a BA in Political Science from the AUB in 1972; worked as editor of Al-Quds daily newspaper from 1973-76; then worked in a bank in charge of foreign exchange; founding member of the Arab Thought Forum in Jerusalem in 1977 and Board of Trustees member since; continued his studies at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, graduating with an MA in Contemporary Arab Studies in 1979; returned and worked as Professor of History and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University, then became its Director of Public Relations in 1980 (until his resignation in 2003); advocated for the freedom of education under occupation, especially following the closure of Birzeit University during the first Intifada in the late 1980s; was Director of the Palestinian Media Center in the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; currently works as freelance consultant, writer, translator/interpreter, and lecturer; known also for his historical-cultural tours of Jerusalem.



Ahmad, Abdul Rahim (full name: Abdul Rahim Ahmad Abdul Ghani (1944-1991)

Born in Al-Haditha village near Lydda on 12 Aug. 1944; lived with his family in the Ramallah area after the 1948 Nakba; moved to Jordan two years later; received his elementary and secondary education in Amman; attended Damascus University to study Civil Engineering; left his studies for a while to avoid being arrested for his political activism; later continued his studies and graduated as Agricultural Engineer in 1970; worked an instructor in the same University for one year; was put in charge of the ALF office in Baghdad in the early 1970s; moved to Beirut in 1974, serving as Sec.-Gen. of the ALF; was elected PLO Exec. Committee member at the PNC meeting in Cairo in 1977; died in Amman on 30 June 1991.




AL-Ahmad, Azzam NAJIB (1947-)

Born in Rumaneh, near Jenin, in 1947; educated in Jenin, then attended Baghdad University, studying at the Faculty of Economy and Business Administration; served as chairman of the GUPS in Iraq from 1971-74 and as Vice-Chairman of the GUPS Executive Committee from 1974-80; PNC member since 1974; Chairman of the General Union of Arab Students from 1976-80; arrested in Jordan and Syria in 1976 and in Egypt following Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977; appointed PLO representative to Iraq in 1979 (until 1994); elected member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council in the Fateh conference in Tunisia in 1989; supervisor on Palestinian-Iraqi relations; returned to Palestine in 1994; elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Jenin constituency in the Jan. 1996 elections; PA Minister of Public Works from May 1996-June 2002; PA Minister of Public Works and Housing in the reduced PA cabinet of June 2002 (until Oct. 2002) as well as in the new cabinet of 29 Oct. 2002; became Telecommunications and Technology Minister in the cabinets formed in April and Nov. 2003 (until cabinet reshuffle in Feb. 2005); was re-elected as PLC member (Fateh, Jenin district) in the Jan. 2006 elections. Elected member of Fateh Central Committee at Fateh 6th Convention in Bethlehem in August 4th 2009.



AL-AHMAD, NAJIB (1920-1995)

Born in Rumaneh near Jenin in 1920; educated in Jenin and at An-Najah College in Nablus; participated in the Palestinian revolts in 1935/36, for which he was arrested; served as a reserve officer in the Iraqi army and among the armies participating in the War of 1948; became Secretary of the Refugee Affairs Committee, then inspector in the ICRC in 1949; co-founder of the National Socialist Party in Jordan headed by Suleiman Nabulsi in the early 1950s; was elected representative of Jenin in the Jordanian Parliament for four consecutive times until the end of 1963; was imprisoned by the Jordanian Government in 1957 (after the dismissal of Suleiman Nabulsi’s government); was sent – together with other MPs – incl. Yasser Amro, Ishaq Al-Duzdar, and Daoud Al-Husseini) to Al-Jafar Detention Center on 21 April 1963 (following the declaration of the Charter for Arab Federation between Egypt, Syria and Iraq on 17 April and the resignation of PM Samir Al-Rifa’i on 20 April 1963); was released in Oct. 1963; PNC member from 1964-95; was arrested by Israeli authorities in 1968 and imprisoned for two years, then deported to Jordan; became Chairman of the PLO Exec. Committee in Jordan; returned to Palestine following the Oslo Accords in 1994; served as a consultant for Pres. Yasser Arafat; died in 1995.




Al-Aker, Mamdouh (1943-)

Born in Nablus on 17 Oct. 1943; finished high school at An-Najah College in Nablus; left in 1962 to join Cairo University Medical School, graduating in 1969 (M.B.B.Ch.); joined the ANM and then the PFLP from 1967-70; worked in Kuwaiti hospitals as physician from 1970-73, then went for further training to Edinburgh (1976-77), acquiring the specialization in General Surgery as fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; returned to Kuwait and worked as general surgeon; in 1979, went to London to specialize in Urology at King’s College Hospital (until 1981); member of the British Association of Urologic Surgeons since 1981; returned to Palestine and practiced as an urologist at the Al-Maqassed Hospital in Jerusalem from 1981-86, then moved to St. Luke’s and Al-Ittihad Hospitals in Nablus, and the St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem; since the mid-late-1980s Board of Trustees member of several Palestinian organizations, incl. the Arab Studies Society, the Medical Association, the Palestinian Center for Arts and Culture, and the Friends’ School in Ramallah; arrested by Israel in 1991 and detained for 45 days in solitary confinement for being an Intifada activist and belonging to the UNLU; founding member of the Mandela Institute for Palestinian political prisoners in 1989; member of the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace conference and the subsequent Washington talks, where he was head of a sub-committee on human rights issues; co-founder of PICCR in 1993; member of Muwatin, the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy; member of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem; co-founder of the first Palestinian School of Medicine at Al-Quds University in 1994; Commissioner General for PICCR since Sept. 2003; practices as a senior consultant urologist in several hospitals and is a Clinical Associate Professor at Al-Quds University’s Medical School.



Alafenisch, Salim (1948-)

Born in the Negev in 1948 to a Bedouin family; spent his childhood and early youth as a camel shepherd and only learned reading and writing at the age of 14; completed high school in 1971 in Nazareth; went to London’s Princeton College for one year, then moved to Heidelberg, Germany in 1973 to study Ethnology, Sociology und Psychology; lives there since; from 1984-89 he worked in the field of adult education; he serves as cultural ambassador for the German Agro Action (Deutsche Welthungerhilfe); has written numerous novels, tales and essays about Bedouins and their lives, incl. Das versteinerte Zelt (The Tent turned into Stones - 1993), Amira, Prinzessin der Wüste (Amira - Princess of the Dessert - 2001), Das Kamel mit dem Nasenring (The Camel with the Nose Ring - 2003), and Die acht Frauen des Großvaters (The Eight Wives of the Grandfather - 2004).



AL-ALAMI, FAIDI (1865-1924)

Born in 1865; father of Musa Al-Alami; served as tax official and judge in the Ottoman government; was appointed District Director of Bethlehem in 1902; mayor of Jerusalem from 1906-09, then serving on the administrative council for the Jerusalem governorate; elected member of the Administrative Council for the sanjaq of Jerusalem in the Ottoman Parliament, from 1914-18; scholar and publisher of a concordance of the Qur’an; died in 1924.




Al-Alami, Imad KHALIL (1956-)

Born in the Gaza Strip in 1956; holds a BA in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt; was arrested by Israeli authorities in Sept. 1988 on charges of incitement through his work with Hamas’ Information Committee and imprisoned until Sept. 1990; was deported by Israel to Lebanon in Jan. 1991; took up residence in Amman but was expelled - together with Musa Abu Marzouq - in April 1995; moved to Teheran, then settled in Damascus; was elected member of the Hamas politburo in Damascus; served as head of foreign operations for Hamas in the late 1990s; currently Hamas chief of staff and operations commander, based in Lebanon.




Born in Jerusalem on 27 Nov. 1943; graduated from the Schmidt’s Girls College in 1960; received a BA in English Language and Literature and Education from the Beirut College for Women, Lebanon (1964), an MA in English Literature from the AUB (1967), and a Higher Diploma (M.Lit) in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, UK (1974); worked as a teacher training instructor from Sept. 1966-Nov. 1975; was also a part-time lecturer at Bethlehem University (1974-75) and at Birzeit University (1976); served as Deputy Director (Dec. 1975-July 1983), then Director (Aug. 1983-Sept. 1994), of the UNRWA Ramallah Women’s Training College in At-Tireh; then Chief of the UNRWA Field Education Program from Oct. 1994-May 2004; since July 2004, Dir.-Gen. of PICCR; Board member of various Palestinian organizations, incl. the Arab Studies Society, the Palestinian Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC), Jerusalem Link, Jerusalem Center for Women, Women Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, and the Palestine-Israel Journal; member of the Palestine Central Elections Committee both in the elections of 1996 and 2005. Appointed minister of Higher Education in the first and second PA Government Headed by Salam Fayyad in 2007 and 2009.



AL-ALAMI, MUSA (1897-1984)

Born in Jerusalem in 1897; son of Faidi Al-Alami; graduated in Law from Cambridge University in 1922; returned to Palestine and worked as junior legal advisor for the British administration (1925-29), then as assistant government advocate (1929-32), private Secretary to the High Commissioner (1932-33), and again as government advocate (1933-36); held a series of talks with Jewish Agency leader David Ben-Gurion during 1934-36; appointed Sec.-Gen. of the Legal Dept. in Jerusalem in 1936, but fired in 1937 for his participation in the 1936-39 Revolt alongside the Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini; lived in exile in Beirut and Baghdad from 1937-42; member of the Palestinian delegation to the London Conference at St. James’s Palace in Feb. 1939; sole representative of the Palestinian Political Parties to the Preparatory Conference for the Establishment of the Arab League, held in Alexandria in Sept./Oct. 1944, preceding the establishment of the League of Arab States in 1945; landowner; created a special fund to help Palestinian farmers to retain their land in 1945; founded Palestinian-Arab Information offices in Beirut, London (1945), Jerusalem (Al-Maktab Al-Arabi, 1946), and Washington; after the Nakba of 1948, founded the Arab Development Society in Jericho; died on 8 June 1984 in Jerusalem.




Born in Jerusalem in 1922; attended Rawdat Al-Ma’aref School; moved to Beirut in 1937, and studied at the AUB for two years; returned to Jerusalem and joined the family business (crops and food industry) following his father’s health deterioration in 1939; co-founder of the Jerusalem Electricity Company and its Treasurer and Board member until his resignation in 1968; co-founder, of the Jerusalem Cigarette Company in Bethlehem in 1960; served as its General Manager and Board of Trustees Chairman; tried to establish with other businessmen a Palestinian cement company but was denied the permit by Israeli authorities; founded the Arab Investment Company in 1994 and the Arab Care Company for Medical Services in 1995.



Al-Alami, Sa‘ad Eddin (Sheikh ) (1911-1993)

Born in Jerusalem in 1911; worked as Shari‘a Judge in Ramallah from 1948-51 and in Nablus from 1951-53; renown religious leader; became Mufti of Jerusalem in 1953; also member of the Shari‘a Appeal Court in Jerusalem from 1967; was head of the Islamic Board and Chief Shari’a Judge in the West Bank in the 1970s and 1980s; called for Hafez Al-Assad’s death after he expelled Yasser Arafat and Khalil Al-Wazir from Syria in June 1983; threatened Muslims who sell land to Jews with excommunication in Feb. 1985; died on 6 Feb. 1993.




Alawneh, Atef (1949-)

Born in Azmut, near Nablus, on 3 April 1949; received an MA in Economics (1977) and one in Political Science (1979) from the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany; later earned a PhD in Economics from the Ludwig-Maximilian University in 1983; returned and worked as a Professor of Economics at An-Najah National University in Nablus from 1983; became Chairman of the Economics Dept. at An-Najah in 1984 (until 1986); worked as part-time instructor at the Ibrahimieh Community College in Jerusalem from 1986-87 and at the Islamic University of Gaza from 1987-89; was Chairman of the Palestinian Economists Association from 1988-90; became a member of the Consult Committee of the Rural Research Center and of the Data Bank Committee at An-Najah in 1990; serves as Vice-Pres. of the Ibrahimieh Community College in Jerusalem since 1991; served as Chairman of the Al-Quds Open University’s Ramallah Center from 1991-94; Board of Trustees member of the Arab Studies Society since 1992; was a member of the Technical Committees in Jerusalem during 1992-94; was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Regional Economic Development Working Group of the multilateral talks in Rabat in 1993; member of the International Institute of Public Finance in Saarbrücken, Germany, since 1994; serves as PA Deputy Minister of Finance since 1994; is a member of the Ad-hoc group of Experts of International Cooperation in Tax Matters, UN, New York, since 1995; member of the Administrative Boards of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) since 1996, of the Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA) since 1997, the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency (PIPA) since 1999, and of the Association of the Arab Certified Public Accountant since 1999; Chairman of the Steering Committee of the PA Tax Administration Computer System since 1998; Steering Committee member of the Local Infrastructure and Capacity Building Project of the Belgian Technical Cooperation since 2001 and of the Municipal Development Project of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) since 2002; Vice-Pres. of the Palestinian National Pension Committee since 2003; head of the Pension Coordination Unit , World Bank Project since 2004; has been and still is involved in many additional boards, committees and projects; since Aug. 2005, CEO of the Capital Market Authority in the West Bank; has conducted numerous research activities in the fields of finance, trade, taxation and other economic issues and written many articles, papers and studies on those subjects.




Born in Abu Kash, Ramallah, in 1950; earned a BSc in Economics from Jordan University (1976), then enrolled at the Prague School of Economics, from where he graduated with an MSc in Economics in 1980 and a PhD in 1984; joined An-Najah National University as Assistant Professor of Economics in 1985, and served as Chairman of its Dept. of Economics from 1986-1989; was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA, in 1990-91; member of the Palestinian Delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace conference as well as the subsequent bilateral negotiations and the Multilateral Middle East Economic Working Groups during 1991-1993; chairman of the Arab Economists’ Association in Ramallah; founded the Palestine Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD) in Ramallah in 1992 and serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors since 2003; head of the Palestinian Counterpart Team to the World Bank from 1992-1994; Dir.-Gen. of the Economic Policies and Project Selection Office at PECDAR from 1994-1996; General Manager of the Arab Palestine Investment Bank (APIB) from 1996-1999; publisher of the Palestine Economic Pulse from 1995-97; Dir.-Gen. of PALTRADE from 1999-2002; Dir.-Gen. of MAS - the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah since March 2004 and part-time lecturer in Birzeit University; conducted numerous research projects on the Palestinian economy and its relation with Israel and the region; active also in various NGOs and public institutions; member of the Advisory Board of the Micro-enterprise and Micro-credit Project (MMP) since its establishment in 1999; co-founder and Chairman of the Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD); member of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Corporation for Micro-credit and Development (FATEN); member of the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions since May 2002; member of the Advisory Board for the Israeli-Palestinian Public Health Magazine (Bridges).



‘alloush, laila (1946-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1946; literary writer; her poetry portrays life under occupation like her collection: Spices on the Open Wound (Jerusalem, 1971).



‘ALLOUSH, NAJI (1935-)

Born in Birzeit in 1935; graduated from Al-Ahliyyeh College in Ramallah; worked as a teacher in Jordan, while also writing in literary magazines; immigrated to Kuwait in 1957 and served as a civil servant in the government; was an early recruit to Fateh and close to its left wing; moved to Baghdad, where he first cooperated with Abu Nidal; served as Board of Trustees member of the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut and used to write for the periodical Dirasat Arabiyyah (Arab Studies) from 1965-72; joined Abu Nidal’s leftist alliance against Yasser Arafat during Fateh’s Third Congress in Damascus in 1971; became a member of Abu Nidal’s Fateh Revolutionary Council from 1970-79; worked as an editor for various newspapers and magazines before returning to Lebanon, where he became chief editor for At-Tali’a Publishing House; was a PNC member from 1974-77; was the only Fateh delegate to oppose the “phased program” in the PNC in June 1974; has published numerous books, poems, translations and studies, incl. The Contemporary Arab Revolutionary (Beirut, 1960), Marxism and the Jewish Question (Beirut, 1969), a study on the Vietnamese experience (Beirut, 1973) and his reflections on the Oslo Accords (1996); among his poems are A Small Gift (Arabic, 1967) and Windows Opened by Bombs (1970); a compiled collection of some of his poetry as published by the Iraqi Ministry of Culture in 1979; currently lives in Jordan; was twice elected as Sec.-Gen. of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists, first serving in total from 1972-80.




Born in Nablus in 1944; became a political activist following the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza; was jailed by Israel for four years; deported upon his release in 1971; continued to help organizing the Intifada in Nablus from exile; returned in Nov. 1995 and was appointed Governor of Nablus a month later; lost a son - Jihad - in Oct. 2000; was among the signatories of a declaration (published in Al-Ayyam daily newspaper in March 2004) calling to turn to the Intifada into an unarmed struggle; was elected as PLC member (Fateh, Nablus district) in the 2006 elections. Elected member in Fateh Convention in Bethlehem on August 4th 2009.



AL-AMAD, ANDALIB (1899-1979)

Born in Nablus in 1899; being a woman she could not continue her higher education and became a tailor instead; opened her own shop, in which she also trained girls in dress-making; active in a women’s group, founded by Mariam Hashim in 1922, which involved women in social and national issues, incl. participation in the strike of 1936; also participated in founding the Cooperation and Steadfastness Committee, a female branch of resistance against the Zionists; co-founder of a cultural and sports club in Nablus in 1945; Pres. of the Arab Women’s Union in Nablus from 1948; during the 1948 Nakba, initiated a first-aid committee run by women and opened a maternity home for exiled Palestinians; after the War, established an orphanage for girls; was chief of the team that established the Arab Women’s Union Hospital, followed by a refugee children hospital in 1950, and the An-Nour Institute for Blind Women in 1962; was Chairperson of the Union of Charitable Societies in the Nablus District from 1958-75; attended the first PNC in 1964; was a founding member of the Exec. Committee of the Red Crescent in Amman; died on 23 Oct. 1979.



Al-Amad, Mohammed (1916-)

Born in Nablus in 1916; studied at An-Najah School, where he also got involved with the pan-Arab movement and very much influenced by two national activists Wasif Kamal and Mamdouh Sukhun; graduated from An-Najah School in 1935; worked at the Arab Bank in Jerusalem for a while; then continued his higher education at the Dar Al-Ulum in Egypt, which later became the Arab Language and Islamic Studies Dept. at Cairo University; returned to Nablus and taught Arabic Language at An-Najah College and then University from 1939-71; was arrested under the Jordanian rule for his political activities and jailed in Nablus, Amman and the H4 prison in the Jordanian desert; served as Deputy Mayor in the Nablus Municipality from 1951-76; after 1967, was repeatedly arrested by Israeli occupation forces; retired from his teaching job; still resides in Nablus.



Born in Ramleh on 12 June 1948; moved with his family to Jerusalem in 1949; received his school education in the Old City of Jerusalem during 1954-66; was jailed in Israeli prisons from Feb.-Sept. 1968; became an Associate of Arts at Birzeit University in 1971; was jailed again by Israel, this time for five years from 1971-76; served as a Board member of the Arab Journalist Association from 1981-90; member of the PPP politburo since 1991; member of the Advisory Committee to the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; PNC member since 1996; founding member and head of the Exec. Committee of the Palestinian Peace and Democracy Center in Jerusalem from 1996-2003; founding member of the Exec. Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Jerusalem, since 1997; member of the Palestinian Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem from 2002-04; was elected as Sec.-Gen. of the PPP (together with Mustafa Barghouthi and Abdel Majid Hamdan) at the 3rd PPP convention in Ramallah in Oct. 1998; PLO Exec. Committee member since 2001; received an MA in International Security from the Warnborough University, UK, in 2002; works as columnist and political analyst in many papers and magazines, incl. Al-Yassar and Al-Ahali (Egypt), Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Al-Tariq (Ramallah), Al-Jamaheer (Jordan), and Al-Haqa’eq (France).




Born in Jaffa in 1907; graduated from Jaffa Secondary School in 1924; then enrolled at the AUB, graduating in Biology and Chemistry in 1930; during his university years, co-established the ‘Student Club’ (a branch of the 1925 Student Congress of Beirut) and was elected its Chairman in 1928; later became Chairman of the Palestinian Student Congress of Jaffa; in 1929, moved to Jordan to escape arrest with which members of the Student Congress were threatened; worked as a science teacher, then as Principal at the Al-Salt Secondary School in Jordan; General Inspector in the Education Dept. in Amman; member of An-Nahda Al-Arabiyya (Arab Renaissance Union) in Palestine in 1943; resigned in 1945 and worked in the literary section of the Palestinian Radio, eventually as its Dir.-Gen.; wrote in different regional papers; served as Sec.-Gen. in the Jordanian FM from 1950-67; then as Dir.-Gen. of the Import-Export Dept., and as Deputy Minister of the Education Dept.; became Jordanian FM after 1967 and head of the Jordanian delegation to the UN; also served as Jordanian Ambassador to Egypt; in 1969, appointed Minister of Education, then Minister of Culture and Information; resigned to become a freelance writer; his works include: Arab Jerusalem (1971); died in 1987.



AMIRY, SUAD (1951-)

Born in Damascus in 1951 to a Palestinian family originally from Jaffa; elementary and secondary education in Amman; General Certificate of Education from the Zamalik Girls’ College in Cairo, 1968-69; in 1969, enrolled at the AUB and studied Architecture, graduating with a BA in 1976; worked as a teaching assistant of Archaeology at the AUB in 1974-75; continued her studies in the US in 1977 and received an MA in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1979; also worked as teaching assistant in the Urban Planning Dept. of the University of Michigan during 1977-78; returned to the Middle East and became a lecturer in Architecture at the University of Jordan (1979-81), then at Birzeit University (1981-82); studied towards a PhD in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh from 1982-88; returned to the West Bank and became Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at Birzeit University from 1985-93; co-founder of Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation, Ramallah, in 1991 and its Co-Director until 1994; served as Project Director for ‘Cultural Heritage of Jerusalem,’ at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, from 1992-95; member of the Exec. Committee of the Palestinian Housing Council in 1993-94; Dir.-Gen. in the Ministry of Culture in 1994-95; Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Culture, in 1995-96; resumed work as Co-Director of Riwaq Center in 1996; has practiced her profession of architecture since 1975 in Amman, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Birzeit, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, etc.; her renovation contributions include the Sarayya Women Training Center and Al-Wasiti Arts Center in Jerusalem, and the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Al-Masri Residence, Baladna Community Center and the Arab Orthodox Sports Club in Ramallah; has written and co-authored a number of books on various aspects of Palestinian architecture including: has authored among her several publications: The Social History of Palestinian Vernacular Architecture (Manuscript, 1995); most recently she published her Ramallah diaries on life under occupation, entitled Sharon and My Mother-in-Law (Granta Books, 2005).




Amr, Nabil MAHMOUD (1947-)

Born in Dura in 1947; holds a Law degree from Damascus University and a Diploma in Media and Radio Broadcasting from Cairo University; Fateh-RC member; former PLO Ambassador to Moscow from 1988-93; founder and editor-in-chief of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper from Nov. 1994; Director of the PA Radio & TV Authority; member of the Palestinian Writer’s Union; media advisor to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat; was for ten years the Director of Voice of Palestine radio; elected PLC member (Fateh) for the Hebron district in the Jan. 1996 elections; from Aug. 1998, PA Minister for Parliamentary Affairs until his resignation in May 2002, calling for PA reforms; signed the 2001 joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration “No to Bloodshed, No to Occupation, Yes to Negotiations, Yes to Peace;” member of the Palestinian negotiation team; became Min. of Information in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003; Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2004; was shot and wounded by a sniper while in his house in Ramallah in July 2004 in what is believed to be related to internal Fateh clashes; received treatment in Germany; ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 PLC elections (Fateh, Hebron district); author of several articles and books, incl. Testimonies from the Battlefield, chronicling the war in Beirut, 1000 Days in Moscow, chronicling the fall of the former Soviet Union and The Days of Siege and Love. Appointed Ambassador to Egypt in June 2008, and resigned in August 2009.




Amro, Yasser (1930-2002)

Born in Deir Razeh, Dura, near Hebron in 1930; educated in Al-Dura public school, Al-Rashidieh School in Hebron, and the Billy Ein Sara School (now Al-Hussein Ben Ali), graduating in April 1948; in Jan. 1951 appointed teacher in Al-Khader then moved to Dura, Sourif and Al-Thahiriyyeh; studied one year in Egypt (1954-55) then enrolled at the Faculty of Law at Damascus University, graduating in Nov. 1959; joined Al-Ba’ath Party while in Syria and leading Ba‘athist activist in the Hebron/Bethlehem areas after 1967; trained at a legal office in Jerusalem and started his career as a lawyer in the Hebron district; ran for the elections in the Jordanian House of Representatives and elected Jordanian MP in 1962 (leading to disputes with his party (Ba’ath), which had decided to boycott the elections); imprisoned by the Jordanians on 21 April 1963, along with other opposition MPs like Najib Al-Ahmad, Ishaq Al-Duzdar, and Daoud Al-Husseini and sent to Al-Jafar detention center (following the declaration of the Charter for Arab Federation between Egypt, Syria and Iraq on 17 April and the resignation of PM Samir Al-Rifa’i on 20 April 1963); released in Oct. 1963; nominated by the PLO to visit Central America and gain support for the PLO in 1964; deported by Israel on 6 Sept. 1968 to Jordan; met with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, together with Yasser Arafat, Kamal Nasser and Abdul Razzaq Al-Yahya to discuss the Cairo Agreement of ceasefire with the Lebanese in 1969; pro-Sa‘iqa; independent member of the PLO Exec. Committee since 7 Feb. 1969 and appointed its Secretary; responsible for the PLO’s Education Dept.; met with King Hussein of Jordan prior to the eruption of the Black September events in an attempt to cool down the situation between Palestinian guerillas and Jordanian forces; resigned from the PLO Exec. Committee in 1971 and opened a law firm in Amman; joined the PLO Exec. Committee again in Feb. 1990 (re-elected in 1991); opposed the Oslo Accords; worked for improving PLO-Arab relations and played an intermediary role between Arafat and King Hussein; member of the PLO Central Council; moved back to Palestine on 20 June 1994; was appointed PA Education Minister from 1994 until his resignation in May 1997; died in Jan. 2002.




Born in Nablus in 1924; educated in the Al-Khalidiyeh and As-Salahiyeh Schools as well as in An-Najah College; member in the Arab Workers’ Society in Nablus, resisting the British mandate; studied at the AUB’s Pharmaceutical College in Beirut, graduating in 1949; during his studies was active with the ANM; returned and opened a private pharmacy in Nablus; co-established the Pharmacists’ Federation and was member of its consultant committee; very active in fighting illiteracy; co-founded several cultural and sport clubs; became a member of the Dean’s Council at An-Najah College in 1975; played a leading role in the establishment of An-Najah National University in Nablus and became member of its first Board of Trustees in 1976; became assistant of the head of the Board of Trustees in 1983, and its elected Chairman in 1995; co-founded an aluminum company in Nablus.




Born in Salt, Jordan, to parents from Nablus in 1899; studied in Nablus then went to Beirut to study Medicine but was forced to join the Ottoman Army as a result of WWI; became officer in charge of Aleppo train station; returned to Nablus after the war and joined his father in business; member of the Arab Party representing Nablus; was detained by the British Authorities in 1936-37 and deported to Jordan in 1939; returned to Nablus in 1940; was together with his father one of the first two Palestinians to be elected as members of the Jordanian Parliament in 1957, but was arrested due to his opposition to the government’s policy; became member of Arab human rights organizations and an expert on human rights issues at the UN; author of numerous books, studies and articles; died on 24 Nov. 1960.




Born in Nablus in Feb. 1929; graduated from the University of Alexandria in 1953 with a degree in Law; obtained a PhD in International Law in the Netherlands in 1962; served in the Ministry of Justice in Tripoli, Libya, from 1954-56, then as assistant to the Attorney General in Jordan (1957-58); worked as consultant at the Political Dept. of the FM in Kuwait in 1963-64; in 1965, became Dir.-Gen. of the Palestinian National Fund; taught at the Arab University in Beirut from 1965-68, then at the Jordanian University from 1968-75; worked for 13 years at the UN Human Rights Center in Geneva from 1976; died in 1990.





Born in Nablus in Oct. 1918; attended An-Najah School in Nablus; studied Medicine at the AUB and graduated in 1941; specialized later in Pediatrics in England, graduating in 1950; joined the ANM in 1950; co-founder of the Arab Workers’ Society which challenged the British Mandate; also initiated cultural and sports activities in Nablus; was elected to the Nablus Municipality in 1951; was a member of the first PNC in 1964; co-founder of the Nablus Society to Combat Illiteracy and of the first pediatrics centers in Palestine in 1966; deported by Israel on 25 Oct. 1968; elected head of the Jordanian Physicians’ Association from 1969-75 and Deputy Head of the Arab Medical Union from 1975-79; returned to Nablus on 30 June 1994; died in Amman on 25 Aug. 1996.


ANABTAWI, WASFI (1903-1984)

Born in Nablus in 1903; completed his secondary education at the St. George’s School in Jerusalem; worked as English Language teacher in As-Salahiyyeh School in Nablus; obtained a BA in History and Geography from the AUB in 1926 and later an MA from Cambridge University in 1934 (also with a focus on History and Geography); worked as lecturer at the Arab College and the Rashidiyya School in Jerusalem, then as inspector of the Education Dept. in Palestine under the British Mandate until 1948; was invited by the Near East Radio to record a series of geography lectures, which were aired as part of the radio’s educational program; became a specialized inspector at the Syrian Education Dept. until 1950; then was in charge of UNRWA schools in Syria from 1950-52; later worked as head officer and secretary of the Arab Bank in Amman; after his resignation, became a Professor of Geography at the University of Jordan and gave geography courses at a military college in Al-Zarqa’; was appointed Minister of Finance in the Jordanian government from 19 April to 27 June 1970; was member of the Jordanian Higher Education Council and the Arab Language Council based in Syria; wrote and published over 30 educational geography books; died in 1984.



Anani, ISSAM (1935-)

Born in Lifta, Jerusalem, on 28 Nov. 1935 to a family originally from Halhoul; attended elementary school in Ramleh, then secondary school in Gaza; studied Law at the universities of Cairo (BA, 1960) and Damascus (Diploma, 1962); returned to Jerusalem and became an intern at the office of Anwar Al-Khatib; practiced law from 1963; then co-founded a law firm together with Ibrahim Baker, Yahya Hamudeh, and Ali Safarini until the War of 1967; opened his own law office in Jerusalem and practiced as advocate and legal consultant since, representing, among others, the Waqf, medical companies and banks; was appointed Judge at the Ramallah High Court by the Israeli military governor in 1967 (until 1973); editor and co-owner – with Othman Hallak – of An-Nahar newspaper until its closure in May 1995.



ANANI, JAWAD (1943-)

Born in Hebron in 1943; received an MA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in Economics from the University of Georgia, USA; founded the Anani Center for Studies, Amman, in 1985, and serves as its director since; has served Jordan as Minister of Labor, Minister of Supply, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as President of the Royal Scientific Society; member of Jordan’s Peace Negotiation Team since 1991 and overall peace negotiation coordinator from 1993-1995; appointed as a Senator in Jordan’s Upper House of Parliament in Nov. 1993; served as an advisor to HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal; became Chief of the Royal Court under King Abdullah II; Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs and Minister of Information of Jordan from 1993-1995; developed Jordan’s first business incubator, the Jordan Technology Group, and serves as its Chairman; chairman or member of numerous Board of Directors of Jordanian companies; has published columns and articles on various economic and political issues as well as short stories.



ANANI, NABIL (1943-)

Born in Latroun on 14 Jan. 1943; raised in Halhoul, near Hebron; studied at the College of Fine Arts in Alexandria, graduating with a BA in Fine Arts/Oil Painting in 1969; began working as a painter, sculptor, and ceramist; also became an Art Instructor at UNRWA’s Teacher Training Center in Ramallah in 1971-72; worked as art and Handicrafts Instructor at the UNRWA Women Training Center from 1972-2003; had his first exhibit in 1972, and has since participated in numerous local and international exhibitions; member of the Research and Folklore Committee of Inash Al-Usrah, Ramallah, since 1980; founding member of the League of Palestinian Artists and its elected Pres. in 1985-86 as well as since 1997; founding member of the ‘New Vision’ art group in Ramallah in 1987; founding member of the Wasiti Center in Jerusalem in 1992; was Director of the Committee of the Palestinian Curriculum of Art Education at the Palestinian Curriculum Center from 1994-95; was awarded the first Palestine Prize for Visual Arts in 1997; continued his studies and received an MA in Islamic Archeology Al-Quds University in 1998; was elected head of the League of Palestinian Artists in 1998; served as Committee Member for the Palestinian Annual Arts and Cultural Awards, 1998-1999; established and designed, together with Suleiman Mansour, the Museum of Palestinian Folklore at Inash Al-Usrah, Ramallah; teaches at the Dept. of Art at Al-Quds University since 2003; founding member of the Association of Palestinian Contemporary Art, Ramallah, in 2003; member of the General Assembly of the Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah; has co-authored a number of books, incl. Palestinian Plastic Arts in the Occupied Territories(1984), Palestinian Popular Costumes (1984), The Guide to Palestinian Embroidery (1986).

of the Municipal Development Project of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) since 2002; Vice-Pres. of the Palestinian National Pension Committee since 2003; head of the Pension Coordination Unit , World Bank Project since 2004; has been and still is involved in many additional boards, committees and projects; since Aug. 2005, CEO of the Capital Market Authority in the West Bank; has conducted numerous research activities in the fields of finance, trade, taxation and other economic issues and written many articles, papers and studies on those subjects.




Born in Beit Sahour on 15 Jan. 1956 to a Christian family; received a BSc in Physics from Baghdad University, Iraq, in 1977, and an MSc in Physics from Reading University, Britain, in 1984; worked as a lecturer in Physics at Birzeit University from 1984; was imprisoned during the first Intifada for being involved in Beit Sahour’s tax revolt, which called for “no taxation without representation;” primary figure in Palestine’s nonviolent resistance movement; founder and Executive Director of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People in Beit Sahour since 1990; founder of the Alternative Tourism Group in Beit Sahour; founding member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Palestine; General Manager of the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), an English language online news source dedicated to cover the Israel/Palestine conflict.






ANTONIUS, GEORGE (1892-1942)

Born in Deir Al-Qamar, Lebanon, in 1892 into a Greek-Orthodox Christian Lebanese family; writer and politician; educated in Victoria College, Alexandria; graduated with a BA in Mechanical Science from King’s College, Cambridge University, in 1913; worked as Deputy Press Censor in Alexandria during WWI; came to Palestine in 1921 and started a civil service career in the Education Dept. and the Secretariat (from 1927) of the British Mandate Executive; served as an interpreter in negotiations to a British diplomatic mission in Arabia in the mid-1920s; obtained Palestinian citizenship in 1925; served as an advisor to Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini; resigned from British service in 1930 in protest over British discrimination policy against Palestinians; began his work as Middle Eastern Associate of the Charles R. Crane’s Institute of Current World Affairs, New York, during which time (1930s) he accompanied Crane on trips to the region and researched and began writing a book on Arab nationalism; appeared before the Peel Commission 1936-37; declined the offer for a visiting professorship at Columbia University for the 1936-37 academic year in order to complete his major work on Arab nationalism, The Arab Awakening (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1938); member of the Palestinian delegation to the London Conference, St. James’s Palace, in Feb. 1939, functioning as Secretary to the Palestinian delegation and as Sec.-Gen. to the United Arab delegation; moved to Beirut in 1939, seeking wartime employment, unsuccessfully offering his services first to the British, then to the Americans; traveled to Baghdad in April 1941, offering his services as a mediator between irreconcilable forces in Iraq; returned sick with an ulcer to Beirut and a short time after to Jerusalem, where he died on 21 May 1942.



AOUN, IMAN (1963-)

Born in Nablus in 1963; received a BA in Social Work from Bethlehem University in 1987, and Diplomas in Psychodrama (1989) and Theater Make-up (1996); began her theater career with Al-Hakawati Theater Company, where she worked and performed from 1984 until 1991; co-founded Ashtar for Theater Training and Productions together with her husband Edward Muallem in 1991, and serves on its Board of Trustees; occupied different administrative positions at Ashtar, most lately as Artistic Director of the theater; directed a number of plays with students and theater professionals; participated in over 30 plays, including, Martyrs are Coming Back, Women of Sand and Myrhh, and Abu Shaker’s Affairs (all produced by Ashtar Theater), in addition to The Story of Kufur Shama and The Story of the Eye and the Tooth (produced by Al-Hakawati); won the Best Actress Award for her role in Martyrs are Coming Back from the Cairo International Experimental Theater Festival in 1996; took part in many international theater conferences and published a number of studies on Palestinian theater.



AQEL, ABDUL LATIF (1943-1995)

Born in Deir Estia, near Nablus, in 1943; was imprisoned for membership in the Communist Party while still in school; earned a degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences from Damascus University in 1966; worked as a teacher in Nablus; started studying towards an MA at the Jesuit University in Beirut but then moved to California and earned a PhD in Social Psychology in 1980; returned and worked as Professor at An-Najah and Bethlehem universities; then went again to the US, where he received his second PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1983; wrote poems and plays both in Arabic and English; died in 1995.


AQEL, AMIN MUSA (1900-1970)

Born in Jerusalem in 1900; studied Law in Jerusalem; worked with Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini during the time of the British Mandate; was arrested for two years by the Mandate authorities; worked as a lawyer and judge in Jaffa; became Secretary of the National Committee of Jaffa in 1948; was elected a Minister in the All-Palestine Government of 1948; worked at the Political Administration Dept. of the Arab League; author of Jihad Filastin in cooperation with Ibrahim Najem; died in London in Dec. 1970 and was buried in Cairo.




Born in Jaffa in 1938; received a BA in Political Science from the AUC in 1959, and an MA in Political Science from the AUB in 1962; began working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait, in charge of the political administration section; served as a consultant to the Kuwaiti delegation to the first and second Arab Summits; was the representative of Palestine to Egypt from 1965-66; became Director of the Arab League office in London in 1968; served as representative of Palestine to the UN during 1975-76; became Director of the first Palestinian delegation to the UN Security Council in 1975; was appointed by King Hassan II of Morocco as Director of the Jerusalem Fund; PNC member; member of the PLO Central Council; Board of Trustees member of the Welfare Association, Geneva, and the Institute for Palestine Studies; member of the Executive Committee for the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, Washington.




Aqel, Imad (1971-1993)

Born in the Gaza Strip in 1971; completed secondary school in 1988; wanted to study Pharmacology at Al-Amal Institute in Gaza the same year, but was arrested by Israel and imprisoned until March 1990 on charges of affiliation with Hamas and participation in the Intifada; was admitted to Hittin College, Amman, to study Islamic Shari’a, in 1991, but was prevented by Israel from traveling to Jordan; was involved with the Izzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades from the early 1990s; formed Hamas cells in the West Bank in 1992 and was placed on Israel’s ‘wanted’ list; was killed in a gun battle with Israeli soldiers on 24 Nov. 1993.



AQEL, ISSA (1906-1970s)

Born in Ramallah in 1906 to a Christian family; obtained his BA in Science from the AUB in 1927, and a degree in Law from the Palestinian Law Institute in 1934; practiced as a lawyer; became a member of the Jordanian Parliament representing the Ramallah district from 1954-1967, during which time he contributed significantly to the socioeconomic development in the Ramallah area; died in the late 1970s.



AQQAD, OMAR (1927-)

Born in Gaza in 1927; leading businessman; founding board member of the Saudi British Bank and the Bahrain-based Investcorp Bank; among the directors of the Saudi Bank and the Arab Investment Company of Luxemburg and Switzerland; founded the Saudi-based Al-Aqqad Investment Company (AICO) in 1975 and serves as its chairman since; donated a grant for the establishment of the Engineering College at Birzeit University, which was named after him; Honorary Member of the university’s Board of Trustees; served on the Board of Directors of the investment bank firm of Smith Barney Harris Upham & Co. Inc. until 1987; in 1995 appointed by Pres. Yasser Arafat to be head of the group in charge of developing the telephone sector in the OPT; founded the Arab Palestinian Investment Company in Ramallah and was a major force behind the building of the main commercial center – the Plaza – in Ramallah in 1993; Board of Trustees member of the Institute of Palestine Studies; member of the Council of the Palestine National Fund (PNF).



ARAFAT, AFAF (1925-)

Born in Nablus in 1925; was educated at the Al-Fatimiyah and Al-’A’ishiyah Schools; then attended the Teachers’ Institute in Jerusalem from 1938-43; worked as a teacher in Jerusalem; enrolled at the Bath Academy in Britain and studied Painting, Photography and Ceramics, graduating in 1957; returned and worked as teacher of Fine Arts at the Teachers’ Institute in Ramallah from 1957-64; continued his studies and received an MA from Tennessee University, US, in 1966; became inspector for Art Education in the Jordanian Ministry of Education; was member of a committee that prepared an art education guide for teachers from 1966-79; worked with the UNRWA as an art expert from 1979-81; prepared the art education books for Al-Yarmouk University, Jordan, in 1981; was Jordan’s delegate to the Amsterdam Conference for Fine Arts in 1969 and the UNESCO regional conference for fine art education in 1976; organized a number of exhibits in Jerusalem, Amman, and Nablus; received a medal from the Kuwaiti government and another medal from the Jordanian League of Artists; has paintings in water and oil colors as well as collage art.



ARAFAT, AMRO (1868-1952)

Born in Nablus in 1868; educated in Nablus; then enrolled at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, graduating with Al-‘Alamiyyah certificate in 1894; went to Istanbul in 1902 to study Shari’a until 1905; appointed as Judge in the Nablus Court; resigned in protest over the life-sentence of a certain defendant; moved to the family business of soap industry in 1913, expanding the company (opening a new factory in the Old City of Nablus and exporting to other countries); became chairman of the Waqf in Nablus and member in the Nablus Municipality; treasurer of the Nablus Mosque Renovation Committee, which enabled the mosque to reopen in 1937; died in Nablus in 1952.


ARAFAT, FATHI (1933-2004)

Born in 1933; brother of Yasser Arafat; studied Medicine at Cairo University, 1950-57; practiced as pediatrician in Cairo hospitals, then in Kuwait (from 1962) and Jordan (from 1967); became a member of the PNC in 1967; President of Palestine General Union of Physicians and Pharmacists since 1968; Vice-Pres. of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) since 1968 and Pres. since 1978; in 1972, Honorary Secretary of the Executive Board of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health; in 1982, elected Vice-President, Council of Ministers of Public Health of the Non-Aligned Countries; since 1982 Chief Delegate for Palestine to the World Health Organization in Geneva; since 1992 President of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology (formerly Palestine Academy for Scientific Research), and Pres. of the Palestine Higher Health Council; died in Cairo on 1 December 2004.




ARAFAT, MUSA (full name: Musa Arafat Al-Qudwa) (1941-2005)

Born in Jaffa in 1941; nephew of the late Pres. Yasser Arafat; co-founder of Fateh; was identified with the Fateh Hawks, a militant offshoot of the Fateh; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council; returned to Palestine after the establishment of the PA in 1994 and was appointed Commander of the Military Intelligence in Gaza; played a major role in the 1996 crackdown on Hamas; was appointed by Pres. Arafat in July 2004 as General Commander of the National Security Services, incl. Force 17, to replace Major-General Abdul Razzeq Al-Majaydeh; was soon after removed from the post; survived an explosion while leaving his office in Gaza in Fall 2004; was sent into retirement together with over 1,000 military officials who reached the age of 60 in April 2005 as part of Pres. Mahmoud Abbas’ reform efforts, but retained a job as security adviser; was assassinated by militants from the Popular Resistance Committees at his home in Gaza City on 7 Sept. 2005.




Born in Nablus and educated in the Al-’Aishiyah and the Schmidt’s Girls School; teacher in Al-’Aishiyah school from 1941-48; enrolled at Exeter University, UK, majoring in English Language and Literature; received a BA from the University of London in 1953; worked as English Language teacher at the Teachers’ College in Ramallah from 1954-56; then served as consultant for the UNESCO on teaching English as a foreign language in Libya from 1956-60; continued her studies and received an MA in Education from Harvard University, US, in 1961; assistant in the Education Board of UNRWA in Amman; then Director of UNRWA in Jerusalem in 1964 and head of its education section in the West Bank from 1974; member, Board of Trustees member of Bethlehem University from 1975-78; Executive Committee member of the Council for Higher Education from 1976-85; Board of Trustees member of Birzeit University.



ARAFAT, YASSER (Abu Amar) (1929-2004)

Born in Cairo on 4 Aug. 1929; full name is Abdul Rahman Abdul Ra’uf Arafat Al-Qudwa Al-Husseini; grew up mainly in Cairo and, for a brief period, in Jerusalem; fought in 1948 alongside the Mufti's defense forces of Palestine; graduated from Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering, in 1956; founder and president (1952-57) of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) in Cairo/Egypt; founder and chairman of the Union of Palestinian Graduates in 1956; volunteered in the Egyptian army during the Suez Canal crisis; left to Kuwait in late 1956; co-founder (with Abu Jihad) of the first Fateh-cell in 1957; founder of Fateh party (January 1959), until today PLO's largest faction; Fateh leader since 1958 and its spokesperson since 1968; member of the first Palestinian delegation to China to confer with Premier Chou-En-Lai in March 1964; elected chairman of the PLO Exec. Committee since Feb. 1969 when Fateh took over the PLO; changed the directions of the PLO from being pan-Arabist to focusing on the Palestinian national cause; appointed Commander-in-Chief of the all-Palestinian/Arab guerilla forces in Sept. 1970; agreed to ‘liberate Palestine by stages’ at the PNC conference of 1974; addressed the UN General Assembly in New York for the first time on 13 Nov. 1974, saying he bore an olive branch (for peace) in one hand, and a gun (for war) in the other; rejected Egyptian President Sadat’s peace talks with Israel from 1977-1978, after it became clear that its version of Palestinian autonomy fell far short of statehood, and gave no role to the PLO; in 1985, signed a Framework for Peace with his old enemy, King Hussein of Jordan, encompassing plans for a Palestinian-Jordanian confedera­tion (was abrogated by King Hussein in 1986 when Arafat failed to condemn the Achille Lauro affair); in March 1986, offered to accept UN Res. 242 and 338, and thus Israel, if the permanent UNSC members guarantee the Palestinians’ right to self-determination; on 15 Nov. 1988, recognized Israel, renounced terrorism and proclaimed the independent Palestinian State; and elected by the PLO Central Council as the first President of the State of Palestine on 2 April 1989; offered his ‘good offices’ to negotiate an Arab solution to the 1990-1991 Gulf Crisis, after Saddam Hussein’s ‘call to arms’ on behalf of Palestine; announced his marriage to Suha Tawil in Feb. 1992; survived an air crash over the Libyan Sahara in April 1992; supervised secret negotiations with Israel from 1992 which led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles between PLO and Israel on 13 Sept. 1993; since then negotiating with Israel on Palestinian self-rule; returned to Palestine on 1 July 1994; set up the PA and appointed as President and Minister of Interior; awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace together with Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin and FM Shimon Peres in 1994; elected President in the Jan. 1996 elections (with 87.3% of the vote); appointed a committee to draw up a Palestinian constitution; met Pres. Clinton during his first official visit to the US in May 1996; announced a new 25-member cabinet on 9 May; faced with resignations from the PLC and his cabinet in 1997-1998 (e.g., Hanan Ashrawi and Haidar Abdul Shafi) over his failure to implement reforms and combat corruption; received the “Golden Pegasus” prize in Florence in June 1998; signed the Wye River Plantation Agreement with Israel in October 1998, calling for further Israeli withdrawals and a Palestinian crackdown on militants; in 1999, threatened to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in the WBGS with East Jerusalem as its capital, at the end of the Interim Period following Israel’s failure to meet its commitments, but is persuaded against this; signed the Sharm Esh-Sheikh Agreement in Sept. 1999, which calls for a 7%-transfer of ‘Area C’ to ‘Area B’; headed the negotiations in Camp David with Pres. Clinton and PM Barak in July 2000, taking a firm stand, and was held responsible when no agreement was reached; increasingly marginalized by the Israeli govt. following the election of right-wing PM Ariel Sharon in Feb. 2001, who refused to meet or deal with him; banned from traveling and confined to his compound (the ‘Muqata’a) in Ramallah by the Israeli army for much of the Al-Aqsa Intifada; accepted under international pressure to appoint a PM in Feb. 2003, and swore in Mahmoud Abbas as first ever PM in April 2003; after Abbas resignation, announced an PA Emergency Govt. in early Oct. 2003; swore in the subsequent govt. of the new PM Ahmed Qrei’a govt. on 12 Nov. 2003; turned seriously ill in Oct. 2004 and was flown from Ramallah to Paris via Amman to receive further medical treatment on the suspicion of suffering from a potentially fatal blood disorder, marking the first time he went abroad since 2001; underwent medical checks and treatment at the Percy Military Teaching Hospital in Clamart, outside Paris, from 29 October 2004 but failed to recover and was pronounced dead on 11 November 2004, ending days of rumors over his condition. Will be dearly remembered by his people for forcing their plight into the world spotlight, devoting his life to the quest for Palestinian statehood, and unified them in their struggle for national freedom and independence.

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Born in the village of Qaqoua near Tulkarem in 1940; forced to leave with his family during the War of 1948; studied Law for one year, then switched to General Medicine, graduating with an MD and PhD from the University of Istanbul, Turkey, in 1968; worked as assistant surgeon and Director in the Austrian Hospice Hospital in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1965-1985; became a member in the Medical Association, Jerusalem, in 1973, and later its Sec.-Gen. from 1978-1982; Dir.-Gen. of the Arab Health Center, Jerusalem, since 1986.




Al-A’raj, Ala Eddin (1964-)

Born in Gaza in 1964; graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering from An-Najah University in Nablus in 1987; served as head of the Board of Directors of Groups of Firms in the Field of Trade and Contracts, as head of the Palestinian Contractors’ Union in Gaza, and as Secretary of the Engineers’ Syndicate in Gaza; member of the Palestinian Businessmen Association and former member of its Board of Directors, member of the Coordinating Council of the Palestinian Private Sector Institutions; was appointed PA Minister of Economy in March 2006;




AL-A’RAJ, LYDIA (1930-)

Born in Latin America in 1930 to a family originally from Beit Jala; was educated at the Schmidt’s Girls College in Jerusalem; earned a diploma in Education; worked as a teacher in the Chili Girls School in Beit Jala; member of the Women & Child Care Society in Beit Jala since 1954 and its Chairperson since 1960; worked together with Zelikha Shihabi in founding the Union of Charitable Societies in Jerusalem; elected PNC member since 1965; served as first treasurer of the GUPW since 1965; inaugurated the first branch of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association in the Bethlehem district; founder and Chairperson of the Women’s Initiative Committee for Development since 1993 aiming to train young women in income generating projects (i.e., through manufacturing shoes, etc).



AL-AREF, AREF (1891-1973)

Born in Jerusalem in 1892; early education in Jerusalem and Turkey (Lyceé of Constantinople); studied Political Economy at Istanbul University; wrote in the paper Filastin of Jaffa, condemning land sale to Jews in Palestine; served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Istanbul in 1914 as translator; conscripted into the Turkish army in WWI (1915) and served as lieutenant until 1918; captured and spent two years in a camp in Siberia (1916-18), from where he escaped after the Russian Revolution and went back to Palestine; editor of the first Arab nationalist newspaper Suriyya Al-Janubbiyya, published in Jerusalem in 1919; advocated a policy of militant but non-violent opposition to Zionism; arrested during riots in 1920, escaped with fellow-accused Haj Amin Al-Husseini to Syria; sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia on charges of fomenting the riots; fled after three days to Karak, then to Damascus; became deputy to the General Syrian Congress in Damascus, led by King Faisal, where he addressed a protest against the appointment of Sir Herbert Samuel as High Commissioner of Palestine in June 1920; fled to Transjordan upon the French invasion of Syria; received amnesty by the British High Commissioner and returned to Jerusalem, but was obliged to abstain from political work; was offered the post of District Officer of the British administration by Chief Political Officer for Palestine, Col. Wyndham Deeds, in 1921, and served in Jenin, Nablus, Beisan, Jaffa, Beersheba, Gaza and Ramallah until 1948; from 1926-28, was also seconded to the Transjordanian government as Chief Secretary; then ministerial officer in Jordan; transferred back to Palestine in 1929; amnestied by Sir Herbert Samuel and became civil servant under the British Mandate from 1933-48; elected mayor of Jerusalem from 1950-55; head of the first Jordanian municipal council elected in 1951; appointed Minister of Public Affairs in Jordan in 1955; spoke several languages (Arabic, English, German, French, Turkish, Hebrew and little Russian); appointed Director of Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem in 1963; member of the first PNC in 1964; author of Jurisdiction among the Bedouins (Arabic, 1933), Bedouin Love, Law and Legend, History of Beersheba and Its Tribes, History of Gaza (Arabic, 1943), The Disaster, the Calamity of the Holy Land and the Lost Paradise (1947-55), History of Jerusalem (Arabic, 1961), and The Tragedy of Palestine (In Pictures) (Sidon, Lebanon, 1962); wrote an essay under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem entitled The Closing Phase of Ottoman Rule in Palestine (1970); died on 30 July 1973 in Ramallah.





Born in Abu Dis in 1934; took refuge with his family in the Italian Hospital in Jerusalem during the 1936 Revolt; was subsequently raised in Jerusalem; became a member of the National Liberation League in 1949, which advocated communist ideas; finished his secondary education in Cairo in 1951; member of the Jordanian Communist Party and active in demonstrations against the Baghdad Pact (a mutual security alliance between Britain, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan aiming to prevent the expansion of the Soviet Union into the Middle East and strongly opposed by Egypt); went to Cairo and studied Oud at the Institute of Music from 1953-54; was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in Al-Jafer and Amman central prisons for his activism on behalf of the Communist Party and another one year for participating in demonstrations; spent the years 1957-1965 in jail, then was released following the declaration of a general amnesty for political prisoners; set up a dairy project in Jericho in 1965; was repeatedly arrested by Israeli authorities during 1968-74, and subjected to torture leading to infections in his eyes (described by Israeli lawyer Felicitas Langer in her book In My Own Eyes published in 1975); one of the founders of the clandestine Palestinian National Front (formed in 1973 as a framework coordinating activities of nationalist resistance forces in the OPT); signatory to the document which supported the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974; was exiled by Israel to Southern Lebanon on 4 Nov. 1974 as a result of his political activism; spent a year in Beirut and 18 years in Damascus, continuing his struggle in the Communist Party and later in the PLO; in 1983, was elected a member of the Central Committee of the Palestinian Communist Party as well as PNC member; was allowed to return to Palestine in May 1993; lives in Jericho where he is involved with several organizations and institutions.






Born in Jericho on 12 Oct. 1960; involved in politics at a young age and was jailed twice as a teenager by the Israeli army; left Jericho to England and the US in 1978; studied Finance at Arizona State University, graduating with a BS in 1983; received an MBA in Management from the Western International University, Phoenix, Arizona, in 1987; was elected Pres. of the GUPS while in Arizona (from 1981-93); became a member of the Phoenix-Arizona Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Jan. 1982 and served as its Sec. from Jan. 1991-April 1992; returned to Palestine in 1992 and began working with Hanan Ashrawi on the file of peace talks with Israel; later worked as Senior Assistant to Faisal Husseini, who was head of the Orient House in Jerusalem and the PLO Exec. Committee member in charge of Jerusalem; held the position of desk officer in charge of the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa at the International Relations Dept. of the Orient House and also served as its spokesperson from 1993-1998; participated in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in Beit Hanoun/Erez in Gaza, Taba, Egypt, and Jerusalem during the period 1993-98; was an official member of the Palestinian delegation at the Wye River Plantation, US, in 1998; became Dir.-Gen. of the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Dept. (NAD) in Ramallah in 1998 (then headed by Mahmoud Abbas), among other things supervising the Negotiations Support Unit; served as assistant to chief negotiator Saeb Erekat; became head of NAD following the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas as PM in May 2003. Appointed as Ambassador heading the PLO office in Washington in 2009.





Born in Jerusalem in 1927; attended Al-Rashidiyeh School in Jerusalem and completed the 9th grade before dropping out in order to work in Jerusalem to support his mother and family who lived in Abu Dis (his father had died when Rashid was 6 years old); joined the British Mandate Police at the age of 19 and was stationed in Jaffa; served in the Jordanian army from 1946-50; joined the UNRWA in 1950, eventually becoming Area Officer for Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho (retired in 1988); was a supporter of the ANM during the 1950s and 1960s; later supported the Palestinian Communist Party (until it split in the early 1970s due to differences regarding the Party’s stand vis-à-vis armed struggle); rejected an offer of becoming Mayor of Jericho after 1967; was banned by Israel from traveling during the period 1967-73 and was numerously arrested for his political activism; was involved in the activities of the National Guidance Committee in the 1970s; one of the signatories of the letter signed in 1974 by Palestinian national figures, supporting the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; masterminded the National Bloc for the Jericho elections in 1976 and was targeted by the Israeli authorities following its victory; founding member of the Jericho Society for Marketing Agricultural Produce in 1975; founding member of the Arab Thought Forum in Jerusalem in 1977; became head of the Council for Culture and Arts in Jericho in 1992; served as Honorary President of many societies and institutions in Jericho; died in 1994 (in 2004 his children Khalil, Maen and Shireen established a Student Aid Foundation under his name to assist students in/from Jericho).



Born in Abu Dis in 1946; completed his secondary education from Ibrahimiyeh School in Jerusalem in 1964; joined the Jordanian Air Force in 1965 as a pilot then the Army College, graduating as an officer in the Artillery Corps; served with the Jordanian army in Jenin in the War of 1967 and in the Al-Karameh battle (between Jordanian and Israeli armies) in 1968; joined Fateh and the PLO after the Black September in Jordan in 1970; received advanced military training courses in the 1970s; enrolled at the Arab Beirut University, Lebanon, graduating with a degree in Geography in 1976; received an MA in Military Science from Pakistan in 1978; assumed important positions within the PLO in Syria and Lebanon, most notably as Commander of the Artillery and Rockets Division of the Palestinian-Lebanese Joint Forces in South Lebanon during 1976-82 and during the Israeli siege of Beirut in summer 1982; was wounded many times in the course of action in Lebanon; promoted to a Major after the mountain battles that took place during the civil war in Lebanon; computerized the PLO’s artillery and rocket systems and was given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel for his efforts; in 1995, he became a Brigadier; returned to Palestine after 28 years in exile in 1995 and was appointed as a Dir.-Gen. in the PA Ministry of Interior; established the Jerusalem Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dis and Ar-Ram in 1996 and serves as its Dir.-Gen.





Born in Mi’ilya in the Upper Galilee in 1931; received a PhD in Middle Eastern History in 1985; worked in the field of education; participated in different ethnographic/museum committees; wrote over 20 monographs on Arab cultural roots in Palestine, incl. The Land: Humanity and Effort and the Palestinian Arab Village, in addition to conducting a survey of major Palestinian Maqams.





Born in Jerusalem in 1934; originally from Arura; fled with his family during the Nakba of 1948; received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1967; served on the Faculty of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth from 1965-1998 (and remains Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science); founding member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, Cairo and Geneva, 1982; served on the Boards of Amnesty International from 1984-1990 and of Human Rights Watch/Middle East from 1990-92; founding Board member of PICCR since 1994; President of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates; named to the PNC in 1991; was critical of the DoP and of the PLO negotiation strategy; Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trans-Arab Research Institute in Boston; member of The Palestine Center Committee in Washington, DC, member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Criminal Investigations in The Hague; member of the editorial board of the Third World Quarterly, London; has published numerous articles in newspapers, journals and magazines, and authored many publications, incl. The Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Occupation (1970), Occupation: Israel Over Palestine (1983), The Obstruction of Peace: The US, Israel and the Palestinians (1995), Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return (editor) (Pluto, 2001), and Dishonest Broker: The US Role in Israel and Palestine (Cambridge, MA, 2003)



ARURI, TAYSIR (around 1944-)

Born around 1944 in Burham near Ramallah; lecturer in Physics at Birzeit University; member of the Palestine People’s Party (PPP); detained by the Israeli authorities without formal charges or trial from 1974-78; appeals from members of the international physics community played a role in his release in Jan. 1978; was an activist in the Popular Committees of the first Intifada; was again arrested in Aug. 1988, shortly after signing a statement in Jerusalem with other Israeli and Palestinian academics that called for mutual recognition and peace; was a member of the PLO Steering Committee, which directed negotiations in Washington in 1992/93; member of the PLO Central Council; coordinator of the Palestinian Democratic Coalition.




AL-AS’AD, AS’AD Abdul Muneim (1948-)

Born in Beit Mahser, near Jerusalem, in 1948; was forced to flee with his family during the 1948 Nakba and ended up in Aqabat Jabr RC near Jericho, then in the Qalandia RC; left for Lebanon to study and graduated with a BA in Topography from Beirut College in 1967; worked as a teacher in Ramallah; in 1973, became editor of the literature page of a local newspaper for three years, then joined Al-Bayader magazine; continued his studies and received a BA in Arabic Literature from Aleppo University in 1979; returned and founded Al-Kateb, a progressive cultural magazine, in 1979; Board member of Al-Hakawati Theater in Jerusalem in the early 1980s; was elected as Sec.-Gen. of the Palestinian Writers’ Union in the early 1990s; became Pres. of the Palestinian Center for the Promotion of Culture and Arts from 1992; Board member of the Palestinian Council on Culture and Media since 1992; publisher of the Ramallah-based Al-Bilad from 1995 until its closure in Aug. 1988 due to financial problems; novelist and writer; has published several poetry collections, a novel and other writings; was Director of Foreign Relations and Projects at the PA Ministry of Culture until his appointment as Palestinian representative to Uzbekistan in Oct. 2005.




Asfour, HASSAN Mohammed (1950-)

Born in Khan Younis in 1950; studied in Moscow and Baghdad and holds a BA in Agricultural Engineering; activist in the first Intifada; was involved in the secret Oslo talks and the subsequent negotiation process, assisting chief negotiator Ahmed Qrei’a; produced a draft joint Declaration of Principles; served as head of the PLO Negotiation Affairs Dept. during the talks for the Gaza-Jericho-First accord (1994); was elected PLC member (Independent) in the Khan Younis constituency in the Jan. 1996 elections; PA minister without portfolio (from 1998) and later Min. of NGO affairs (from 1999-2002); PPP member; head of the PA Commission on NGO’s Affairs (later of Human Rights & NGO’s Affairs) from 2002; member of the Palestinian Constitutional Consultative Committee.


Al-Ashhab, Na’im (Abu Bashar) (1929-)

Born in Hebron in 1929; moved with his family to the German Colony of Jerusalem in 1934; after high school, worked as junior official in the British Mandate from 1945; became a refugee to Hebron in 1948, where he joined National Liberation League; joined the Jordanian Communist Party (JCP) in 1948; was several times arrested by Jordan in the 1950s and 1960s; went underground in Oct. 1954 for almost two years until Suleiman An-Nabulsi became PM; went back underground after King Hussein removed the An-Nabulsi government in April 1957, until his arrest on 30 Aug. 1966 by Jordanian security forces; spent ten months in solitary confinement at Zarka Prison; returned to Jerusalem and ran West Bank affairs for the JCP after 1967; advocated non-violent protest; from 1968 was repeatedly arrested by Israel for his activism, incl. distributing leaflets; learnt Hebrew in prison but also became ill and almost blind; was released in Aug. 1971 after an international campaign but immediately deported; went to Moscow for medical treatment; then lived in Prague where he represented the JCP; elected to the PNC and the PLO Central Council in 1987 in his capacity as member of the Central Committee and the politburo of both the Jordanian and Palestinian communist parties; retired from PLO and official positions in 1991 but still represents PPP in certain occasions; returned to the West Bank in May 1993; works as columnist for Al-Ayyam newspaper; promotes human rights and democracy; member of the Ramallah-based Council of Justice and Peace since 1997.



Born in 1940 in Gaza City; Fateh member since its creation 1959; from 1960 to 1967, Fateh activist in exile in charge of organizing Fateh in Europe; after 1967, organized Fateh members in Lebanon; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council since 1968; member of the PLO Central Council; head of Preventative Security in the West Bank; was appointed Minister of Housing and Public Affairs in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003; Sec.-Gen. of the Fateh Revolutionary Council.



Born in Sayda, Tulkarem, in 1958; received a BA from Birzeit University in 1982; while at Birzeit, became was one of the leaders of the Islamic bloc; went to Greece and obtained an MA in Business Management in 1989; then moved to the US where he gained a PhD in Business Administration from Mississippi University; taught at Washington University then worked as Professor at Howard University, Washington, US; was detained by US authorities for six months in 1998 under allegations of fundraising for Hamas; arrested in Alexandria, Virginia in Aug. 2004 and put under house arrest since then; following the passing away of Yasser Arafat, nominated himself as an independent Islamic candidate running candidate in the 2004 PA elections, where he got 2.68% of the vote.





ASHRAWI, HANAN (full name: Hanan Mikhail Daoud Khalil Ashrawi) (1946-)

Born in Ramallah on 8 Oct. 1946 to an Anglican Christian family; member of the GUPS in Beirut from 1967-70; member of the GUPW from 1967-72; worked at the Palestinian Information Office in Beirut from 1968-70; studied English Literature at the AUB, graduating with a BA and an MA (1970); returned Palestine in 1973 and established the Dept. of English at Birzeit University, as whose Chair she served from 1973-1978, and again from 1981-1984; was a founding member and Director of the Legal Aid Committee/Human Rights Action Project at Birzeit University in 1974; continued her studies and received a PhD in Medieval and Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia, USA, in 1981; served as Dean of Arts at Birzeit University from 1986-90, specializing in Medieval English Literature (remained a faculty member at Birzeit University until 1995); joined the Political Committees during the fist Intifada; member of the Union of Palestinian Writers; from 1991-93, member of the Palestinian Steering Committee in the peace process, Palestinian delegation spokesperson for the negotiations at the Madrid and Washington talks, and member of the Leadership/Guidance Committee and Executive Committee of the delegation; resigned from her post as spokeswoman and headed the Preparatory Committee of PICCR in 1993, then serving as its first Commissioner General until 1995; was elected PLC member for the Jerusalem constituency in 1996; appointed PA Minister for Higher Education in 1996 (until 1998, when she resigned in protest against political corruption and Pres. Yasser Arafat’s handling of the peace talks); was put in charge of the Bethlehem 2000 project; founder (in Dec. 1998) of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) and its Sec.-Gen. since; was appointed Arab League spokesperson in July 2001; resigned from the post in 2002 over difficulties she encountered in trying to persuade the different member states to speak with a uniform voice; among the signatories of a statement published in Al-Quds on 20 June 2002, appealing for an end to suicide bombings as they destroy the possibilities of peaceful co-existence; was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2003; member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and of numerous international advisory boards, incl. the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, the World Bank Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); Board of Trustees member of the Carter Center in Atlanta, US; has written numerous anthologies of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism; received – together with MK Zahava Gal-On – the UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Medal in Sept. 2005 for efforts to find a negotiated, non-violent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; established – together with Salam Fayyad - the Third Way faction in late 2005; was re-elected as PLC member (Third Way List) in the Jan. 2006 elections; her publications include The Modern Palestinian Short Story: An Introduction to Practical Criticism; Contemporary Palestinian Literature under Occupation, From Intifada to Independence and her autobiography, This Side of Peace: A Personal Account (1995). Elected as member of the PLO executive Committee at the special session of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in August 27, 2009 in Ramallah.





Born in Jerusalem on 29 Nov. 1925; completed schooling at various Palestinian schools; graduated from Rashidiyya School in 1943; then joined the Arab College in Jerusalem, graduating in 1945; took a correspondence course at the University of London and received his BA in 1950; joined the Palestinian School of Law in Jerusalem in 1951, but did not complete his studies; first worked as a teacher at Ar-Rashidiyya School, then moved to the Khadouri Agricultural School in Tulkarem, then taught at UNWRA schools in Jerusalem; also worked for the Jordanian Broadcasting Service in Ramallah; sought political asylum in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and finally in Egypt during the Suez crisis in 1956-57; worked for the radio station Sawt Al-Arab (Voice of the Arabs) in Cairo; went to Humboldt University, Berlin (East Germany) in 1959; attained a PhD in Philosophy from Berlin University in 1967; worked for the German Broadcasting Service until his return to Amman in 1968; from 1968 to 1983, served as Director of the Library at the University of Jordan; also translated and published many scholarly works, among them: Islamic Institutions of Learning in Jerusalem (Arabic, 1981); Islamic Mausolea and Cemeteries in Jerusalem (Arabic, 1981); The Merits of Jerusalem (Arabic, 1982); Some Islamic Monuments in Jerusalem (Arabic, 1982); Jerusalem Historical Documents, Volumes I-III (Arabic, 1983-89); Jerusalem in History (English, 1989); Jerusalem in Travel Books (Arabic, 1992), The Nebi Musa Feast in Palestine (Arabic, 1990) and An Introduction to the History of Medicine in Jerusalem (Arabic, 1994); died on 27 Oct. 1995.





Born in Jerusalem in 1938; following the Deir Yassin massacre in April 1948, was sent by her father with her family to Damascus; received a BA in English Literature from the AUB and an MA from Indiana State University; worked for 25 years as a lecturer in the Dept. of English Language and Literature at Birzeit University until her retirement; co-founder and chair of the Project Loving Care Society (for women and children) since 1968; co-founder and chair of the Saraya Center for Community Services in the Old City of Jerusalem since 1991.




Assali, Naila Abed

Born in Nablus to a Christian family; had her secondary schooling at Ramallah’s Friends Girls’ School; received a BA (1963) and an MA (1965) in Chemistry from the AUB; worked at AUB as a research assistant; was unable to return to Palestine due to the 1967 War and went to Saudi Arabia with her husband Ziad Assali, and a year later to the US; earned an MSc in Mathematical Systems from the Sangamon State University, Illinois; also took courses in Accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant; worked as real estate agent in the state of Illinois; has been active in many Arab-American organizations and served on the Board of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) for 10 years, five of which as Chairperson and two as Treasurer; Board member and co-founder of the American Task Force on Palestine; a treasurer and a Board Member of the Hala Maksoud Foundation.



Born in Jaffa in 1937; studied Law at Alexandria University, Egypt, receiving an LLB in 1962; Board of Directors member of the Maqassed Islamic Society in Jerusalem from 1970-77; Board of Trustees member of Hebron University from 1979-1988; editor of Ash-Shira’ magazine from 1980-83; Board of Directors member of Patients’ Friends Society, Jerusalem, since 1980; Board of Trustees member of the Abu Dis College of Science and Technology since 1981; representative of the Islamic Bank for the Development of the West Bank and Gaza, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Director of the Lawyers’ Center for Research from 1986-90; Board of Directors member of the Arab Journalists’ Association from 1987-1989; served as chairman of the Palestinian Lawyers’ Association from 1987-90; Director of the Az-Zahra Research Center in Ramallah from 1988-92; practices law in Jerusalem.




Assali, Ziad J. (1941-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1941; received his elementary and secondary education in Jerusalem; received a BSc from the AUB in 1963 and an MD from its Medical School in 1967; completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the Latter Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah; practiced medicine in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem until 1973; returned to the US and became Medical Director, Laboratory Director, and Chairman of the Board at the Christian County Medical Clinic and St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville, Illinois, until his retirement in 2000; also had his own practice in Springfield, Illinois; earned certifications from the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians and is member of several medical societies such as the American Medical Association, the American Society of Internal Medicine, the American Academy of Medical Directors; besides his medical work, has been a long-time activist on Arab-American issues; became a member of the Chairman’s Council of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in 1982; served as Pres. of the Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) in Belmont, Massachusetts, 1993-1995; founding member and Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) from 1995-2003, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for the National Interest; served as the Pres. of the ADC from 2001-03; has testified before the US Senate on the issue of Palestinian education and before the US House Committee on the Middle East Peace Process; Pres. and founder of the Washington-based American Task Force on Palestine; served as a member of the US official delegation to the funeral of Chairman Yasser Arafat and as a member of the US official delegation to observe the Palestinian elections; serves on the Boards of ‘OneVoice’, ‘A Different Future’ and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; has written numerous articles and papers as well as authored several books, incl. Coronary Artery Spasm Causing Myocardial Infarction (1983), Expedition to Jerusalem (1990), Zionist Studies of the Crusades (1992), and From Crusades to Zionism (1993).




AL-ASWAD, MOHAMMED MAHMOUD (known as Guevara of Gaza) (1943-1973)

Born in Haifa in 1943; displaced to Gaza Strip during the 1948 Nakba; member in the ANM and in charge of its operations in Gaza; member in the PFLP politburo in Gaza; known as the Guevara of Gaza; was jailed for two years for his resistance activist against Israel; after his release in 1970, went to China and received military training and returned working in underground cells; was responsible for many attacks on Israeli targets and thus wanted by Israel; killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers in Gaza on 8 March 1973.



Atalla, Anton (1897-1987)

Anton Atalla, judge, lawyer, bank manager, statesman, was born in Jerusalem in 1897. He was the second oldest of twelve children born to Abdelnour Atalla and Mariyya Zachariah. He completed his elementary and high school studies in Jerusalem in 1912, first at the Lutheran Church School and then the American College, and then entered the American University in Beirut. In 1916 along with many other students he was forcefully conscripted into the Ottoman Army and taken to Istanbul for military training, after which he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Ottoman Army. However, when the Arab Revolt against the Turks under Sherif Hussein of the Hejaz was proclaimed, Atalla managed to escape and return to Jerusalem.

After the British occupation of Palestine in 1917 Anton Atalla studied law at the Jerusalem College for Law and after graduation took up posts in the Palestine Mandate law-courts first as Public Prosecutor, then as Deputy Attorney General, then as Judge Magistrate, and, finally as Judge of the District Court of Haifa. In 1943, he resigned his judgeship to form a very successful law partnership with his brother Hanna Atalla. Just before the Palestinian "Nakbah" he was approached by the Arab League and was offered and accepted the post of General Manager of the Arab Land Bank established by the Arab League to assist Palestinian farmers to hold on to their lands and save them from being taken over by rich Zionist corporations. Through indomitable effort and commitment, Atalla succeeded in making the Arab Land Bank one of the foremost in Jordan. Under his leadership the Bank expanded; branches were opened in every large Jordanian city, and the Bank's contribution to the development of agriculture, tourism, and housing was enormous. Atalla was running the Bank from Jerusalem, when the Israelis occupied the city and the rest of Palestine in 1967. Along with many prominent Palestinian leaders, Atalla was exiled from his ancestral home at the end of 1967, in line with Israel's policy to vacate Palestine of its educated people. Anton Atalla spent the rest of his life in Amman, Jordan.

Anton Atalla's civic and public positions included Deputy Mayor of the City of Jerusalem,(1944-46) Member of Parliament from Jerusalem,(1954-56), Special Representative of Jordan to the United Nations (1961), Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs (1963-64, and 1970), and Senator. He went on a number of missions as Jordan's representative to His Holiness, the Pope, to various international conferences

and, in 1964 on a three-month tour of Latin America, Japan, and Nationalist China as a representative of the Arab League to inform and brief the leaders of these countries on the Palestine issue. Anton Atalla was a profound proponent of dialogue, and his international efforts, addresses, and representations to increase understanding of the problems and issues of the Middle East, particularly the question of Palestine, were one of his many great contributions.

Atalla was a leader in the Christian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and worked tirelessly to advance the interests of the Arab Laity and bring about their full participation in the Church hierarchy. He was president of the Arab Orthodox Executive Committee in Jerusalem, and presided at all the Orthodox conferences in Jordan. He was, also, President of the Jordan YMCA and the Chairman of the Middle East Council of Churches (?). An active Rotarian, Atalla was Rotary Governor of the Middle East District 195 (1965-66). Anton Atalla died in 1987 in Amman.



ATALLAH, HALA (1943-1995)

Born in Jerusalem on 6 April 1943; educated at the English Mission College in Cairo from 1948-51, then attended the Friends’ Girls School in Ramallah; received a BA from the AUB in 1964; returned to Palestine and worked as teacher-training instructor of Professional Studies in UNRWA’s Ramallah Women’s Training Center from 1964; vocational counselor until 1976; continued her studies and received a B.Phil.Ed. from the University of Exeter, UK, in 1977; established the Student Counseling Services at Birzeit University; worked as instructor of Education and Psychology until 1980; was an active Board of Trustees member of the Friends’ School in the 1980s; received a PhD in Human Development from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, in 1985, focusing on Educational Psychology, Clinical Evaluation, Life Span Development and Psychological Disorders of Children; served in a number of local and international organizations related to women, society, education and psychology; was the student counselor at Birzeit University until 1995, when she left to the US for medical treatment for cancer; passed away while in the US on 16 April 1995; following her death, a scholarship fund under her name was administrated by the Women’s Studies Program at Birzeit University.




Atallah, Mohammed Atallah (Abu Zaim) (1936-)

Born in Beit Surik, near Jerusalem, in June 1936; also known as Atallah Atallah; attended Al-Rashidiyeh School in Jerusalem, then the Jordanian Military College; graduated as Lieutenant General and earned a certificate in war in 1963; worked in the Jordanian army and became a Major; after 1967, Chief of Staff of the King Talal Brigades in Irbid; joined Fateh; went to Baghdad, where he trained the fedayeen; then moved to Jordan; was given command of the Fateh forces in South Lebanon from spring 1971; was asked by Yasser Arafat to turn the guerrilla forces into a conventional army in July 1971 and was head of central operations in Lebanon; in charge of planning and implementation of the “Himmeh” battles (located between Syria and Jordan) against the Israeli army; was head of the Palestinian delegation to the negotiations with representatives of the Lebanese Army at the Milkart Hotel in Beirut in 1973; appointed by Arafat as head of Fateh military intelligence in Lebanon in 1974; member of the Palestinian Revolutionary Council, the PNC, the Higher Palestinian Military Council, and the Fateh Higher Committee; headed a Fateh inquiry committee into its conduct during the Lebanon war; was critical of Arafat’s policies and his handling of the conflict in Southern Lebanon; came under wide-ranging criticism during the Fateh rebellion in 1983 for his role in the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon and was dismissed from his post by the Fateh Central Committee; formed a rival faction of Fateh in Jordan together with other Fateh dissidents on 24 April 1986; promoted a peaceful solution and an independent Palestinian state with confederal relations with Jordan; was dismissed as Asst. Chief-of-Staff and PNC member by a PLO Supreme Military Council meeting in Baghdad in April 1986; survived an assassination attempt in early 1987 in Jordan; retired from politics in the late 1980s and settled in Syria.




ATEEK, NAIM (Rev. Cannon Dr.) (1942-)

Born in Beit Shin near Bisan in the Galilee in 1942; following the Nakba of 1948, ended up in Nazareth, where he finished his primary and secondary education; received a BA from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, in 1963, and an MA, Divinity Degree, from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkley, in 1966; ordained as a priest in the Anglican Episcopal Church in Nazareth, serving across Palestine; continued his studies and gained a PhD in Ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California, focusing on Liberation Theology and its applications in the Palestinian case; became Parish Priest and Canon of the Palestinian congregation at the St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem in 1985 until his early retirement in 1997 in protest over the silence of the church vis-à-vis the daily hardships the Palestinian Christian community in the Holy Land is enduring; founder and Director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem since 1992; lecturer at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for International Studies in Jerusalem since 1993; received a PhD in Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkley, California, in 1995 and a Doctor of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School at Harvard, Massachusetts, in 2001; has published numerous essays and articles and written, edited and co-authored several books, incl. Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation (Orbis Books, 1989), Faith and the Intifada: Palestinian Christian Voices (Orbis, 1992), Jerusalem: What Makes For Peace! A Palestinian Christian Contribution to Peacemaking (Melisende, 1997), Our Story: The Palestinians (Sabeel, 1999).




Attoun, Ahmed Mohammed (Abu Mujahed) (1968-)

Born in 1968 in Sur Baher, Jerusalem; graduated from Al-Aqsa High School in Jerusalem in 1986; studied Shari’a Law, graduating with a BA in 1992; was repeatedly arrested by Israel in 1988, 1992, 1994-97 and placed in administrative detention in 1998-99; Imam of Al-Morabitin Mosque in Sur Baher; works also as the supervisor of the Zeid Ibn Thabet Centers for teaching Qur’an and heads Al-Muntada Ath-Thaqafi (Cultural Forum) in Sur Baher; is a MA candidate in Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University; was elected as PLC member (Change and Reform, Jerusalem district) in the Jan. 2006 elections; was arrested (along with other PA ministers and PLC members) in an Israeli military sweep against Hamas on 29 June 2006; refused to resign from the PLC as demanded by Israel and had his Jerusalem residency permit and Israeli ID card subsequently revoked by Interior Minister Roni Bar-On on 30 June 2006; is still detained as of July 2006.





Born in the Deir Al-Balah RC, Gaza Strip, on 17 Feb. 1950; educated at refugee schools in Gaza; worked as a laborer in a tomato factory in Jordan to support his family; secondary education in Cairo; then studied Journalism at the AUC, graduating with a BA with a diploma in translation in 1974; worked at the Al-Balagh newspaper in Libya; then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he wrote for Al-Madina newspaper; also worked as correspondent of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper; moved to London in 1978 and earned his MA in Area Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, in 1983; rejoined Al-Madina and opened its office in London, working there from 1980-84; then became managing editor of the London-based Majallah magazine; worked again as correspondent for Asharq Al-Awsat, resigning in 1988; rejected an offer to become editor of Al-Hayat newspaper and chose to be editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which began production in April 1989; soon became its Dir.-Gen. in 1993.




Awad (Al-Amin), ‘Arabi (Abu Al-Fahd) (???)

Born in Salfit; teacher of Arabic Literature; leading activist and Secretary of the West Bank branch of the Jordanian Communist Party (JCP); arrested and imprisoned for 11 years under Jordanian rule; participated in establishing the Palestinian National Front (PNF) in 1973; was deported by Israel for his activism in the PNF in Dec. 1973; founded the Palestine Communist Organization of Lebanon as a branch of the JCP in 1980 (which, however, did not last very long); then formed the Palestinian Revolutionary Communist Party (PRCP) in Lebanon, which advocates armed struggle and as whose Sec.-Gen. he serves; as such member of the Damascus Ten and the National and Islamic Forces (NIF), a coalition of 14 Palestinian factions that emerged during the second Intifada.


AWAD, Mohammed Hassan (Sheikh) (1914-)

Born in Al-Faluja, northern Negev, in 1914; studied Religious Studies at Al-Azhar College in Cairo, graduating in 1932; worked as a lawyer, then as journalist; was elected to the Municipality of Al-Faluja in 1938; was arrested by the British in 1939 and jailed for four years; continued to be active in resistance against the British until 1948; went to Hebron, from there back to Egypt and then to Gaza, where he was appointed a judge in the High Islamic Court; founder of the Islamic Institute of Palestine in Gaza in 1954; Chief Justice of the High Islamic Court, Gaza, since 1960; member of the Islamic Research Institute in Cairo since 1966; founding Director of the Islamic University of Gaza since 1977.





Born in Jerusalem on 22 Aug. 1943 to a Palestinian Christian family; after his father was killed in 1948, while he was trying to save a wounded friend; he was raised in an orphanage and educated by the Quakers and in the St. George’s School in Jerusalem; decided to become a priest and was awarded a scholarship in 1959 to study at Cleveland University, Tennessee, US, but left soon after in opposition over discrimination against the African-Americans; returned to Jerusalem and worked as a teacher in a Mennonite school in Beit Jala; emigrated to the US in 1969; was admitted to Bluffton College, Ohio, in 1970, graduating with a BA in 1973; received an MA from St. Francis University, Indiana, US, in 1978; joined the Quakers focusing on non-violent resistance; earned a PhD in Psychology from Ohio University in 1982 and worked on issues related to juvenile delinquency in the US; returned in 1983 and opened a healing center in Jerusalem, hoping to apply the ideas of Martin Luther King and Gandhi on the Palestinian case; founded the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem in 1985; published papers and lectured on nonviolence as a technique for resisting the Israeli occupation; was arrested by the Israeli army for organizing commercial strikes in the beginning of the first Intifada; his Permanent Residency status was cancelled by the Israeli government and in May 1988, he was deported on the grounds that his tourist visa had expired and due to his political activities; returned to the US, where he founded Nonviolence International in 1989, serving as its Director since; also works as Assistant Professor at the American University in Washington.




Awartani, Hisham (1941- )

Born in Anabta in 1941; enrolled at the AUB and graduated with a BA in Agriculture in 1962 and an MA in Agricultural Economics in 1966; Lecturer of Economics at An-Najah National University from 1977-2003; continued his studies and earned a PhD in Agricultural Development from Bradford University, UK, in 1982; founding Board Member, CPRS; head of the Economics Dept. at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS), Nablus; Board of Trustees member of the International Institute for Political and Economic Studies (IIPES) in Greece; was Steering Committee member of the Harvard University project on the Economics of Transition after Peace; International Advisory Panel member at the Oxford University Refugee Studies Program; founder of the Rural Research Center at An-Najah University; served as a member of the Palestinian delegation for economic negotiations with Israel in 1994-95, and as advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team; Director of the Palestinian Businessmen Association since 2000; Director of the Center for Private Sector Development (CPSD), and member of the Palestinian Businessmen Association (PBA); has written numerous articles and books, incl. West Bank Agriculture (Nablus, 1978), A Survey of Industries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Birzeit, 1979), and The Palestinian Economy on the West Bank and Gaza from 1967-2001 (Nablus, 2001).




Born in Anabta on 21 April 1949; obtained a BSc in Mathematics in 1973 from the AUB and a PhD in Mathematics from Lehigh University, USA, in 1980; worked as Mathematics Professor at Birzeit University, the United Arab Emirates University and Cornell University from 1980-1993;  founding Pres. of the Palestinian Mathematical Society from 1993-98; Chairman of the Palestinian Mathematical Olympiad from 1994-98; was Managing Director of Al-Mustaqbal Education Corporation from 1994-99 and Chairman of the Academic Council of Al-Mustaqbal Schools from 1994-98; co-founder and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Network of Palestinian Scientists and Technologists Abroad since 1996; served as Director of the National Science and Technology Policy project during 1996-97; founding member of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology in 1997; Pres. of Alpha International for Research, Polling and Informatics in Ramallah since 2000; Senior Advisor of the Middle East Young Leaders Program since 2001; Sec.-Gen. of Universal Education Foundation (a European foundation based in Brussels with Ramallah as its secretariat) since Sept. 2003; Senior Advisor of the MIT Middle East Science and Technology Initiative since March 2005; member of the Arab Knowledge Management Society since 2005; professional Palestinian folk dancer and Shebbabeh player.





Born in Jerusalem on 14 Jan. 1959; educated at the Ramallah Girls’ Secondary School; was an active member of the Palestinian voluntary work committees in the mid-1970s; received a BA in Business Administration from Birzeit University in 1982; worked as an accountant in one of the private companies in Jerusalem; co-founder (1978) and Sec.-Gen. of the Executive Office (1984-91) of the Palestinian Federation of Women’s Action Committees, Ramallah; Administrative Director (1993-97), Acting Director (1997-98) and Director (since 1998) of the Women’s Studies Society in Jerusalem; has been elected since 1995 as General Coordinator of AISHA (The Arab Women’s Forum); contributed in founding the Arab Women’s Court in 1996; served as financial advisor to the Global Fund for Women in 1998; continued her studies and earned an MMBA in Management from the City University in London in 2000; was a member, researcher and trainer at the Arab Institute for Human Rights, Tunisia, in 2001; General Coordinator of the Palestinian Women’s Research, Training and Advocacy Program since 2001; became an Advisory Board member of the PA Ministry of Women’s Affairs in 2004; elected a Board of Directors member of the Euro-Med Non-Governmental Platform in April 2005; works as trainer, lecturer and writer on issues related to gender; also writes books and children’s stories, incl. Palestine Habibati (Cairo, 2001); prepared the Palestinian report about the role of the PNGO network in empowering women (published by the Non-Governmental Network in Cairo in 2005).




AWWAD, HANAN (1951-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1951; received a Diploma in Education in 1970; wrote in several papers, incl. Ash-Sha’b; earned a BA in Arabic Language and Literature from Beirut University in 1974, a Diploma in Literary Criticism from Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1976, and an MA in Arabic Literature and Humanities from the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1977; studied further at Oxford University, London, and McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and received a second MA in 1981 and a PhD on the image of Women in the works of Ghassan Kanafani; was a teaching assistant in Islamic Studies at McGill University from 1980-82; worked as a researcher at the Dept. of Middle Eastern Studies of the National Museum of Man in Canada; returned and became head of the Dept. of Cultural Studies at Abu Dis College, Jerusalem from 1982-86, then at the Dept. of Humanities; also lectured at Birzeit University; founded the Palestinian Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1988 and served as its Middle East advisor; also served as cultural advisor for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat for some time; was a founding member of the Union of Palestinian Writers and its Sec.-Gen. in 1986; founding member of the Palestinian Union of Journalists; founded the PEN Center for Palestinian Writers, under the aegis of PEN International, in Jerusalem in 1992; head of the Palestinian Council for GREN (Global Ratification & Elections Network) since 1992; Dir.-Gen. of the Institute of Policy Studies in Jerusalem; has published several collections, incl. Ikhtartu Al-Khatar (I Have Chosen Danger) (Jerusalem, 1988), and, most recently, Episodes of the Siege (Ramallah, 2004).



Ayyad, Ibrahim (1910-2005)

Born in Beit Sahour on 17 Sept. 1910; joined the Benedictine Ecclesiastical Seminary Institute in Beit Jala and Jerusalem (which later turned into the Sacre Coeur Institute in 1933), graduating in 1937; was ordained as a priest on 27 June 1937 in Jerusalem; also wrote articles opposing Zionist expansion and Mandate policies; became editor-in-chief of the Zion Monitor magazine; studied Law in Jerusalem; then became pastor for the Latin Parish in Ramallah in June 1940; founded Al-Ahliyyeh Secondary College in Ramallah, focusing on Palestinian education (rather than the pro-British education common at the time) which caused disputes with the Director of the British Education Dept., Sir Farrell; was appointed Diretor of the Roman Catholic Church Court in Jerusalem in Dec. 1945; worked closely with Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who advised the Latin Patriarchate to buy 22,000 dunums of land in Tayasir village, near Jenin, in order to save it from Zionist expansion; was arrested on 20 July 1951 under “allegations” of being involved in the assassination of King Abdullah but proven innocent; served in Cyprus, Beirut, Jerusalem and then Karak following Mandate pressures on the Roman Catholic Church to send him away from Palestine due to his political involvement; while head of the Church Court in Beirut in 1965, was visited by Yasser Arafat and Khalil Al-Wazir who consulted him on whether it was about time to move the Palestinian Question to armed resistance; advocated that armed resistance needs to work side by side with political work; had close ties with the PLO and was appointed as PLO consultant for the Vatican in 1973; later went to Tunisia and was appointed PLO Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean with his office in Santiago, Chile, where one of his activities was establishing a committee for building a mosque for the Muslim community in Venezuela; received an award from the Chilean government; worked for the PLO in Paris (1978), Tunisia (1980), Beirut (1984), Amman, Damascus, and again Amman from 1984-1996; came back together with other returnees to participate in the PNC meeting in Gaza in April 1996; stayed since in the Latin Seminary in Beit Jala; died on 8 Jan. 2005.




ayyash, yahya abdul latif (1966-1996)

Born in Rafat, near Nablus, in March 1966; completed his secondary school education in Rafat; studied Electrical Engineering at Birzeit University, graduating with a BA in 1988; became a member of Hamas in 1992, particularly active in its military wing Izzedin Al-Qassam; following Al-Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Hebron in Feb. 1994, he designed and prepared bombs for a number of suicide attacks inside Israel; soon became known as ‘Al-Muhandes’ (The Engineer); was wanted by the Israeli government for his activism and was assassinated by a bomb planted inside a phone handed to him in Beit Lahia, Gaza on 5 Jan. 1996; Hamas conducted a number of operations in retaliation for his assassination.





Born in Maithaloun in 1934; educated in Maithaloun and in Jenin; moved to Syria to study Social Sciences at Damascus University; worked as teacher and social worker in Saudi Arabia from 1966-71; continued his studies and received an MA in Sociology from Alexandria University in 1974; returned to Palestine and worked as social worker in Nablus and Tulkarem from 1975-76; became a lecturer at the Sociology Dept. of Bethlehem University from 1976-82, during which time he also studied Sociology at Alexandria University, receiving a PhD in 1979; worked as part-time lecturer also for An-Najah University (1981-82); served as Dean of Arts and Director of the Dept. of Sociology at Bethlehem University, then as President of Al-Quds Open University; Board of Trustees member of the Society of Islamic Sciences and Cultural Committee; was appointed Deputy Minister of Social Affairs in 1997; Sec.-Gen. of the National Council for Higher Education of the Ministry of Higher Education in Ramallah.



Al-az’ar, Mohammed Khaled (1955-)

Born in 1955 in Khan Younis; grew up in Gaza; in 1971, went to Cairo where he lives since; studied at Cairo University, graduating with a BA in Economics and Political Science in 1977; worked as teacher in Libya from 1980-83; continued his studies and received an MA in Political and National Studies from the Institute of Arab Research and Studies, Cairo, in 1986, and another MA in Political Science and International Relations from Cairo University in 1989; worked as researcher in the PLO Higher Council for Education, Culture and Arts in Cairo; writes about different political and historical topics.




Al-Azouni, Aref (1896-1961)

Born in Jaffa in 1896; received his elementary education in the Frères College in Jaffa; after completing his secondary education in Ein Touma, Lebanon, worked as a school teacher; served as editor of numerous Palestinian newspapers, incl. Filastin, Al-Jazeera, and Al-Hurriya; published a number of writings in Al-Ahram newspaper and produced Al-Fajr magazine together with Mahmoud Al-Irani in 1936; moved to Nablus in 1948 and worked at Filastin newspaper; also worked as UNRWA teacher, as reporter for Al-Bayan newspaper (published in New York) and contributed regularly to the Voice of America and London radio; his skills as a gifted writer were reflected in his literary works, one of which, Refugee, was translated into English; died in Nablus in 1961.




Azzam, Abdullah (SHEIKH) (1941-1989)

Born in Silat Al-Hartiyeh near Jenin in 1941; received elementary and secondary education in his village, then continued his education at the agricultural Khadori College near Tulkarem, where he obtained a Diploma; worked as a teacher in Jordan; then went to Syria and studied Islamic Law at Damascus University, graduating with a BA in 1966; immigrated to Jordan after the War of 1967, where he joined the Muslim Brotherhood training camps in 1968; enrolled at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, earning an MA in Islamic Law in 1969; worked as lecturer at the University of Jordan in Amman in 1970; was awarded a scholarship to Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1971 and continued his studies in Islamic Law, receiving a PhD in Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence in 1973; moved to Amman and worked as a teacher of Shari’a in higher education institutions in Jordan specializing in holy war (jihad); traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he worked as teacher at the King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah (where one of his students was Usama Bin Laden); while in Saudi Arabia, became convinced that only by means of an organized military force would the Ummah (Islamic nation) emerge victorious; in 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, issued a Fatwa (Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation after Faith) declaring that both the Afghan and Palestinian struggles were jihads in which killing kuffar (unbelievers) was fard ayn (a personal obligation) for all Muslims; was among the first Arabs to join the Afghani mujahideen in their Jihad against the Soviet forces in the early 1980s; immigrated with his family to Pakistan in order to coordinate support for the Afghani resistance, and founded the Mujahideen Services Bureau in Peshawar, which offered assistance to the mujahideen, incl. receiving and training of volunteers; also worked as a lecturer at the International Islamic University in Islamabad; traveled throughout the Arab world, calling on Muslims to rally to the defense of their religion and lands and to join the fighting in Afghanistan; spent time in the US in the mid-1980s, then returned to Afghanistan; published books and articles on Jihad and other Islamic affairs, incl. Join the Caravan and Defense of Muslim Lands; was assassinated, along with two of his sons, by a bomb planted by unknown assailants along a route he regularly traveled on 24 Nov. 1989 in Peshawar; is remembered as the “Godfather of Jihad” for his role in the global development of militant Islam (incl. Al-Qaida), and widely considered as Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor.





Born in 1958; refugee from Faluja (in the northern Negev) and lives in Rafah; educated at Zaqaziq University in Egypt; was among the Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip who founded Islamic Jihad in Egypt in 1970; imprisoned and deported from Egypt following the assassination of Egyptian Pres. Anwar Sadat in 1980; one of the top leaders of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, serving also as its spokesman.




AZZAM, SAMIRA (1927-1967)

Born in Acre in 1927; worked as school teacher and inspector in Acre; also published numerous short stories and articles in different papers, incl. the Jaffa-based Filastin under the nickname ‘Fatat As-Sahel’ (daughter of the coast); was displaced to Lebanon during the 1948 Nakba; wrote and translated for several newspapers and magazines in Iraq and Lebanon; became a radio broadcaster and program writer for the Near East radio, first in their headquarters in Cyprus (1952) and then in Beirut (1954-56); published her first short story collection in 1954; moved to Iraq and worked with the Iraqi radio and as a teacher in Al-Hilla until 1959, when she was deported to Lebanon; member of the first PNC in 1964; her publications include: The Clock and the Human (Arabic, 1963), translations of Bernard Shaw’s Candida (in 1955) and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (in 1963); died in a car accident in Jordan on 8 Aug. 1967.






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