Palestinian Personalities



Bader, Issam (1948-2003)

Born in Hebron in 1948; graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Baghdad; worked as teacher of Fine Arts in the Ramallah Teachers’ Institute for Women from 1973-77 then in Al-Tireh Women’s Institute in Ramallah in 1981; later received an MA in Ceramics from the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts in Georgia in 1983; worked as a ceramist and painter and had several personal and group exhibits both locally and abroad; was one of the main contributors to establishing the plastic art movement in the West Bank and the Gaza in the 1970s; co-founder of the Association of Palestinian Artists in 1974; was involved in the renovation of traditional gypsum windows with Al-Aqsa Renovation Committee in 1976; editor of the fine arts pages in Al-Fajr and Al-Quds newspapers from 1979-81; founded the Gallery 79 in Al-Bireh/Ramallah in 1979, the only permanent art gallery in the West Bank at the time; the gallery was several times raided by Israeli forces, which also confiscated exhibited art work and eventually closed it down in 1980 on the ground that it lacked an operating permit; was manager of the Traditional Industries Development Project at Birzeit University from 1983 to 1988; also founded the Arab handicraft company Al-Dar in Al-Bireh; created also murals for private and public buildings, incl. the bronze mural adorning the façade of the Ramallah Municipality and the murals at the Grand Park Hotel and the Al-Ayyam newspaper headquarters in Ramallah as well as donating murals for the Ramallah public hospital; worked as consultant for the art activities of the Ministry of Culture in Ramallah; co-authored a book on Palestinian art (with Nabil Anani in 1983); died in Nov. 2003 in Ramallah.


BADR, LIANA (1950-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1950; raised in Jericho; in the course of the 1967 War the family fled to Jordan and after the Black September 1970 from there to Beirut; received a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from the Beirut Arab University, but then was unable to complete her MA due to the Lebanese civil war; volunteered in various Palestinian women’s organizations; worked as field reporter and editor of the cultural section of Al-Huriyya review; after the 1982 Palestinian exodus from Lebanon, lived and worked in Damascus, Tunis, Amman; returned to Palestine in 1994; was founding editor of the PA Ministry of Culture’s periodical Dafater Thaqafiyya; runs the Cinema and Audiovisual Dept. at the PA Ministry of Culture in Ramallah; her works include the novel The Sundial (Arabic, 1979; English, 1989), several children’s books, and short story collections, incl. Stories of Love and Pursuit (1983) and I Want the Day (1985); also wrote novels like The Balcony Over the Fakihani (1983) about the plight of Palestinians in Lebanon and the 1976 Tel Az-Za’atar massacre, and an interview/memoir of poet Fadwa Touqan entitled Fadwa Touqan - the Shadow of Narrated Words (1996); among the signatories of the Geneva Accords in Dec. 2003.


Badran, Jamal (1909-1999)

Born in Haifa in 1909; studied Islamic Art at the Hamzawi School in Cairo from 1922-27; returned to Palestine and began working on the first major 20th Century renovation of the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock Mosques in Jerusalem from 1927-28; was sent by the British Mandate Inspector of Education and Art to the UK to study at the Central College of Arts and Crafts from 1934-37; returned and assumed a teaching position at the Arab College in Jerusalem; taught Islamic Art at other colleges as well; in the early 1940s, was delegated by UNESCO to teach Art in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya; after the 1948 Nakba, ended up in Damascus, Syria, where he taught Art at several institutions; later worked as expert in art education for UNESCO in Libya from 1952-62; returned to Palestine in 1962 and ran a workshop in Ramallah; was commissioned by the Waqf to head the team to renovate the 1,000-year-old wood and ivory pulpit (Minbar) burnt by an Israeli arsonist in 1969; worked on this task for six years, eventually restoring all carved wood, ceramic artwork and kufic Arabic calligraphy to its original condition; also worked for two years decorating the Jordan University Mosque and created many works – calligraphy and graphics – for private homes and royal palaces all around the Arab World; received many awards for his work, incl. a Medal of Honor from King Abdullah I of Jordan and a UNESCO award in 1994 for his work on glass; died in Amman in 1999; his life and work were subject of a dissertation by Fayeq S. Oweis, entitled The Elements of Unity in Islamic Art as Examined Through the Work of Jamal Badran (2002).


Badran, Rasem (1945-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1945; son of Jamal Badran; worked with his father in his Jerusalem studio and later in Ramallah; was educated in Ramallah; won his first award for painting at the age of 12 in India; received an MA in Architecture from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, in the early 1970s; worked in Germany for a while; participated with some colleagues in the exhibition ‘Elementa 1972,’ which enabled them to realize their designs on experimental accommodation units in an area of the city of Bonn; returned to Ramallah later that year; moved to Amman in 1973 and opened his own architectural office ‘Dar Al-Umran’; worked as artist, calligrapher and architect since; had architecture exhibitions in Berlin and Stuttgart in 2005; is considered one of the most influential architects in the Arab world; his works include the villas Hand-hal (1975) and Hatahat (1979) in Amman, the Abu Ghueillah housing complex and the King Abdullah Mosque in Amman (1979), the Baghdad State Mosque (1980), the Palace of Justice in Riyadh (1984), a Mosque in Doha (1985), the Beit Al-Kamel Apartment and Office Building in Sana’a (1987), the Madi Commercial Center in Amman (1987), the Great Mosque and the redevelopment of the old city center Qasr Al-Hokm in Riyadh, the National Archeological Museum of Amman in 1991, the Saudi National Museum in Riyadh in 1994 and the Qatar Islamic Arts Museum in Doha in 1997; currently works on the Damascus University Central Library and the Jabal Omar Housing Compound in Mecca; is permanent member of the Academic Council for the International Academy of Architecture in Sofia since 1990; received many awards and prizes, incl. the Arab Architecture Award in Marokko in 1990; the Aga Khan Architecture Award in 1995, the Palestinian Architecture Prize in 1997 and the first Prize of the Arab Architects awarded by the Arab League in 1997; Professor of Architecture; James Steele published a book about his style and work, entitled The Architecture of Rasem Badran - Narratives of Peoples and Places (Thames & Hudson, 2005).


Bahar, Ahmed MOHAMMED (Abu Akram) (~1950-)

Born in Khan Younis around 1950 to parents originally from Al-Jura village; became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; met Sheikh Ahmad Yassin in 1968 in the Shamali Mosque in Al-Shati Refugee Camp, Gaza, and became involved in the youth meetings organized by Sheikh Yassin; graduated from Al-Shar’iyyah religious secondary school; was appointed as Imam for the Beit ‘Umar Mosque near Hebron and as Ma’zoun (Shari’a Court Clerk for marriages) for the area of Beit ‘Umar, Al-Aroub and Beit Sourif; co-founder of Hamas; holds a PhD; Sheikh and Khatib; political spokesman of Hamas since the mid-1990s; was arrested by the PA in 1998; serves as Director of Hamas’ Islamic Charity in the Gaza Strip; is head of the Islamic Assembly of Gaza, head of Shurah Committee of Al-Khalas group, and Director of the Islamic Association of Gaza, a large charity established by Sheikh Yassin; is also involved in the administration of several other charitable organizations in Gaza; Imam, Palestine Mosque, Gaza City; has been held under arrest in the past by Israel; in 2004, has led the Hamas’ struggle against the PA, demanding the release of Hamas funds frozen by the PA; was elected as PLC member (Change and Reform, Gaza City district) in the Jan. 2006 elections; was elected as first deputy PLC speaker in March 2006.


BAHIRI, HASSAN (1919-1998)

Born in 1919; educated in Haifa; wrote articles for the Jaffa-based Ad-Difaa’ newspaper and other Arab literary magazines; worked at the railway station in Haifa; was active in the Palestinian national movement; sought refuge in Damascus after 1948; worked at the literature section of the Damascus Radio, broadcasting a program called “With the Dictionary” and one related to Arab heritage; served as Director of cultural programs for the Syrian Radio and Television; also worked as a teacher of Arabic Literature in Damascus; wrote a number of poetry collections, incl. The Joys of Spring (Arabic 1944); died in 1998.


BAHOUR, SAM (1964-)

Born in Youngstown, Ohio on 18 Oct. 1964 to a Palestinian-Lebanese family; raised in Youngstown; earned Associate and Bachelor degrees in Computer Technology from Youngstown State University (YSU), Ohio, in 1987 and 1989; earned an MBA from Tel Aviv and Northwestern Universities, Tel Aviv, Israel and Evanston, Illinois, USA (1998); was President of the YSU Chapter of the General Union of Palestinian Students (1984-1989); was National Coordinator for Palestinian American Youth (PAY); was employed as a Programmer/Analyst then Team Leader at Nashbar & Associates software firm in Ohio, for three years (1989-92); became Senior Project Manager for Terno & Associates in Boardman, Ohio, for two years (1994-1995); relocated to his father’s birthplace, Al-Bireh, Palestine, in 1995; founding employee of the first private sector telecommunications company in Palestine (later known as PALTEL) and was employed there as Assistant General Manager (1995-96) and Director of Information Systems (1995-97); founder and Managing Director of Applied Information Management (AIM) in Al-Bireh/Ramallah since 1997; was IT Manager for the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) in Ramallah (1997-99), and founder, General Manager and later Chairman of its subsidiary, Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers PLC (1998-2004); Board member of Middle East Virtual Community (MEViC) in Jerusalem since 1998; founder of the Palestinian Diaspora Investment Company (PDIC) in Al-Bireh in 1999; Board Member of Kellog-Recanti International Executive MBA Program Advisory Committee in 1999; Trustee of Al-Bireh Public Library for two years (1997-99); Board member of the Arab Islamic Bank PLC headquartered in Al-Bireh since 2003; Board of Trustee member and Treasurer of Birzeit University since Sept. 2004; writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published; co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (1994).


AL-BAHRI, JAMIL Habib (-1930)

Born in Haifa; worked as a teacher; active in literary circles in Haifa; founded Zahrat Al-Jamil (the Flower of the Beautiful) magazine, which became a literary newspaper known as Az-Zahra (1922) then Az-Zuhour (Flowers) (1927); author of stories, novels and plays, incl. The Palace Prisoner (Arabic, 1922) and his successful novel The Killer of his Brother (a tragedy in three parts, published in 1919 and performed as a theater play after Jan. 1929 in Syria, Palestine, and other Arab countries); translated detective stories into Arabic; died in an accident in Haifa in 1930 (some sources say he was killed after a dispute).



Born in Al-Banna, Galilee, in 1953; studied Acting and Theater at Tel Aviv University, graduating in 1976; worked as a film and theater actor; played in different controversial films by Israeli, Palestinian and international directors, incl. The Body (Hollywood, 2001), in Costa Gavros’ Hanna K, Saverio Costanzo’s Private, Michel Khleifi’s The Jewel of the Seven Stars (1993) and Rashid Masharawi’s Haifa (1997); writer, co-producer and director of Jenin Jenin (2002), a film about the April 2002 Israeli invasion into Jenin Refugee Camp, which was initially banned by Israel but won Best Film at the Carthage International Film Festival in 2002 and the International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary Filmmaking & Reporting in 2003.


Bal’awi, Hakam OMAR (1934-)

Born in Al-Bala’, near Tulkarem, in 1934; holds Diplomas in Administration, Journalism and Education; from 1968 to 1978, Deputy Head of Fateh’s Central Information Committee; former Palestinian Ambassador to Libya (1973-75) and Tunisia (1983-94); member of the Fateh Central Committee since Aug. 1989; Fateh representative to the PLO Central Council; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council; returned to Palestine after the Oslo Accords and became Commissioner-General of the National Security Agencies and Secretary of National Security Council from 1994 to 1996; elected PLC member for the Tulkarem constituency (Fateh) in the Jan. 1996 elections; Minister of the Interior representing Occupied Palestine in the Council of Arab Interior Ministers; PNC member; became Cabinet Secretary in the cabinet of PM Mahmoud Abbas on 30 April 2003; appointed as acting Interior Minister by the Palestinian National Security Council on 16 Oct. 2003 and then as Interior Minister of the Ahmed Qrei’a cabinet of Nov. 2003 (until Feb. 2005); was re-elected as PLC member (Fateh list) in the Jan. 2006 elections; in addition to his political career, he enjoys writing literature and was Secretary of the Union of Palestinian Journalists and Writers.



Born in Bethlehem in 1891 to a Christian family; educated in Bethlehem and Jerusalem; intended to study Medicine in Montpellier but was prevented by the outbreak of WWI; studied telegraph intelligence instead and became Director of the telegraph service in Syria, Jordan and Jerusalem during Ottoman rule until 1917; worked as teacher in the Frères and Greek Orthodox Schools in Jerusalem; produced Bethlehem newspaper (together with Hanna Al-Issa) in 1919, then Sawt Ash-Sha’b magazine in 1922 (published until 1957); became representative of the Bethlehem District for the Muslim-Christian Association, condemning plans for Zionist settlement in Palestine, and for the Arab Executive Committee (1921); established the Arab Youth Club in Bethlehem (1922) and was head of the 1st Youth Congress convened in Jaffa in Jan. 1932, which adopted a nationalist charter rejecting colonization and calling for a unified effort by all Arab countries to achieve Arab independence; one of the co-founders of the Reform Party (initiated by Hussein Khalidi) in 1935; served as mayor of Bethlehem from 1933-38; was nominated (together with Nicola Khouri and Yacoub Jmei’an) by the Arab Orthodox Committee in 1943 to meet with King Faruq and King Abdul-Aziz Bin Saud to explain the Palestine Question; was appointed again as mayor of Bethlehem from 1946-18 Oct. 1951; was member of the Jordanian delegation visiting the UN headquarters in 1950; served as Ambassador of Jordan in Madrid from 1951-54, then as Jordanian commissioner in Chile from 1954-57; was unable to return to Palestine after the 1967 War; died in May 1984.


BANNA, RIM (1966-)

Born in Nazareth in the Galilee on 8 Dec. 1966; studied Music and Singing at the Higher Music Conservatory (Gnesins) in Moscow, graduating after six years in 1991; her musical productions are inspired by Palestinian heritage and culture with lyrics from famous Palestinian poets; produced tahalill music (children’s bed-time stories) and resistance songs; has performed in several film, theater and TV productions; was chosen to get the blessing of Pope John Paul II, in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Jerusalem, representing the Palestinian artists; received several prizes and awards, incl. the Honorary Degree as “Personality of the Year” and “Ambassador of Peace” in Rovereto, Italy; was awarded the Singing Prize by the PA Ministry of Culture in Dec. 2004 as part of the Palestine Cultural Prizes of 2000; one of her more albums is Al-Quds Everlasting (2002); has participated in numerous local and international concerts and music festivals.


Al-Banna, Sabri Khalil (Abu Nidal) (1937-2002)

Born in Jaffa in May 1937; attended a French mission school in Jaffa, then a private Muslim school in Jerusalem; fled with his family to Gaza during the Nakba of 1948; later moved to Nablus, where he graduated from high school in 1955 and became a Ba’athist soon after; studied Engineering in Cairo but returned in 1957 without having graduated; from 1958, worked as electrician and contractor in Saudi Arabia, where he formed his own political group in the mid-1960s; was arrested for his political activities, imprisoned, and tortured and deported to Nablus in 1967; moved to Amman, Jordan, where he joined Fateh; was involved in establishing the first Palestinian security apparatus together with Salah Khalaf; served as Fateh’s representative to Khartoum, Sudan, in 1969 and to Baghdad in 1970; was involved in producing the magazine Filastin Ath-Thawra; after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, left Fateh and joined rejectionist groups; co-formed a political committee for Palestinians in Iraq in early 1974; was expelled from the PLO; set up an office as Fateh-Revolutionary Council (also known as Abu Nidal Group or Organization) in 1974, an anti-Arafat faction, and began to establish a corps of dormant agents during 1976-78; is said to have been behind over 200 attacks against Jewish-Israeli targets and the killing of leading PLO representatives in various Western and Arab capitals in retaliation for his ouster from the PLO; was expelled by Saddam Hussein from Iraq in 1983 following pressure by the US, Jordan, and the UAE; lived in Syria until 1987; was expelled by Syria in 1987 and moved to Libya, totally opposed to the Oslo peace process; in July 1998, members of his faction demanded his resignation as head and he was arrested by Egyptian authorities while in Cairo for treatment for leukemia; was ordered to leave Egypt and moved to Iraq; was sentenced to death in absentia on 3 Dec. 2001 for the murder of the First Secretary of the Jordanian Embassy in Lebanon; found dead from gunshot wounds in his Baghdad residence on 19 Aug. 2002 (suffered from leukemia and is believed to have committed suicide).



Born in Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, in 1959; received a BA from the College of Fine Arts in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1983; returned to Palestine and had his first own exhibition in Deir Ghassaneh; founding member of the New Vision artist group in 1987; member of the Administrative Committee of the League of Palestinian Artists since 1990; art teacher in the Women’s Training Center in Ramallah; participated in many local and international exhibitions; represented Palestine at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1996; founding member (along with Vera Tamari and Suleiman Mansour) of Al-Wasiti Art Center in Jerusalem in 1997; opened Ziryab Café in Ramallah in the late 1990s, where he also exhibits his work and that other Palestinian artists.



Born in Shfar Amer on 25 July 1955 to a family originally from the (destroyed) village of Safourya; enrolled at Tel Aviv University and graduated with a BA in Mathematics; Chairman of the Arab Student Committee at Tel Aviv University; co-founder of the General Union of Arab University Students and its elected head; was part of the Jewish-Arab Campus Movement and of the committee against the Lebanon War; member in the politburo of the Israeli Communist Party; Board of Directors member of Al-Ittihad newspaper and the Emile Touma Research Center; coordinator of the Committee for the Defense of Arab Land inside Israel; active in the Committee for the Relief of Palestinians (following the eruption of the first Intifada in 1987); member of the International Council for Peace in the Middle East; elected Sec.-Gen. of the Hadash party (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) in 1992 and made its chairman in 1999; elected Hadash representative in the Knesset in 1999 and 2003; Deputy Speaker of the 16th Knesset; was re-elected to the 17th Knesset in March 2006 and serves as Member of the House, Finance, and Public Petitions Committees as well as the Lobby for Jerusalem and the Social-Environmental Lobby.



Born in Bani Suheila village, Khan Younis, in 1956; graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University, Egypt, in 1979; worked as a teacher in Algeria, then in Palestine; was arrested three times by Israeli authorities in the late 1980s and deported to Lebanon in 1989 on charges of political leadership of the Islamic Jihad; founded the Palestine Martyr Institute (Shahid Filastin), which assisted in the establishment of hospitals, the Palestine Scholars’ Commission through which he issued The Guiding Torch magazine, and other Palestinian organizations in Lebanon during his 10-year exile; authored several publications and articles; returned to Palestine on the occasion of the 1998 PNC meeting in Gaza; became Dir.-Gen. in the PA Ministry of Youth and Sports; got involved in cultural and religious activities; resigned to nominate himself for the 2005 PA elections as independent candidate for the post of PA Pres. following the death of Yasser Arafat, where he got 1.27% of the votes.



Born in Jerusalem on 3 Nov. 1929 to a Greek-Orthodox family; spent his early childhood in Jerusalem, then was sent as a boarder to Birzeit School until his graduation in 1946; studied Chemistry at the AUB and graduated with a BSc (1949) and MSc (1953); worked as Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Birzeit College from 1953-74; regular member in the Jerusalem Chorus since 1955; during this time he also enrolled at McGill University from where he received a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry in 1959; was Visiting Professor at McGill University from 1972-73; served as Chairman of the Dept. for Service to Palestine Refugees at the Middle East Council of Churches, Jerusalem Committee from 1973-1996; following the deportation of its Pres. Hanna Nasser, served as Acting Pres. of Birzeit University from 1974-93; had an important role in the university’s development and steadfastness during a critical time (i.e., the Israeli occupation and the military closures of the university, especially during 1988-92); Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council for Higher Education from 1977-1982 (and again from 1987-1992); member of the Council of PUGWASH Conferences on Science and World Affairs from 1992-2002; Consultant for the PA Ministry of Education and Higher Education since 1994; member of the PNC since 1996; President of the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace since 1998.



Born in Gaza to a Christian family; spent early childhood and teens in Gaza and graduated from Az-Zahra Secondary School; received a BA in Social Work from the American Lebanese University, Lebanon, in 1958; worked as an English Language teacher at UNRWA refugee schools in the Gaza Strip from 1958-63; then joined Birzeit College as Instructor of Sociology from 1963-72; is a member of the Jerusalem Chorus since 1964; managed on voluntary basis the home industries section of the Ina’ash Al-Usra Charitable Society in Ramallah in 1973-74; was responsible for the Personnel Office at Birzeit University, incl. the students’ work scholarships, from 1974-76; from 1976-91, worked as Registrar and Director of Admissions at Birzeit University; is a member of the YWCA since 1985; founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends’ Schools, Ramallah, from 1985-91 and served as its Chairperson from 1988-91; member of the Academic Council of the Cyprus International Institute of Management from 1985-95; earned an M.Ed. in ‘Planning, Administration & Social Policy’ from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, in 1986; member of the PUGWASH Conference on Science and World Affairs since 1987; served as a consultant for the Women Cooperative Program of the Cooperative Development Project (CDP), Jerusalem, from 1990-91, and for  the  Women in Development Program, Jerusalem, from 1991-94; became Dir.-Gen. of Birzeit University’s Continuing Education Center in 1991, serving in that post until 2002; was a Research Assistant at Harvard University, Cambridge, in 1996; member of the Ramallah YWCA Executive Board and of the National Council of YWCA, Palestine, since 2002; worked as freelance consultant for management, training and project evaluation during 2002-04; was Director of the Palestinian Branch of the Education for Life Foundation from 2003-05; currently serves as senior consultant in EDIT consulting services.


BARANSI, SALEH (1928-1999)

Born in At-Taybeh in 1928; specialized in Literature and Linguistics; founder of An-Nahda and Al-Ard movements among 1948 Arabs; founder of the Palestine Popular Heritage Center in Taybeh; died in 1999.



Born in Al-Daraj, Gaza, on 15 April 1923; received her primary education in Gaza and her secondary education at Schmidt‘s Girls College in Jerusalem; was a member of the International Committee for the Red Cross during WWII; studied at the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University, graduating with a BA (1949) and an MA; worked as a teacher in Bir As-Saba’; became principal of Al-Zahra Girls’ Secondary School in Gaza from 1949-51, then of the Teachers’ College in Gaza (1951), and the Popular University (Open University) for Women in the Gaza Strip; former member of the Council for Higher Education; supervisor on instruction of social topics for schools in the Gaza Strip and teacher of Palestinian history and geography; member of the Administrative Council, Veterans’ Society in the Gaza Strip, from 1957-67; member of the Palestinian delegation to the UN General Assembly in 1963; since 1964, founding Pres. of the Palestinian Women’s Union in Gaza; PNC member since 1964; member of the Administrative Council of the Red Crescent Society since 1972 and its Executive Secretary since 1973; Board of Directors member of the National Society for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled in the Gaza Strip; prohibited of traveling by Israeli authorities since 1974 for her political activism; 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 Kufr Ein (near Ramallah); BA (1956) and MA (1958) in Arabic Islamic Studies and PhD (1963) in Comparative Literature from the University of London; returned to Palestine and worked as teacher and inspector at UNRWA schools; also broadcaster in the BBC Arabic service; director of an UNRWA teachers’ training program in Jerusalem; UNESCO supervisor in Libya, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates; Deputy Director for Academic Affairs (1982-1984) and Professor of Arab-Islamic Studies (1985-1997) at Birzeit University, focusing on Palestinian heritage and folk literature; Chairman of the Association of the Higher Council of Palestinian Folklorists; member of Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land, Bethlehem; published several biographies and books on history and Palestinian folklore, incl. Arabic Folk Songs in Palestine and Jordan (Arabic, 1979); died in Ramallah on 7 May 2002.



Born in Deir Ghassaneh village near Ramallah in 1931; educated in Deir Ghassaneh, then Al-Bireh Secondary School, and the Friends School in Ramallah, from where he graduated in 1949; enrolled at the AUC and earned a BA in Political Science and Economy in 1956; became a GUPS member while studying in Cairo; went to Jordan and became active in the Jordanian Communist Party; owner of the communist paper Al-Jamahir (The Masses) from 1956 until it was closed down in Feb. 1957 and he was arrested by the Jordanian authorities and detained for eight years at Al-Jaffar Prison; was refused a license after his release in 1965 and wrote under an assumed name; returned to the West Bank in 1974 via family reunification; in 1975, took control of Jordanian Communist Party when Suleiman Najjab was deported; became chief editor of Al-Fajr newspaper from 1975-77; chief editor of At-Taliah weekly newspaper in Jerusalem from 1978-94; founded the Palestinian Communist Party (now: Palestine People’s Party) in the OPT on 10 Feb. 1982 and remained its Sec.-Gen. until his death; was put under house and town arrest by the Israelis in the early 1980s and was banned from traveling abroad until 1988; became member of the PLO Exec. Committee in 1987; had an active role in the Oslo negotiations process; became Minister of Industry in the first PA cabinet in June 1996; suffered a stroke in 1997; was reappointed as Minister without portfolio in 1998; died on 9 Sept. 2000.


AL-Barghouthi, Hussein (1954-2002)

Born in Kobar, near Ramallah, in 1954; received a high school diploma from Emir Hassan School in Birzeit; studied Hungarian Language and Economics in Budapest; worked as an academic advisor at Birzeit University from 1983-85; continued his studies and received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington, USA; worked as Professor at Birzeit University (1994-97) and at Al-Quds University (1994-98); Board of Directors member of the Palestinian Writers’ Union from 1999-2002; prolific writer whose collections include Assaden (The Priest) (2003),The Rosette Stone (2002); he also wrote lyrics and plays like Surprising Party (2001), and The Night and The Mountain (1995); participated in the production of the films My Lost Freedom (2001) and The Strangers (2000); died on 1 May 2002.


AL-Barghouthi, Marwan HASIB (1959-)

Born in Kobar, near Ramallah, on 6 June 1959; joined Fateh at the age of 15; was among the founders of the Shabiba (Fateh Youth) in the West Bank in the mid-1970s; from 1978, spent 4½ years in Israeli prisons after being charged with membership in then “banned” Fateh; studied at Birzeit University from 1983; head of Shabiba and Pres. of the Student Council at Birzeit University in the early 1980s; was arrested in Sept. 1985, placed under administrative detention for six months and then deported by Israel in May 1987 to Jordan; played a role in the organizing the first Intifada from his Amman exile; became elected member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council in Aug. 1989; acted as liaison officer between the outside PLO and inside Fateh; independent member of the PLO Central Council; initial supporter of the Oslo process; was allowed to return to the West Bank in April 1994; graduated with a BA in History and Political Science in 1994 (Birzeit University had made a special arrangement for him while in exile: he took courses in Jordan to gain the required credit hours and then attended the graduation ceremony at Birzeit, where the first graduations took place in 1994 after years of closures); was delegated by Faisal Husseini to serve as Sec.-Gen. of the Fateh Higher Committee in the West Bank; won a seat as an independent (Ramallah constituency) in the Jan. 1996 elections; continued his studies at Birzeit, receiving an MA in International Relations in 1998; participated and signed the Copenhagen Accord (“The International Alliance for Arab-Israeli Peace”) for a two-state solution in 1997; submitted a motion of no-confidence in the Executive in the PLC in the May 1997 budgetary misuse affair; became increasingly critical of Oslo, especially in face of Israel’s ongoing settlement policy; led massive demonstrations refocusing national attention on the basic objective of ending the occupation; became the major local leader in the second Intifada (since Sept. 2000), organizing resistance in the belief that peace cannot be achieved with occupation; survived an Israeli assassination attempt in Aug. 2001; was arrested by the Israeli army in Ramallah on 15 April 2002 and is detained since then; on 6 June 2004 sentenced to five successive life imprisonments plus 40 years for being involved with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades; following the passing away of Pres. Yasser Arafat, decided to run as a candidate in the PA elections, challenging an earlier Fateh agreement to nominate former PM Mahmoud Abbas as sole Fateh representative (a move that was denounced by the Fateh Central Committee but welcomed among certain Fateh youth members), but withdrew his candidacy on 12 Dec. 2004; was elected PLC member (no. 1 on the Fateh list) in the 2006 elections, while still imprisoned.


AL-Barghouthi, Murid (1944- )

Born in 1944 in Deir Ghassaneh village; finished high school in Ramallah; studied English Literature at Cairo University from 1963-67; was unable to return home after the June 1967 War; and found work as a teacher in Kuwait; returned to Cairo in the early 1970s and taught English to law students; worked as anchor and a political commentator at the Palestine Radio in Cairo which was closed down twice during Sadat’s presidency; was arrested on 17 Nov. 1977 and deported, with other Palestinians, as a suspected political activist from Cairo; lived for 12 years in Budapest, where he served as a PLO representative; returned to Cairo in 1995; published several collections of poetry, incl. Poems of the Pavement (1980); was awarded the 1997 Najib Mahfouz Literature Prize of the AUC for his essay Ra’aytu Ramallah (I saw Ramallah) about his return to Ramallah in 1996 after a 30-year absence; in Dec. 2000 won the Palestine Poetry Prize, awarded by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture as part of the Palestine Cultural Prizes of 2000; currently lives in Cairo.


AL-Barghouthi, Mustafa KAMEL (1954-)

Born in Jerusalem in 1954; went in 1971 to study Medicine at Moscow University, graduating in 1978 (MD); returned to Jerusalem and worked as a physician at Al-Maqassed Hospital; member of the Palestinian Communist Party (later Palestinian People’s Party - PPP); co-founder (1979) and voluntary chairman of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) since 1983; continued his studies and received a degree in Philosophy and an MSc in Business Administration and Management from Stanford University, US; returned and became Director of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) in Ramallah since 1990; member of the Steering Committee for the Palestinian delegation to the multilateral peace negotiations in the early 1990s; one of the delegates involved in the 1991 Madrid Peace conference and subsequent negotiations; among the founders of the GIPP (Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People); run unsuccessfully in the 1996 elections in Ramallah; PPP leader and its representative in the PNC; spokesperson for various bodies, incl. the Palestinian National Initiative (Al-Mubadara), which he co-launched together with Ibrahim Dakkak, Haidar Abdul Shafi and late Edward Said in June 2002 and as whose Sec.-Gen. he serves; was arrested in 2002 and prevented entry to Jerusalem by Israeli authorities; was awarded the International Health Organization’s prize in 2002; resigned from the leadership of the Palestine People’s Party to devote his efforts to the Palestinian National Initiative in late 2003; campaigned against Israel’s Separation Wall in the International Court of Justice at The Hague in 2004; wrote numerous articles focusing on civil society and health development in Palestine; nominated himself as an independent running candidate in the 2005 PA elections following the passing away of Pres. Yasser Arafat, gaining 19.48% of the votes, was elected PLC member (Independent Palestine list) in the 2006 elections.


aL-BargHouthi, Omar aL-Saleh (1894-1965)

Born in Deir Ghassaneh, near Ramallah, in 1894; educated at the St. George’s School in Jerusalem then in the English School; headed to the Sultani School in Beirut (1907); returned to Deir Ghassaneh and moved to Jerusalem, where he founded The Arab Secret Society (closed down by the Ottoman governor); participated in the national movement opposing British occupation policies particularly against the appointment of Herbert Samuel as High Commissioner for Palestine; was consequently deported to Acre; in 1924, graduated from the Palestinian Law School of Jerusalem, where he later gave a series of lectures (during 1933-48); moved to Ramallah following the 1948 Nakba; was appointed as member of the Jordanian Upper House in 1952; was elected to the Jordanian parliament on 1 May 1954 and served as Minister of Education in 1955; wrote a number of articles and published several books, incl. History of Palestine (Arabic, 1923), Jurisdiction Among the Bedouins in Palestine (Arabic, 1929); Al-Yazzuri (the Unknown Minister) (Arabic, 1948); died in Jerusalem in 1965.



Born in Hebron in 1948; earned a BA in Accounting from the University of Alexandria in 1970; member in the DFLP since 1975; active in voluntary and community work; Board of Directors member of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WACT); Steering Committee member of the GUPW; was prevented from traveling for 10 years by the Israeli authorities and put under house arrest for 2½ years; imprisoned by Israel for 2½ years from 1982-84 for affiliation with the DFLP; President of the Association of Women’s Action for Training and Rehabilitation; member of the politburo of FIDA since 1995; Dir.-Gen. of the Rural Development Dept. at the PA Ministry of Local Government since 1996.



Born in Zababdeh, near Jenin, in 1952 to a Christian family; educated in the Jenin Secondary School then the Beirut Arab University, where he gained a degree in Law; worked as a legal officer in the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior; founded Filastin Al-Jadida newspaper in Jenin, with its first edition published in May 2000; announced in 2001 that he would challenge Yasser Arafat as Pres., but did not pursue his plan when the elections were postponed; calls for eliminating widespread corruption in the PA, excluding the US from the peace process, and signing a deal with Israel based on the 1947 UN Partition Plan, opposes making any concessions on the issue of Palestinian refugees; considered nominating himself as an independent candidate for the 2005 PA presidential elections following the death of Pres. Yasser Arafat but soon withdrew; runs a law office in Jenin; also writes short-stories, novels and plays.


BASHIR, SULEIMAN (1947-1991)

Born in Mghar, near Tiberias in 1947, to a Druze family; educated in Nazareth; enrolled at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, graduating with a BA in History and Sociology in 1971 and an MA in History in 1973; became member of the Israeli Communist Party; continued his studies and received a PhD from the University of London in 1976; worked as Assistant Professor at Birzeit, later at An-Najah University, Nablus (1978), where he became Vice-Pres. for Academic Affairs; his An Introduction to the Other History: Towards a New Reading of Islamic Tradition (self-published, 1984) was received with much controversy; resigned from An-Najah University, became guest professor at the Rhode Island College in Providence, then a visiting fellow at Princeton, US; returned to Jerusalem where he died from a heart attack in 1991; his books include Communism in the Arab East: 1918-28 (first published 1977); Roots of the Jordanian Protectorate: A Study in the Documents of the Zionist Archives (Arabic,1981) and Arabs and Others in Early Islam (published after his death by Princeton, 1997).



Born in Ashdod in 1931; studied at the local school; later worked in the Jerusalem Electricity Company; wrote in the Jaffa-based Al-Ittihad paper, in Al-Ghad magazine and other Lebanese and Egyptian papers; contributed in Al-Ufuq Al-Jadid literary journal published in Jerusalem in the early 1960s; editor-in-chief of Al-Fajr (1974-75) and literary editor of Al-Tali’a; was active in the Palestinian Communist Party; also worked as literary critique; in 1990-91, served as General Manager of the Palestine National Theater in Jerusalem; his writings include: Features of Palestinian Theater before the Nakba (published in Al-Zawiya magazine, 2002); Consultant to the PA Ministry of Culture; resides in Ramallah.


BAYDAS, KHALIL (1874-1949)

Born in Nazareth in 1874; studied in the Russian School (1887-1892) and later became principal of the Russian elementary schools in Syria and Palestine; publisher of An-Nafa’es (Treasures) (1908) and the subsequent An-Nafa’es Al-‘Asriyya (Modern Treasures) weekly literary journals published in Haifa (1909) and later in Jerusalem (1911-13); publication stopped during WWI but resumed in Haifa in 1919-20; was involved in the 1916 riots against the Ottoman rule demanding equality for the Arabs; maintained a rich library, made himself a name as short-story writer and novelist, and translated a number of books from Russian into Arabic, incl. some of Tolstoy’s works; during the 1948 Nakba, his home was raided by Zionists who stole his manuscripts and possessions and forced him to leave; he fled to Jordan and then to Beirut, Lebanon, where he died in 1949.


Al-BeitJali, iskandar al-khouri (1890-1973)

Born in Ein Karem in 1890 to a Christian family from Beit Jala; educated at the Greek Orthodox School in Beit Jala; was sent to the Seminary Russian boarding school in Nazareth to study Arabic Language and Literature; then enrolled at the Salesian School in Bethlehem to study French; received a BA in Arabic Literature from the Greek Catholic Al-Fadila Wal-‘ilm School in Beirut where he was tutored by Al-Bustani, a notable Arabic language scholar, during 1902-06; returned to Beit Jala, then moved to Cairo, with the aim of studying law but could not afford it; moved briefly to Beit Jala at a time when writers were wanted by the Ottoman authorities, then went back to Egypt where he worked at the tram station and in the postal service; also translated and published some writings; returned to Palestine in 1908 and taught Arabic and French at the Karak School in Jordan then in Beit Jala; became teacher of Arabic and French at the St. George’s School, the Frères College and the Russian School for Girls; was a member of the Arab delegation sent to Istanbul demanding better Arab representation at the Greek Patriarchate of Jerusalem; fled secretly to avoid serving in the Ottoman army in 1917, seeking asylum in a convent in Jerusalem; studied Law at an evening school in Jerusalem in 1920; was appointed as court clerk during the British Mandate and as head of the Court of Appeal in Jerusalem until 1945; opened a law firm in Jerusalem after the 1948 Nakba; became education inspector for UNRWA in Bethlehem and Hebron until 1952; was sent to Latin America on a fundraising mission for the Arab Orthodox shelter for the sick and disabled in 1952; wrote several poems like Heartbeats (Arabic, 1923); published his biography in 1972; died on 7 July 1973.


Birnawi, Fatmeh (1942-)

Born in 1942; from the African community of the Old City of Jerusalem; worked as a nurse in Qalqilya in the 1950s; was a key member of Fateh in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967; planted a bomb in a Jerusalem cinema frequented by Zionists in 1967, for which she was sentenced to life imprisonment in by Israel Oct. 1967; was released for health reasons in Nov. 1977 after serving ten years in Ramleh Prison and deported to Jordan; then settled in Lebanon and worked in politics as well as a nurse; moved to Tunisia with the PLO in 1982; returned in July 1994 to Jericho from Jordan in order to set up the PA women’s police force as whose commander she serves since.



Born in Kafr Rama, Galilee, on 22 July 1956 to a Christian family; grew up (and still lives in Nazareth); in 1974, founded the National Committee of Arab Secondary School Students; as a university student, co-founded the Arab Students’ Union; active in the establishment of the students committee and Arab campus organizations at Haifa University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as in the Committee for the Protection of Lands (established in 1976) and against the Israeli occupation of the territories; received a PhD in Philosophy from Humboldt University, East Berlin, in 1986; taught at Birzeit University for ten years and headed its Philosophy and Cultural Studies Dept. from 1990-92; co-founder of Muwatin - The Palestinian Institute for the Research of Democracy in Ramallah; co-founder (together with Israeli colleagues) of the social sciences journal Theory and Criticism; has also worked as a senior researcher at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem; became a member of the New Communist List (Rakah) but left the party and helped establishing the Democratic National Assembly – Brit Leumi Democratit (Balad); was elected to the Knesset in May 1996, representing Balad; in 1999, was the first Israeli-Arab ever to run for PM but eventually withdrew his candidacy before the elections; on 7 Nov. 2001, the Knesset voted to lift his immunity as MK in order to initiate criminal prosecution, charging him for ‘incitement’ in connection with speeches he made in Umm Al-Fahm (June 2000) and Syria (June 2001), expressing support for the right to resist the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and South Lebanon (marking the first ever time that an MK has been stripped of his immunity because of political statements); was elected to the 16th Knesset in Jan. 2003; on 1 April 2003, the Nazareth Magistrate Court dismissed the indictment filed against him in connection with the Syrian visits case; has written extensively on democracy, civil society, Palestine and Middle East politics; was re-elected to the 17th Knesset in March 2006 and serves as Member of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.


Al-BISHTAWI, Mustafa Salem (better known as NASSER YOUSEF) (1943-)

Born in Jiser Al-Majam’a, Jordan Valley near Bisan, in 1943; moved with his family to Jordan in 1948; early education in Al-Shunah Al-Shamaliyyeh, completed high school at Hassan Al-Sabah School in Irbid, Jordan in 1964; joined Fateh in 1964 and its Military Wing in 1965; received a BA in Islamic History from the Arab University in Beirut; later also studied Islamic Economy at Yarmouk University, Jordan; received training at Namkeen Military College in China during July-Dec. 1967; became Fateh’s Operation Officer for the central sector in Salt, Jordan, in 1968, then Deputy Commander of the northern sector in Irbid in 1969; established the Palestinian revolution forces later that year in the Al-Arqoub area (known as “Fateh land”) in Lebanon; established the Golan sector at the Syrian front and was involved in the Sept. 1970 fighting; headed the paratroop unit and fought in the October War in 1973; became head of the September Martyrs Brigade in Tyre, Lebanon, in 1975; participated in the civil war in Lebanon in the mid-1970s; became Deputy Commander of North Lebanon that same year; joined on behalf of the PLO a field mission in 1974 in Vietnam to study the Vietnamese revolution; studied at the College of Vistrel, Moscow, 1978; became Commander of the Yarmouk forces in 1979; moved with the PLO to Tunisia in 1982; became Commander of the Al-Karameh forces in Jordan in 1986; was elected member of the Fateh Central Committee in Aug. 1989; returned to Gaza on 8 May 1994 with the establishment of the PA and became head of the General Security and the Palestinian Police, with the rank of Major-General, based in Gaza; from 1995, responsible for joint Israeli-Palestinian patrols in Gaza; oversaw the Israeli army withdrawal from Jenin in Nov. 1996; remained head of the Public Security Forces in Gaza; became member (Interior Minister) in the Oct. 2003 Emergency Govt. of the PA (until Nov. 2003); nominated as Minister of Interior and National Security in the Ahmed Qrei’a Cabinet, approved by the PLC on 16 Feb. 2005 (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections).


Al-BITAR, OMAR (1880-1947/48)

Born in Jaffa in 1880; attended Rashidiyyeh School in Jaffa; became a leading merchant and businessman; municipal councilor in Jaffa from 1905-08; elected Mayor of Jaffa in 1908; head of the Education Commission, the Agricultural Bank and the Administrative Board of Jaffa City during Ottoman rule; was arrested in the early days of the British Mandate and sent to a military prison in Cairo and later Alexandria for one year; returned to Palestine and founded the first Muslim-Christian Association in Jaffa with branches in various other cities; Chairman of the Muslim-Christian Association from 1921-38; during this period also elected as First Deputy to the Chairman of the Arab Exec. Committee, Musa Kathem Husseini; after the banning of the Arab Executive Committee by the British authorities in 1936, and the establishment of national committees (lejan qawmiyyah) to lead the Palestinian revolt, he became the head of the Committee of Jaffa; appointed head of the Jaffa Municipal Council in 1941 (until his resignation in 1945); named Honorary Chairman of the National Commercial Chamber of Commerce of Jaffa in 1945; died in 1947/48.


AL-BITAWI, SHEIKH HAMED (1944-) (full name: Hamed Suleiman Jaber Khdeir)

Born in Beta, Nablus, on 4 Feb. 1944; studied Shari’a at the University of Jordan in Amman, graduating with a BA in 1968; member, Mosques’ Building Committee from 1968; member, Social Reconciliation Committees from 1968; imprisoned in Dec. 1990 for one year; continued his studies and received an MA in Shari’a Law from An-Najah University, Nablus, 1991; was among the deportees to Marj Az-Zuhur, South Lebanon, in Dec. 1992; became head of the PA’s Shari’a Court of Appeals in Nablus in the mind-1990s; was arrested in 1998 by Palestinian police the day after the Wye Memorandum for publicly criticizing the agreement, and was held for two months; Vice-President of the Islamic Charitable Society (Zakat) in Nablus; was elected as PLC member (Change and Reform, Nablus district) in the Jan. 2006 elections.


Born in Jerusalem in 1929 to a Christian family; attended the Friends Boys’ School, graduating in 1947; joined the Law Institute in Jerusalem; became a teacher of Arabic Language and Literature at the Frères Boys School (1952) and the St. George’s School in Jerusalem (Al-Mutran) until 1968; continued his studies and received a PhD from the University of London in 1970; immigrated to the US and then to Canada in 1975; Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies at McGill University; his works as translator and writer include a translation of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s The First Well: A Bethlehem Boyhood as well as Critical Perspectives on Modern Arabic Literature (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1980), and Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Quran (Routledge/Curzon, 2002); was awarded the 2004 Mentoring Award by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America in recognition of his work in Middle East Studies.



Born in Jerusalem in 1942; studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Rome and at the Corcoran Gallery School of Art in Washington, DC; in 1968 he moved to the US, where he taught at Georgetown University; interested in the calligraphic school of art since the 1980s; was awarded Fulbright Senior Scholarships to conduct research on Islamic art in Morocco in 1993 and 1994; his paintings are part of public collections at several prestigious centers like the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum in London and The World Bank in Washington, DC; published numerous articles on art that appeared in different periodicals, in addition to limited edition artists books created by hand, like Twelve Lanterns for Granada (1996); was awarded the Prize for Fine Arts by the PA Ministry of Culture in Dec. 2004; lives and works in Menton, south France.



Born in Jerusalem on 14 Aug. 1966; received her high school certificate from Rosary Sisters School in Jerusalem in 1983; enrolled at Birzeit University to study Sociology (graduating with a BA only in 1992 due to the repeated closure of the university by Israel and her imprisonment); was arrested several times by Israeli authorities during the first Intifada (1987-89); last release only after intervention by former US Pres. Jimmy Carter and Madame Mitterrand in France; was awarded the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Chicago-based Palestine Human Rights Campaign in 1989; received the Hubert Humphrey Post Graduate Study and Professional Development scholarship at the University of Minnesota, USA, during 1994-95; worked as human rights field worker, Arab Studies Society, Palestine Human Rights Information Center from 1987-1991; Jerusalem Program Coordinator for the Eyewitness Israel summer program of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee in 1988; Assistant Research Officer in the UNRWA Jerusalem field office from 1991-1995; Program Coordinator at the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) from 1995-1997); Director of the Austrian Center for Social Services in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1998-2000; head of the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Studies Center, Jerusalem, since 2000; works as a freelance proposal writer and translator since 2001; co-establisher and Director of the New Generation School and Kindergarten, Abu Dis, Jerusalem since 2001; periodical field fixer for the News Hour - PBS for special documentaries on the Arab-Israeli conflict since 2002; Advocacy Coordinator for the Palestinian Campaign for Freedom and Peace in 2004; works in the Advocacy and Lobbying Dept. of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Ramallah since 2004.



Born in Bir Saba’ in 1944; finished secondary school in Gaza; studied Engineering in Egypt; joined Fateh in 1964; became President of the Palestinian General Student Council, Asyut Branch, Egypt, in 1965 and in Alexandria in 1968; Executive Committee member of the Palestinian Student General Council in 1969; PNC member since 1969; President of the Palestinian Student General Council from 1974-81; member of the PLO Central Council from 1974-81; member of Fateh, Egypt branch since 1977; member of the Fateh Revolutionary Council since 1974; Vice-Secretary of the Fateh Revolutionary Council; served as PLO Representative in Yugoslavia from 1982-85; worked as assistant to the head of the PLO Political Dept.; was appointed Governor of Khan Younis, Gaza, from 1996-2001; Governor of North Gaza since 2001; deputy treasurer of the Fateh Revolutionary Council; became PA Minister of Youth and Sport in the cabinet of Ahmed Qrei’a in Feb. 2005 (until after the Jan. 2006 PLC elections).


BSEISSO, ATEF (1948-1992)

Born in Gaza in 1948; graduated from the AUB; among the founders of a committee to organize the clandestine work of Fateh student youth; part of a revolutionary security and counter-intelligence committee (founded by Salah Khalaf); worked on training young Palestinian cadres in security issues by sending them to Europe; wanted by Israel as a suspect of the planners of the Munich operations in 1972; fourth ranking official (after Salah Khalaf, Walid Nimr and Hayel Abdul Hamid) of the unified Palestinian security apparatus founded in 1974; assumed the role of PLO Security chief following the assassination of Salah Khalaf in 1991; was assigned to be in charge of the security of the Palestinian participants in the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference (in cooperation with Spanish authorities); was the acting head of intelligence for the PLO; assassinated by Israel on 8 June 1992 outside his hotel in Paris, where he was on a mission to meet with French intelligence agents to discuss security matters.


Bseisso, Fu’ad Hamdi (1943- )

Born in Jaffa in 1943; enrolled at Alexandria University and received a BA in Commerce from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science in 1964 as well as an MA in Economics in 1966; worked in the Jordanian Central Bank from 1968-73; then worked as economic consultant in Oman from 1973-79 and co-founded the Oman Development Bank, becoming member of its first Board of Trustees; served as Sec.-Gen. of the Palestinian-Jordanian Committee that ran a fund for supporting Palestinian resistance in the OPT from 1979-89; continued his studies and earned a PhD in Social Sciences from Durham University, UK, as well as the degree of Professor in Economic and Financial Sciences in 1982; supervised the UN Program Planning and Technical Cooperation office in Palestine from 1989-93; lectured on banking issues for graduate students at the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences in Amman and served as member of its Board of Trustees; was appointed as first governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) in Dec. 1994 (until 2002); is a permanent member of the Durham University Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; founding member of the Arab Society for Economic Studies; serves as Chairman of the Palestinian Economist Group and as Board member of the Union of Arab Banks; is a specialist on economic issues in the Arab World, especially with regard to economic boycotting; co-founder of Al-Mustaqbal Economic Center for Strategic Consultations and Studies in Amman as well as Al-Mustaqbal Economic Center for Financial Consultations and Studies in Palestine from 2003-2005; was editor-in-chief of its Al-Mustaqbal Al-Iqtisadi (Economic Future) magazine; was appointed by the late Pres. Yasser Arafat as Economic Advisor in 2004; has written numerous articles related to economic development.


Bseisso, Mui’n (1926-1984)

Born in Gaza in 1926; completed his higher education at Gaza College in 1948; attended the AUC and graduated in Literature in 1952 from the Media Dept.; while studying, he published political poems in Egyptian and Palestinian papers and magazines; worked as teacher in refugee camps; worked as cultural editor of Al-Ahram magazine in Egypt from 1960; left Cairo after the death of Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1970; sympathized with communism; became editor-in-chief of Al-Thawra magazine in Syria in 1980; published various literary and poetry pieces, incl. The Palestinian Farmer’s Poem (1946) and the collections The Battle (Arabic, 1952), Jordan and the Cross (Arabic, 1958), Palestine in the Heart (Arabic, 1964), The Trees Die Standing (Arabic, 1966); The Perfume of Land and People (Arabic, 1967), and Poems on the Glass of Windows (Arabic, 1970; English, 1977); some of his works was translated by a Russian poet and published in 1970 in Moscow; his autobiography was translated into English as Descent into the Water: Palestinian Notes from Arab Exile (1980); died in London from a heart attack in 1984; was buried in Cairo.


Bseisso, Sa’di (1912-1982)

Born in Gaza in 1912; studied at the AUB after 1930, then at Damascus University from where he received a Law degree in 1933; continued his studies at the University of Paris and earned a Higher Diploma in Economic and Financial Sciences in 1936 and a PhD in Law in 1937; worked as a lawyer in Jordan and Jerusalem; in 1948, sought refuge in Iraq, where he became a teacher at the Faculty of Law of Baghdad University; became consultant for the Syrian Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Republic (Egyptian and Syrian Union); Arab League Ambassador and PLO representative in Geneva; returned to Syria where he taught law at Aleppo University; his publications include Zionism (1945) and Lectures in Law (1949); died in 1982.



Born in Jerusalem in 1943; educated in Jerusalem; received an LLB from Cairo University in 1967; authorized lawyer; worked as a journalist from 1970-1980 for Al-Quds and Al-Fajr newspapers and as editor-in-chief of Al-Fajr; co-founder, with Faisal Husseini, of the Arab Studies Society, Jerusalem, in 1980; and served as its Secretary and as researcher in its Documentation Dept.; editor-in-chief of Al-Mawqif magazine from 1991-1993; served as Dir.-Gen. of the Arab Studies Society and the Orient House, Jerusalem, from 1998-2002 (it was shut down by Israeli authorities in 2001); writes political articles.


AL-BUDEIRI, ISHAQ (1878-1940)

Born in Jerusalem in 1878; studied Law in Istanbul; worked in the Ottoman court; moved between Syria, Iraq and Turkey; was appointed member in the Faisal Arab Government in 1919 and 1920 in Damascus; later returned to Palestine and worked as a lawyer during the British Mandate; became a Judge on land issues; was member of the National Reform Party; died in 1940



Born in Jerusalem; head of the Beersheba and Ramleh sub-districts during the late Ottoman period; helped uncover the Jewish NILI spy ring that worked against the Ottomans during WWI; was arrested by the British when they occupied Ramleh, Lydda, and Jaffa in 1918 and exposed to severe torture in the detention camp in Egypt; released in 1919 and returned to Jerusalem; joined the nationalist Arab Club and attended the 1919 General Syrian Congress in Damascus; launched As-Sabah newspaper, which was associated with the Arab Executive in Jerusalem in 1921; was murdered on his way to Najd, Saudi Arabia, in 1923, on a mission on behalf of Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini.


AL-BUDEIRI, Khalil (1906-1983)

Born in Jerusalem in 1906; studied Medicine in Germany (1922-23), Egypt (1924-25), and Geneva (1925-29); then specialized in Ophthalmology in London; became a leftist activist and joined the Palestine Communist Party; was arrested by the British for his involvement in the 1936 General Strike and imprisoned for six months; became a member of the Arab Higher Committee in 1946 and was appointed to the Palestinian delegation to the UN (though the US refused him entry); in 1948, was briefly detained by the Egyptian authorities in Gaza; has published a book on Sixty-Six Years with the Palestinian National Movement in 1982; died in 1983.



Born in Jerusalem in 1946; received a BA in Political Science from Durham University, UK, and an MA in Military Studies from King’s College, London, in 1971; received a PhD in Political Science from the London School of Economics; was denied to return as he was ‘absent – studying abroad – in 1967; allowed to return under the family unification program in 1971; became a Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University 1974; spent a year in Princeton; Director of the Center for Israeli Studies at Al-Quds University from 1997-2003; serves on the Advisory Board of the Jerusalem Quarterly File; threatened with deportation from Jerusalem after the Israeli Ministry of the Interior refused to renew his permanent residency status, the issue gained media attention and it was renewed; involved in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue encounters; writes in several journals like the Jerusalem Quarterly File, the Palestine-Israel Journal and The Journal of Palestine Studies; teaches Political Sciences at Al-Quds University; author of The Palestine Communist Party (1919-1948): Arab and Jew in the Struggle for Internationalism (London: Ithaca Press, 1979).



Born in Jerusalem on 13 Jan. 1944; left with his family to Syria in 1949 in the course of the Nakba; discovered his talent for political cartoons and published his first drawing in Al-Ayyam Syrian daily newspaper in 1962; later moved to Kuwait and worked at Al-Ra’ie Al-‘Am (Public Opinion) newspaper from 1964-80 and at Al-Anba’ (News) paper from 1981-88; published a book of cartoons in 1985 that included 400 caricatures; then lived in Tunisia from 1989-94; returned to Jerusalem in 1994 and worked at Al-Quds newspaper (1994-99) and then at Al-Ayyam newspaper in Ramallah from 1999; renown political cartoonist, who participated in numerous local and international exhibitions; his main cartoon characters, Abu and Umm Al-Abed, became popular in Palestinian political expression; member in several organizations, incl. the Palestinian Union of Writers and Journalists, the Federation of Arab Journalists, the General Union of Palestinian Artists, the Arab Cartoonist Association, and the Cartoonist and Writer Syndicates in the US; has also produced several Jerusalem oil paintings.


BUSTANI, WADIE (1888-1954)

Born in Dibieh, near Al-Shof, Lebanon, in 1888; of Lebanese origin; studied at the AUB, then settled in Palestine; worked as poet, translator and writer with progressive stances (his poems contained political messages related to British control and are considered important historical documents on that era); warned against the Balfour Declaration and its implications; led a demonstration in March 1920 in which political songs composed by him where chanted; translated a book on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam into Arabic (in 1915); among his collections are Diwan Al-Filastiniyat (A Palestinian Poetry Collection) (Beirut, 1946); also conducted a historical and legal study on the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem; died in 1954.