Sari Nusseibeh

Sari Nusseibeh

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Sari Nusseibeh'
Start a new discussion about 'Sari Nusseibeh'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Sari Nusseibeh (born in 1949 in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

), and raised in Jerusalem, is a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 professor of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and president of the Al-Quds University
Al-Quds University
Al-Quds University is a Palestinian university with campuses in Jerusalem, Abu Dis, and al-Bireh. It was founded in 1984, but its official constitution was written in 1993 when Mohammed Nusseibeh, its first Chancellor and Chancellor of the College of Science and Technology, announced its...

 in Jerusalem. Until December 2002 he was the representative of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 in that city.

Family background


The Nusseibeh boast of a 1,300 year presence in Jerusalem, being descended from Ubayda ibn as-Samit, the brother of Nusaybah bint Ka'ab, a female warrior from the Banu Khazraj
Banu Khazraj
-Early history:Abu Muhammad Al-hasan Ibn Ahmad Al-hamdani mentioned that The Banu Khazraj along with Banu Aws settled the area of Yathrib around the 2nd century ad as part of the PreIslamic Exodus of Yemen due to the Great Dam damage....

 of Arabia, and one of the four women leaders of the 14 tribes of early Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Ubada, a companion of Umar ibn al-Khattab, was appointed the first Muslim high judge of Jerusalem after its conquest in 638 C.E., and received the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

, together with an obligation to keep the Holy Rock
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

, now the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount, clean. The family retained an exclusive right to the keys down to the Ottoman period, when the Joudeh family obtained a warrant to share possession. To this day, the Nusseibeh, on receiving the keys from a member of the Joudeh clan, turn them over to the warden of the Church around dawn every day. Nusseibeh's grandfather successively married into three different Palestinian families of notables, the Shihabi, noted for their scholarship; the Darwish
Darwish
Darwish and Darvish are alternate transliterations of the Persian word "dervish", used in , referring to a Sufi aspirant. There is no v sound in most Modern Arabic dialects and so the originally Persian word is usually pronounced with a w sound in Arabic...

 of the powerful al-Husayni
Al-Husayni
Husayni is the name of a prominent Palestinian Arab clan formerly based in Jerusalem. Several members of the clan held important political positions such as Mayor and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and founded and led many Palestinian Arab Islamist groups such as the Holy War Army, the Palestine Arab...

 clan; and to the Nashashibi
Nashashibi
Nashashibi is the name of a prominent Palestinian family based in Jerusalem. Many of its members held senior positions in the government of Jerusalem. Raghib al-Nashashibi was Mayor of Jerusalem .- History :...

, and thus, in Nusseibeh's words:'in a matter of a few years. . managed to stitch together four ancient Jerusalem families, two of which were bitter rivals'.

Biography


Nusseibeh was born in Damascus, Syria to the politician Anwar Nusseibeh
Anwar Nusseibeh
Anwar Nusseibeh Anwar Nusseibeh was a Palestinian nationalist who believed in maintaining Arab consensus, on the grounds that Arab unity was more important than the individual differences...

 who was a distinguished statesman, prominent in Palestinian and (after 1948) Palestinian-Jordanian politics and diplomacy, and Nuzha Al Ghussein, who descended from Palestine's wealthy landed aristocracy and is the daughter of Palestinian political leader Yaqub al-Ghusayn
Yaqub al-Ghusayn
Yaqub al-Ghussein was an aristocratic Palestinian landowner from Ramla and founder of the Youth Congress Party. He graduated in law from the University of Cambridge. Ghussein was elected president of the first National Congress of Arab Youth, held in Jaffa in January 1932. He was a member and...

.
Nusseibeh studied philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

 and has a Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy, from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 (1978).

He returned to the West Bank in 1978 to teach at Birzeit University
Birzeit University
Birzeit University is a university located in Birzeit near Ramallah, Palestinian territories. BZU is among the foremost tertiary educational institutes in the Palestinian territories and has played a significant role in the Palestinian political dialogue.- History :The institution was originally...

 (where he remained as Professor of Philosophy until the University was closed from 1988 to 1990 during the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

). At the same time, he taught classes in Islamic philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Through the early 1980s, he helped to organize the teachers' union at Birzeit, and served three terms as president of the union of faculty and staff there. Nusseibeh is also co-founder of the Federation of Employees in the Education Sector for the entire West Bank.

The Nusseibeh family are trustees, according to tradition, for the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

.

Nusseibeh is married to Lucy, born in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, and they have four children, Jamal, Absal, Buraq and Nuzha.

Political activism


Sari Nusseibeh has long been viewed as a Palestinian moderate. In July 1987, Nusseibeh and Faisal Husseini
Faisal Husseini
Faisal Abdel Qader Al-Husseini was a Palestinian politician who was considered a possible future leader of the Palestinian people....

 met with Moshe Amirav
Moshe Amirav
Moshe Amirav is widely considered by Political Science and Middle East academics and international media as one of the world experts on the conflict in Jerusalem.-Overview:...

, a member of Israel's Likud Party becoming the first prominent Palestinians to meet with a member of the Israeli right. Amirav was testing the waters for a group close to Shamir on the possibility of making a historic pact with the PLO and Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

.

The First Intifada


Nusseibeh was also an important leader during the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

, authoring the Palestinian Declaration of Principles and working to strengthen the Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 movement in the Occupied Territories; Nusseibeh helped to author the "inside" Palestinians' declaration of independence issued in the first intifada, and to create the 200 political committees and 28 technical committees that were intended to as an embryonic infrastructure for a future Palestinian administration.

First Gulf War


Following the firing of Scud missiles at Tel Aviv, Nusseibeh worked with Israeli Peace Now on a common approach to condemn the killing of civilians in the war. But he was arrested and placed under administrative detention on 29 January 1991, effectively accused of being an Iraqi agent. (He had discussed Scud attacks on Tel Aviv with the Iraqi Ambassador at Tunis, which the Israelis alleged made him a spotter for missile attacks). The arrest was the questioned by British and American officials, and the U.S. administration urged that he should either be charged or else the suspicion would be that the arrest was political. He was adopted as a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

. Palestinians saw the arrest as a political warning that Israel did not intend to negotiate with any Palestinian leader, no matter how moderate. For example, Professor Saeb Erekat of An-Najah University said: "This is a message to us Palestinian moderates. The message is, 'You can forget about negotiations after the war because we are going to make sure there is no one to talk to' ". He was released without charge shortly after the end of the war, after 90 days of imprisonment in Ramle Prison.

Peace initiatives


Nusseibeh was not politically active during much of the Oslo Peace Process but was appointed as the PLO Representative in Jerusalem in 2001. During this period Nusseibeh began to strongly suggest that Palestinians give up their Right of Return
Palestinian right of return
The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel...

 in exchange for a Palestinian state in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. A number of Palestinian organizations have strongly condemned his views on this issue.

Nusseibeh criticised the militarization of the intifada in January 2002 and called for the renunciation of suicide bombings and the establishment of Palestine as a demilitarized state: "A Palestinian state should be demilitarized - not because that's what Israel demands, but in our own interest."

In 2002 Sari Nusseibeh and former Shin Bet director, Ami Ayalon
Ami Ayalon
Amihai "Ami" Ayalon is an Israeli politician and a former member of the Knesset for the Labor Party. He was previously head of the Shin Bet, Israel's secret service, and commander-in-chief of the Navy...

 published the The People's Voice
The People's Voice
The People's Voice is an Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative dedicated to advancing the process of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians...

, an Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative that aims to advance the process of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and a draft peace agreement that called for a Palestinian state based on Israel's 1967 borders and for a compromise on the Palestinian Right of Return. The People's Voice Initiative was officially launched on June 25, 2003.

In 2002, Yasser Arafat deposed Nusseibeh as the PLO's representative in East Jerusalem, a position he assumed after the sudden death of Faisal Husseini.

In 2008, Nusseibeh said that the quest for the two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 was floundering. He called on Palestinians to start a debate on the idea of a one-state solution.

In 2008, in an open online poll, Nusseibeh was voted the 24th most influential intellectual in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...

(UK) and Foreign Policy (US).

Affiliations


Nusseibeh is head and founder of the Palestinian Consultancy Group, co-founder and member of several Palestinian institutions including the Jerusalem Friends of the Sick Society, the Federation of Employees in the Education Sector in the West Bank, the Arab Council for Public Affairs, the Committee Confronting the Iron Fist, and the Jerusalem Arab Council. He is also on the advisory board of The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University
Brandeis University
Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. In 2011, it...

.

Internationally, Nusseibeh is a member of the McGill Middle East Program's Executive and Management Committees. In November 2007, following the publication of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life he travelled to Montreal, Canada to lecture on the MMEP and his vision of peace.

See also


  • Nusseibeh
  • The People's Voice
    The People's Voice
    The People's Voice is an Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative dedicated to advancing the process of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians...

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict timeline
  • Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Arabs and Israelis have been operating for years in different fields.- Policy groups:Organizations or institutions which address and analyze policy issues in a wide range of areas...


Books

  • No Trumpets, No Drums: A Two-State Solution of the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict, New York: Hill & Wang, 1991
  • Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life, written with Anthony David; New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux is an American book publishing company, founded in 1946 by Roger W. Straus, Jr. and John C. Farrar. Known primarily as Farrar, Straus in its first decade of existence, the company was renamed several times, including Farrar, Straus and Young and Farrar, Straus and Cudahy...

    , London: Halban Publishers, 2007 ISBN 978-1-905559-05-3
  • Palestine: A State is Born (Selections of Newspapers/Magazines articles between 1987-1990 ) Palestine Information Office :The Hague, 1990.

Other works

  • A Formula for Narrative Selection: A Commentary on Writing the Arab- Israeli Conflict, Perspectives on Politics, Vol 3/No1 (March,2005)
  • The Limit Of Reason (or Why Dignity is not Negotiable), APA Newsleters, (Vo.04, Number1), 2004.
  • Singularidad y pluralidad en la identidad: el caso del prisionero palestino, La Pluralidad y sus atributos (Fundacion Duques de Soria) 2002.
  • Personal and National Identity: A Tale of Two Wills. Philosophical Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ed. Tomas Kapitan, (Armonk, N.Y., and London: Sharpe, N.E.) 1997.
  • Epistemology, The Routledge History of Islamic Philosophy, ed. Oliver Leaman.( London: Routledge, Kegan and Paul), 1995.
  • Al-Hurriyyah Bayn Alhadd Wa’l Mutlaq (Absolute and Restricted Freedom). London: Al-Saqi
    Saqi Books
    Saqi Books is an independent UK publisher co-founded in 1984 by author and feminist Mai Ghoussoub to "print quality academic and general interest books on the Middle East". It now claims to be "the UK's largest publisher of Middle Eastern and Arabic titles"...

    , 1995.
  • Al-Hizb al-Siyasi Wa’l dimoqratiyyah (Political Parties and Democracy). In Azmat al-hizb al-Siyasi al-Falastini.( Ramallah: Muwatin) 1996
  • Can Wars be Just? in But Was It Just? Reflections on the Morality of the Gulf War, with Jean Elshtaine, et al. (New York: Doubleday) 1992.
  • Review of F. Zimmermann’s Al-Farabi’s Commentary and Short Treatise on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione, History and Philosophy of Logic, 13 (1992), 115-132.
  • Al-Aql Al Qudsi: Avicenna’s Subjective Theory of Knowledge. Studia Islamica (1989), 39-54.
  • Selections (including translations) from the Holy Qur'an. In Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 15th ed., 1984.
  • Review of Islamic Life and Thought, by S. A. Nasr.( TLS) March 1982:267.
  • Masharif al-Mantiq (Introductory Symbolic Logic). (Jerusalem: Arab Studies Society) 1982.
  • On Subatomic Particles and Scientific Posits, with Basheer El-Issa. (Birzeit Journal of Chemistry) 1981.
  • Avicenna : Medicine and Scepticism. Koroth Vol.8, No 1- 2 (1981): 9-20.
  • Quelques figures et themes de la Philosophie Islamique. Review in Asian and African Studies 14 (1980), 207-209.
  • Herbert Marcuse wa’l metamarxiyyah.” Al-Jadid, July 1

External links