Sari Nusseibeh

Sari Nusseibeh is Professor of Islamic and Political Philosophy and was President of Al-Quds University, East Jerusalem from 1995 until September 2014. Born in Damascus in 1949, he was brought up in Jerusalem and later educated both in the UK (Oxford) and Harvard (Islamic Philosophy), earning his PhD in 1978. He taught at Birzeit University in the West Bank from 1978 until 1991, when he was placed under administrative detention in an Israeli jail for three months. Following his release, he joined his colleagues in the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel, heading the Technical and Advisory committees. At the same time, he co-founded the Fatah Higher Committee in the Occupied Territories, serving as its Deputy Chairman. After the death of his colleague, Faisal Husseini, Nusseibeh briefly served as PLO point man in Jerusalem. In 2003, Sari Nusseibeh co-founded IPSO (the Israel/Palestine Scientific Organization), and continues to serve at its co-chairman to this day. Nusseibeh also co-founded and chaired several grassroots committees, unions, and non-governmental charity organizations, including, in 2002, “the Peoples’ Voice,” a “bi-national” public campaign for a two-state solution. Over the years, Nusseibeh received several recognitions and awards, including, most recently an Honorary Doctorate from Leuven University in Belgium, in 2009. He was twice selected (in 2005 and 2007) by Foreign Policy and Prospect Magazines as one of the 100 leading world public figures. In 1994-5 he was elected Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington D.C. In 2001 he was Visiting Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. In 2004-5, he was the Rita Hauser Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard. In 2007 he became Fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Nusseibeh’s presentations at international fora include the much-acclaimed Tanner Lectureship (Harvard University, 2008), and the Multatuli Lecture (Leuven, 2009). Nusseibeh has written and lectured widely, his focus being the subject of war and peace in his region of the world. His book, Once Upon A Country, with co-author Anthony David, has received numerous positive reviews, and has been translated into many languages, while his earlier book on a two-state solution (with Mark Heller, 1991) has been translated into German, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew, and French. His latest book, What Is a Palestinian State Worth?, was published by Harvard University Press in 2011. A forthcoming book is entitled The Story of Reason in Islam.

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