A Brief History of
the Orient House

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Prominent Figures


Faisal Husseini

Articles and Speeches
of Faisal Husseini



Faisal Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, son of the most renown Palestinian national leader Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, was born as a Palestinian in exile in Baghdad on the 17th of July 1940. He pursued his education in Cairo and later received a B.A in Military Science from the Military College, Syira in 1967. 

In 1957, he joined the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM), and later became active in Fateh, the largest PLO faction after 1967. In the years that followed, he was active against the occupation and was harassed by the consecutive Israeli  governments, who imposed travel bans on him, jailed and put him under house arrest or administrative detention.

In 1979, he founded the Arab Studies Society, a research and data collecting center in East Jerusalem. In 1987-1991 the Arab Studies Society, which was now located in a section of the Orient House, was closed down by the Israeli Occupation Authorities.  After an coordinated international and local campaign the Arab Studies Society was finally re-opened in the spring of 1991. 

Instrumental in the launching of the Madrid peace process, Mr Husseini led a Palestinain delegation to meet with U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, to lay the ground for the launching of the peace talks between the PLO and Israel. Mr. Husseini was named Head of the Palestinian Team to the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid, and despite Israeli objections to his role in negotiations as a resident of Jerusalem, he became the central figure in the peace talks that opened the door for direct dialogue between the PLO and Israel.

Since then Mr. Husseini turned the New Orient House from a guset house in East Jerusalem into the headquarters of the Palestinian Delegation to the peace talks. The Orient House is now a prominent center of Palestinian political, social and cultural activities.

Mr. Husseini was the PLO Executive Committee Member in Charge of Jerusalem Affairs. He also maintained his position as Head of the Palestinian Team to the Multilateral Peace Talks and was a member of the Palestinain Committee for Final Status Negotiations as Head of the Jerusalem Committee. He was a member of dozens of local Palestinian institutions and was a leading advocate of Palestinian rights in the Holy City. 

He was the highest-ranking Fatah official in Jerusalem and the West Bank and met with many world leaders, appeared in countless television interviews and has written numerous articles and speeches. He also has been the guest at many international conferences and gatherings on the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem. He received the American Peace Award, the Dr. Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights in 1991 and later the Gleitsman Foundation Award in 1999. 

Mr. Husseini passed away on 31 May 2001 in Kuwait while pursuing his life long dream of making Jerusalem a free capital of Palestine. He is survived by his wife Najat Husseini, his son, AbdulQader 27 and his daughter, Fadwa 25, both of whom are graduates of Bir Zeit University in Palestine.

Last Updated: 31 May, 2001

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