ADC Mourns Death of Faisal Husseini
Washington, DC –The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply saddened by the death of Faisal Husseini, who died in Kuwait today at age 61. The most senior Palestinian official in Jerusalem, Husseini was known for his personal integrity, honesty and courage.
ADC Chief Operating Officer Dr. Ziad Asali said “The loss of Faisal Husseini is a devastating blow to the Palestinian people and cause, particularly with regard to Jerusalem, in which he was an irreplaceable leader. I first met him in 1971, when we were two young Palestinians from Jerusalem whose right to live in our own city was being denied by the Israeli occupation authorities. He devoted his whole life to defending Arab Jerusalem. He will be sorely missed.”
Faisal Husseini was born 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 Syrian Military Academy in 1967. He was jailed by Israel for one year in 1967 and was placed under constant house arrest in 1982-87. He then served numerous terms of administrative detention, one lasting ten months in 1987-88. In 1979 he founded the Arab Studies Society, a research and data collection center in East Jerusalem. In October 1991, he led a Palestinian delegation which met with U.S. Secretary of State James Baker to lay the ground work for the start of peace talks between the PLO and Israel. He was named Head of the Palestinian team to the Middle East Peace Conference. His headquarters were in the Orient House in East Jerusalem. Husseini was the minister without Portfolio in the Palestinian National Authority, in charge of the Jerusalem file.
Like his grandfather, Musa Kazim Pasha Al-Husseini, who died weeks after being beaten by British troops during a demonstration in 1934, and his father, AbdelQader Al-Husseini, who died in battle defending the Arab village of Qastal near Jerusalem in 1948, Faisal Husseini was well-known for his courage. He repeatedly rushed to the scenes of takeovers of Palestinian properties in Jerusalem by aggressive armed Israeli settlers, and frequently led peaceful protests by Jerusalemites against Israeli policies in the Palestinian capital, in several of which he was injured or tear-gassed.
ADC extends its deep condolences to the family of Faisal Husseini, the people of Jerusalem and the Palestinian people as a whole.