Faisal Husseini
Faisal Abdel Qader Al-Husseini (July 17, 1940–May 31, 2001) was 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...

 politician who was considered a possible future leader of the Palestinian people.

Husseini was born in Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 son of Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, , which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt and during the 1948...

, commander of local Arab forces during the siege of 1948 and grandnephew of the Haj Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.-Ottoman era:...

. He studied in Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, and 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...

. He was a founding member of the General Union of Palestinian Students
General Union of Palestinian Students
The General Union of Palestinian Students is an organization run by Palestinian students since the early 1920s. It is generally considered one of the first Palestinian institutions started. It was officially launched in Cairo in 1959....

 (GUPS) in 1959.

Husseini went to work for the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) upon its establishment in Jerusalem as deputy manager of the Public Organisation Dept, a post he filled from 1964 to 1965. He later received military training at the Damascus Military College after which he joined the Palestinian Liberation Army
Palestinian Liberation Army
The Palestine Liberation Army was ostensibly set up as the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the 1964 Arab League summit , with the mission of fighting Israel...

 in 1967.

In 1979, Husseini founded and became chairman of the Arab Studies Society.

Israel, from 1982–1987, repeatedly placed him under house and city arrest. He was imprisoned several times from April 1987–January 1989, but remained active in the 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....


In 1982, he became a member of the Supreme Muslim Council
Muslim Council
Muslim Council may refer to:* American Muslim Council, an Islamic organization* Central Council of Ex-Muslims* Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations* French Council of the Muslim Faith* Indian Muslim Council...

 in Jerusalem. Subsequently he served as a Palestinian spokesperson, head of the Jerusalem National Council/Palestine, member and later head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference
Madrid Conference of 1991
The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

 and subsequent talks, head of the 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...

 faction 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 Palestinian Authority Minister without Portfolio.

His last post was Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs for which he was based in East Jerusalem. He died while trying to mend relations between the Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

i government and PLO which were broken at the time of the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...


Husseini was considered a pragmatist by journalists. He taught himself to speak Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 and regularly appeared in radio and television shows in Israel to explain the Palestinians' point of view.


Husseini died of a seeming heart attack in Kuwait on May 31, 2001. Following Husseini's death, Israeli police seized his headquarters, the Orient House
Orient House
Orient House is a building located in East Jerusalem that served as the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1980s and 1990s. Built in 1897 by Ismail Musa al-Husseini, it has been owned by the Al-Husayni family since...

. Husseini was buried in a family tomb near the Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik...

, in a funeral attended by thousands.

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