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The Official website of the Nuseibeh Family
Jerusalem and the Holy Land's oldest family
Custodians of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Doors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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Our family in the 20th Century

During the 20th century, members of the Nuseibeh family played important roles in the contemporary history of the Holy Land. The Nuseibeh's continue to serve as Custodians of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The late Zaki Nuseibeh (1870-1938), a graduate of the American University in Beirut, was a prominent Jerusalem Councillor and a member of the Higher Executive Committee for Palestine. He was injured while taking part in the famous 1930 Jaffa demonstration against Jewish immigration to Palestine. When the British mandate of Palestine ended, the establishment of Israel deprived the Nuseibeh family with many of their properties in what has become Israel. Family members, notably Anwar, Hazem, Mahmoud and Ahmad Nuseibeh fought against the invading Jewish terrorist groups, who later became Israel's army. However, the war was lost. Homes and farm lands had been taken over illegally by Jewish refugees from Europe and elsewhere and settled in the homes of the Arab population of Palestine who were forcefully expelled. Members of the Nuseibeh family lost their homes to those newcomers. The family still maintains its legal right to these properties and will actively continue to ask for them. Any peaceful resolution to the question of Palestine must include the return and compensation for such property. In 1951, the peoples of the West Bank and East Bank of the River Jordan voted for a united country. Jerusalem became the spiritual capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Since then, many members of the family assumed leadership roles. Anwar Nuseibeh who fought in the 1948 war was elected Member of Parliament for Jerusalem and became at various times Governor of Jerusalem, Jordanian Minister of Defence as well as a Jordanian Senator. Hazem became Jordanian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and held several other ministerial posts. Mohammed became the first chairman of Al Quds University, the first Arab University in Jerusalem. Many other family members became prominent in various fields including engineering, politics, arts and in the military.

The war of 1967 once more resulted in the forced exile of many family members from Jerusalem. However, members of the Nuseibeh family continue to regard Jerusalem as their home, wherever in the world they may be found.
Mohammed and Faida Nuseibeh with US President Jimmy Carter The Nuseibeh family maintains good relationships with various countries. Needless to say, Jordan is the family's political home and the family believes in the importance of maintaining a special link between Jerusalem and Jordan. His Majesty the late King Hussein has visited the family home in Jerusalem. Hazem Nuseibeh's role as a leading Arab diplomat allowed him to maintain excellent relations with many Arab, European and other leaders. Relations with Britain have also been important to the family. The relationship with Britain stretches back to almost a thousand years, since the Sultan Saladin and Richard the Lion Heart agreed on providing access to Western Christian pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre, with the agreement implemented and maintained by the Nuseibeh family. In more recent times, many family members have studied, lived and worked and continue to do so, in Britain. During Hazem Nuseibeh's time on the Security Council as Jordan's permanent representative, Nuseibeh provided his support for Britain during the Falklands' crises. This support proved to be crucial to Britain. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented Anwar Nuseibeh, who served as Jordan's ambassador in London with an honorary knighthood. Family members have maintained excellent relationships with many members of the British Royal family and political leaders. Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath visited the family home in Jerusalem when he was Conservative Party leader, prior to his election as Prime Minister. Prime Minister John Major provided support for Mohammed Nuseibeh's initiative to establish the first Palestinian Faculty of Medicine by donating equipment during his visit to Jerusalem in 1995.
Mohammed Nuseibeh with King Juan Carlos of Spain Mohammed Nuseibeh received Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain during the King's visit to Jerusalem. He exchanged with the Spanish monarchs very warm words about the historic relationship between the Arab world and Spain.

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Click here for more photos of the Papal visit to Jerusalem Relations with the various Christian denominations have been excellent. During the historic visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem in 2000, Mohammed Nuseibeh delivered before the Pope a speech on behalf of the people of Jerusalem.

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The Pope responded with great kindness. Mohammed Nuseibeh also met with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey during his visit to Jerusalem in 1999, and with Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in 2004.
Rev Jesse Jackson received his honourary doctorate In 1995 Mohammed Nuseibeh, as Chancellor of Al-Quds University, presented an honourary doctorate to Rev Jesse Jackson.

The Nuseibeh fammily delegation speaking with Yasser Arafat In June 2004, a Nuseibeh family delegation met with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at his besieged headquarters in Ramallah. The delegation consisted of Hazem Z. Nuseibeh, Mohammed Z. Nuseibeh and Samer M. Nuseibeh. The Nuseibeh delegation discussed with Arafat a number of issues, including Jerusalem. A number of Palestinian cabinet ministers and Arafat advisors attended the meeting.

A family delegation headed by Mohammed Nuseibeh visited Ramallah and offered their condolences to President Arafat's nephew Ambassador Nasser Kodwa, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and the Paletinian Authority leadership on the death of President Arafat. In Amman, Dr Hazem Nuseibeh received condolences on behalf of the Palestinian people from the Jordanian public

Photograph: From left: Yasser Arafat, Hazem, Mohammed and Samer Nuseibeh

This website was last updated on 9th August 2004.
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