Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mahdi Abdel Hadi

Mahdi Abdel Hadi

Sector : Academic Figures, Law

Личная информация

  • Страна местожительства: Palestine
  • Пол: Male
  • Born in:
  • key_age: 79
  • Резюме :


Mahdi Abdul Hadi is a political scientist, historian, columnist, author, founder and member of various Palestinian, Arab and International institutions as well as the head and founder of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs.

Abdul Hadi was born in Nablus on 22 March 1944 but has spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He has devoted most of his life to academic research and dialogue, as well as the publication of this research with the aim of providing a deep understanding of Palestinian issues, past and present – the land, the people, their rights and their leadership – to interested audiences in the region and beyond. In order to achieve this aim, he has founded and co-founded numerous forums and institutes. For example, he co-founded the Al-Fajr daily newspaper in 1972 as well as the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank (1977–1980).

He was also the founder and elected president of the Arab Thought Forum in Jerusalem (1977–1981) and worked as special adviser to the Ministry of Occupied Land Affairs, Amman, Jordan (1985–1986).

Finally, he founded the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA). PASSIA is an independent, non-profit Palestinian institution and is not affiliated with any government, political party or organization. The institute undertakes research on the question of Palestine and how the issue is related to international affairs.

Mahdi Abdul Hadi was "born in Nablus on March 22, 1944" and spent most of his early childhood in Jaffa where his father Fouad Adbul Hadi was a landlord in Palestine (the Arabian Triangle – Khidara). During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war - or Nakba as it is also referred to - the family had to leave their home and they became refugees in Lebanon.

Together with his two brothers, Abdul Hadi and Salameh, Mahdi Abdul Hadi joined the Jesuit St. Joseph School in Junieh, Beirut. He was taught in Beirut upon the family's return to Nablus in 1950 where his father worked as judge in the district court which had by then became part of the Jordanian Ministry of Justice.


After studying law at Damascus University and he started his career as a lawyer continuing the family tradition. However, realizing that the law was not the best way to confront the many challenges the Palestinians were facing, he soon moved into the realm of mass media and established, along with Yousef Nasri Naser and Jamil Hamad, Al-Fajr (the dawn) newspaper (1972).

He worked as editor for Al-Fajr and published a large number of articles and editorials under an alias. After the kidnapping of Naser in 1972, Abdul Hadi felt the urge to start writing about the Palestinian question. Thus, soon after he published his first book, The Question of Palestine and Peaceful Solutions, which focused on debates, initiatives and ideas on a settlement of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in the period of 1934 to 1974 and was published in Lebanon.

In 1977 Abdul Hadi founded the Arab Thought Forum, a Palestinian think-tank, which brought together a range of intellectuals, academics and politicians. Within the forum the group developed the idea of the National Guidance Committee and later also established it. The Committee was successful in governing Palestinian society, in terms of building consensus and harmony, breaking the ice between opposing factions and maintaining the balance between the leadership inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territories. Abdul Hadi was elected its President and functioned as such until 1980. Abdul Hadi also worked with Birzeit University (1977–1980) to set up the first Palestinian public relations office in 1977.

The office was established to build a deeper and wider understanding of the political situation through the exchange of ideas and the spread of information which was undertaken via bulletins, leaflets, publications, articles and meetings between active individuals and institutions. In 1977 Abdul Hadi co-founded the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank together with Ibrahim Dakak, Gires Khouri and Gabi Baramki and served as its elected Secretary General until 1980.

In 1981 he decided to continue his higher education and enrolled at the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the United Kingdom from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1984 focusing his dissertation on Palestinian-Jordanian relations during the period from 1921 until 1951. In order to even further broaden his grasp of global issues, he continued his education at the Harvard Center of International Affairs where he stayed as fellow for one year (1984–1985). During this time Abdul Hadi further developed his ideas about and knowledge of international and global affairs.

After becoming a special adviser of the Jordanian-Palestinian Joint Committee in Amman, Jordan, Abdul Hadi accepted the post of special adviser to the Ministry of Occupied Land Affairs(1985–1986). He used his post to publish a booklet on the affairs of the occupied territories for the Jordanian community. With the Jordanian deportation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) figure Abu Jihad and the continued crisis between the Jordanians and the Palestinians, among other reasons, Abdul Hadi resigned and returned to Jerusalem.


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