Selected Views and Reflections of Academics, Experts and Politicians about al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations

 

Introduction

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is glad, after seven years of its establishment, to occupy an advanced position among studies centres and think tanks specialized in political and strategic studies related to the Palestinian issue.

Al-Zaytouna Centre has become one of the largest publishers of academic studies on the Palestinian issue. Over the past two years, the Centre has been issuing a book every two weeks, on average. The Centre’s internet website enjoys one of the highest rates of visitors and users among similarly specialized websites. As for its daily newsletter “Palestine Today,” of which 2300 editions have been issued (up to 22/10/2011), it is one of the richest publications devoted to the Palestinian issue; for its material is prepared from about sixty various media and academic sources, organized in a systematic and distinct manner to be useful to experts, researchers and interested persons. Moreover, the Centre is one of the active institutions in convening seminars, panel discussions and conferences. It is also active in issuing strategic assessments, specialized translations and training sessions, etc.

Perhaps one of the most important features that characterizes the Centre and has contributed to its success is its keenness on objectivity, scientific accuracy, applying the standards of graduate studies in universities and being open to all orientations. Thankfully, the Centre was fortunate to have a dedicated, hard working, collaborating and ambitious team that was able to overcome numerous obstacles and to place the Centre in this advanced position in a relatively short time.

It pleases the Centre to place in the hands of the reader a number of testimonials that it had received on the seventh anniversary of its establishment and on other occasions, from a group of politicians, experts and academics. These testimonials reflect the excellent reputation that the Centre enjoys in their circles. The following are excerpts from their letters sent to the Centre, which we are putting on the website so the reader would get an idea of the impressions and letters we had received. As the Centre thanks all those who had written to it and is proud of their testimonials, it welcomes any letters and views about its work and is open to any remark or constructive criticism. 

Any encouraging remarks and impressions we receive will surely not be cause for laxness or overlooking deficiencies. They will rather be an incentive for us to give more and be more proficient, and to build up our scientific output, basing it on firm foundations.

Al-Zaytouna management

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Selected Views and Reflections

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Mubarak al-Khalidi – Former Palestinian minister of justice.  
– Former dean of the College of Law at An-Najah National University, Nablus.
– Professor of international law and political systems at An-Najah National University, Nablus.
Prof. Dr. Ass‘ad Abdul Rahman – Professor of political science. 
– Former member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Jordan.
Prof. Dr. John Dugard – Professor of international law.
– Former Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967. 
– Chairman of the Independent Fact Finding Committee on Gaza, established by the Arab League in February 2009.
Mr. Osama Hamdan – Head of international relations, Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
– Ex-representative of Hamas in Lebanon.
Dr. Salim al-Hoss – Writer and thinker.
– Former Lebanese prime minister.
Major General Jibril Rajoub – Member of Fatah Central Committee.
Prof. Dr. Iyad al-Barghouthi – Professor of political science, Birzeit University, Palestine.
– General manager of Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS).
Prof. Dr. Muhammad ‘Amara – Egyptian thinker and historian.
Prof. Dr. Ali Mahafzah – Former president of Mutah and Yarmouk Universities in Jordan.
– Honor professor in the History Department at The University of Jordan.
Prof. Dr. Ishaq al-Farhan – Former Jordanian minister of education.
– Former president of The University of Jordan.
Dr. Salahuddin al-Dabbagh – Legal expert.
– Member of the Palestine National Council (PNC).
– Former member of the PLO Executive Committee.
Dr. Salman Abu Sitta – Expert on Palestinian refugee affairs.
– Founder and President of the Palestine Land Society (PLS), London.
Prof. Dr. Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout – Former lecturer at the Lebanese University.
– Expert in modern Palestinian history.
Dr. Anis Fawzi Kassim – Expert in international law.
– Member of the board of directors of the Fund for Palestinian Legal Aid.  
– Editor-in-chief of The Palestine Yearbook of International Law.
Mr. Nayef Hawatmeh – Secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
Dr. Muhammad al-Sammak – Lebanese writer and thinker.
Dr. Maher al-Taher – Member of the political bureau and the diaspora leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Prof. Dr. Majdi Hammad – President of the Lebanese International University (LIU).
Dr. Basheer Nafi‘ – Palestinian researcher, historian and academic.
Prof. Dr. Norton Mezvinsky – Distinguished Professor of History (emeritus), Connecticut State University, USA.
– President, International Council for Middle East Studies, Washington, D.C.
Prof. Dr. Talal ‘Atrissi – Professor of educational sociology and social psychology at the Lebanese University.
– A member of the Scientific Council of the Lebanese University Doctoral School of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Dr. Mohamed Noureddine – Professor of history and Turkish language in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the Lebanese University.
– An expert on Turkish affairs.
– Editor-in-chief of Shu’un al-Awsat magazine.
– Director of the Center for Strategic Studies Research and Documentation (CSSRD), Lebanon.
Dr. Tareq al-Suwaidan – Thinker and management expert.
– General manager of Alresalah Satellite TV Channel.
Mr. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Sayyed – Secretary-general of the General Conference of Arab Parties.
Mr. Muhammad Jum‘a – An expert on Palestinian affairs at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS).
Ambassador Mohammad Sbeih – The Arab League’s assistant secretary-general for Palestine and Occupied Arab Lands Affairs.
Prof. Dr. Mona Haddad Yakan – President of Jinan University of Lebanon.
Dr. Nahla Chahal – Senior researcher and deputy director of the Arab Reform Initiative.
– Coordinator of the International Civil Campaign for the Protection of the Palestinian People (CCIPPP).
– Active member of the Social Forum Movement, France.
Prof. Dr. Walid Salim Abdul Hai – Expert on futuristic studies.
– Professor of political science at Yarmouk University, Jordan.
– Member of the Board of Trustees of al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan.
Dr. Hussien Abu al-Namel – Palestinian researcher and economist.
Dr. Mahmoud al-Mubarak – Expert of international law at King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia.
Mr. ‘Abdul Majeed Manasrah – Member of the Algerian parliament and former minister.
– Former President of the International Forum for Islamist Parliamentarians (IFIP).
Mr. ‘Abdul Ghaffar ‘Aziz – Director, Foreign Affairs Department, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan.
Mr. Hussein Ibrahim – Chairman of the International Forum for Islamist Parliamentarians (IFIP).
Prof. Dr. Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim – Expert on African and Middle Eastern History.
– Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Prof. Dr. Nizam Barakat – Professor of political science at Yarmouk University, Jordan.
Prof. Dr. Ahmad Sa‘id Nufal – Professor of political science at Yarmouk University, Jordan.
Mr. Majed al-Zeer – General director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), London.
Dr. Ahmad Mashal – Economic expert.
– Vice president, Arab Open University, Jordan.
Dr. George Jabbour – Professor of political science at Damascus University, Syria.
– President of the United Nations Association of Syria.
– Independent expert, former advisor to the United Nations Human Rights Council: 2002–2008.
– Former presidential advisor and former member of the Syrian parliament.
Dr. Johnny Mansour – Historian and lecturer at the History Department of Beit Berl Academic College.
– Vice Principal of Mar Elias College in the Galilee.
Mr. Hilmi Musa – Israeli affairs editor of Assafir newspaper.
Mr. Talal Salman – Publisher of Assafir newspaper.
Dr. Abdul-Sattar Qassem – Professor of political science at An-Najah National University, Nablus.
Dr. Raed Nairat – Political Science Department, An-Najah National University, Nablus.
Dr. Hafiz al-Karmi – President of the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB).
– Director of Mayfair Islamic Centre in London.
Dr. Farid Abu Dhair – Journalism Department, An-Najah National University, Nablus.
  Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh – Member of the Central Committee of Fatah. – President of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR)
  Distinguished scholar Prof. Dr. Omar al-Ashqar – Former dean, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Zarqa University, Jordan

Selected Views and Reflections

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Mubarak al-Khalidi
We thank Allah (God) for helping you put out such a large quantity of very important information, distinguished by its credibility and objectivity, in the face of the deliberate distortion of the national memory of our Ummah (Nation) by the world’s new imperialist forces. It gives me great honor to register my thanks and appreciation to all those in charge at the Centre, which became, in a short while, a landmark of nationalist awakening to the issues of the homeland and the Ummah in general. For under your guidance, the Centre has occupied its distinguished position as a scientific academy specialized in Palestinian studies and a reference to those seeking to learn the truth about the struggle in Palestine and its environs.  Top

Prof. Dr. Ass‘ad Abdul Rahman
Ultimately, the publications of al-Zaytouna Centre contribute to deepening democratic awareness and spreading the culture of human rights. They encourage political participation, taking part in the development of democratic and political legislation, and consolidating the role of civil society with its various institutions, as the main guarantor in deepening the democratic choice. A distinctive feature of al-Zaytouna Centre is that it keeps up with the ongoing developments in the arena of the Arab-Israeli struggle in general, and the Palestinian- Israeli one in particular. It contributes to presenting a deep reading of the course of the conflict and the changes taking place inside its various parties, …  Top

Prof. Dr. John Dugard
I participated in a conference on Israel and the International Law organized by al-Zaytouna Centre in Beirut in 2009. At the same time I had an opportunity to visit the Centre in Beirut itself. The conference was a great success – thanks to careful and efficient organization on the part of al-Zaytouna. This provided me with a good introduction to the work of al-Zaytouna Centre. The Centre is a major force for social, political and legal research in the region. I congratulate al-Zaytouna Centre on its vision and achievements.  Top

Mr. Osama Hamdan
Al-Zaytouna Centre is not merely a research centre, it is an institution that strives to regain what was lost on the national level, such as the close connection between decision-making and correct information and the accurate scientific assessment. In that, the Centre has succeeded in uniting all parties, despite their differences, because Palestine embraces all. Thus, the Centre has been true to its name, al-Zaytouna, like an olive tree that gives abundant fruit and provides ample shade to all. Al-Zaytouna Centre is a pioneering experience in the Palestinian national struggle. For to achieve the national goals of the Palestinian people, it is necessary to preserve the memory, guide public opinion, and link the intellectual and the thinker to the decision-maker.   Top

Dr. Salim al-Hoss
The experiment of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations had been characterized since the Centre’s inception seven years ago by seriousness, persistence and commitment to the dictates of objectivity, partiality and truth. We hope success for the Centre in all its endeavors, hoping that it will achieve the expected role of developing its potentialities according to the specified plan in this country, which is known for its patronage of distinguished advisory institutions. We hope that the Centre achieves its massive concerns in a way that consolidates Lebanon’s futurist role in the area of balanced studies and consultancies at the level of the entire Arab region.  Top

Major General Jibril Rajoub
I am absolutely convinced that the specialized studies and research offered by al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations are some of the most important contemporary Arab intellectual achievements, which attach great importance to the most important Arab and Palestinian issues… Al-Zaytouna Centre has shown many aspects of its independence through its treatment of many Arab, particularly Palestinian, issues, away from partisanship, factionalism, or ethnicity. The Centre reasserts its presence and credibility by cooperating with a group of well-known experts, thinkers and researchers of various outstanding inclinations, who are keen on dealing with the most important and most sensitive issues, with cold rationality and proven impartiality. The studies presented by this Centre that deal with reality and unresolved issues on all levels, in particular the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli struggle, reinforces the idea that there is a real intellectual defender of our causes and our will to decide our destiny by liberating ourselves from the last occupation in the world. The Centre sheds light in depth on all events occurring in a world where the high interests of peoples entwine and intersect. It then deals with them in an expert, realistic and independent manner, with the aim of learning lessons and coming to conclusions. The outcome of these numerous, comprehensive and specialized studies benefit the Arab and Palestinian politicians and decision-makers. It help them to determine the direction and the conduct that will lead them in taking the right decision, …   Top

Prof. Dr. Iyad al-Barghouthi
The feature that distinguishes al-Zaytouna Centre is that it plays a very important role, not only in conducting original research related to Palestine and the Palestinian issue, but also in acquainting readers with what others write and what takes place in the corridors of other research centres regarding this issue. All of this is done starting from the roots of the Palestinian issue, depending on the cultured person’s role as the Ummah’s conscience; unlike that of a politician who only sees balances and often neglect rights.  Top

Prof. Dr. Muhammad ‘Amara
The issues that overburden the Arab-Muslim Ummah are massive and the challenges that obstruct their fair resolution are huge. Nonetheless, the Palestinian issue remains overwhelmingly the pivotal and sacred concern over all these issues, and the challenges that hinder its just resolution represent the most stubborn challenge that confronts our national and Islamic concerns. Being the intellectual patron of the Palestinian issue, al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is an institution for heavy intellectual industry, so to speak, for the most holy of all the Arab and Muslim issues. The Centre is the lighthouse whose rays revive and alert the Ummah’s memory to the realities of the mother of all issues, thus this awareness of the Arab-Muslim right on this issue will itself be a weapon to restore this right, and to confront the challenges.  Top

Prof. Dr. Ali Mahafzah
I have been associated with al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations for several years, during which I possessed sixteen books of its publications… Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations has a distinguished cultural and scholarly role, which Arab governments and states are incapable of undertaking. The Centre is highly regarded by Arab and foreign researchers and academicians because of its strict commitment to objectivity and serious scholarship. I sincerely hope that the Centre and its general manager Dr. Mohsen Moh’d Saleh achieve further progress and success.    Top

Prof. Dr. Ishaq al-Farhan
… I was honored and pleased to be named a member of the Board of Consultants of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, headed by the Arab and Muslim scholar, Dr. Mohsen Moh’d Saleh, whose specialty is Palestinian studies and modern and contemporary Arab history. Furthermore, we pay tribute to his administration of this Centre and its scientific achievements, accomplished in such a short period of time. We extend this salute to the team working with him at the Centre and to the scientists and researchers who presented scientific studies, and thus contributed to the success of the Centre’s mission; which is serving the Palestinian cause, so important to every Palestinian, Arab and Muslim. It can rightfully be considered one of the contemporary global humanitarian issues, … Anyone viewing the Centre’s achievements in the fields of information, the media, scientific research, gathering of documents related to current events, daily and electronic newsletters, publication of tens of specialized books, holding seminars, panel discussions and conferences related to the course of Palestinian events, cannot but praise these achievements of the Centre, established in 2004. We pray to Allah to inspire those concerned, whether official or public personalities, to support this Centre morally and materially, so to help it achieve even more…   Top

Dr. Salahuddin al-Dabbagh
… I would like to personally express to you and to the Centre’s staff my great appreciation of your effort in disseminating information related to different aspects of the Palestinian issue. This Centre is distinguished by the high scientific standard of its studies… I would like also to commend the conferences that the Centre convenes in order to shed light on specialized aspects of the Palestinian issue. I wish continued progress and success to the Centre in its pioneering work. Top

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta
On the occasion of the passing of seven years since the establishment of the Centre, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on this achievement. Your periodical reports and publications are characterized by their academic professionalism and seriousness, which impart a good impression of credibility. Its treatment of current developments in the Palestinian issue provides the politician, the researcher and the average reader with rich, true and current material. I always read your output and benefit from it as a good reference, this is especially true of the Strategic Report and the reports that translate and discuss important foreign reports. I ask Allah to grant you success in this honorable and important endeavor, and help you produce more of this worthwhile output.  Top

Prof. Dr. Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout
When al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations was established in 2004 in Beirut, the Arab world in general, and Lebanon in particular, were in an unprecedented ebb stage in the work of documenting and chronicling the Palestinian issue. The question is: why? That is because since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982, first, there was the loss of the Palestine Research Centre when the Israelis stole its library; and second, its displacement in the Algerian deserts after recovering its remainders; news came in succession telling of the closure of a centre, or that a university refrained from teaching about the Palestinian issue; so no one would have predicted the news of opening a new scientific centre… Alone the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) continued to carry the banner, its library continued to be a safety oasis for the researcher interested in Palestine and its cause. I will never forget a day when I was at that library, and a colleague asked me, “Have you heard that there soon will be an opening of a new scientific centre concerned with the Palestinian book?” I said, “No… I have not. What is its name?” “I believe al-Zaytouna Centre,” he replied. “The name is wonderful, and the message it relays has been received” I said. “But who is in charge of it?” he replied: “Dr. Mohsen Saleh. Do you know him?” I replied: “Yes I do. Dr. Mohsen Saleh is one of the finest Palestinian academics and researchers. He is one of those who had established the bases of knowledge of Palestine and its issue in the countries where life took them, …” Years have passed since al-Zaytouna Centre was established. And with the utmost speed, the Centre demonstrated a distinguished academic presence and intellectual vitality, not only through its publications, but also through its frequent convening of intellectual seminars, panel discussions and exchange of views. It is an independent centre, whose doors are open to different political movements and doctrines. I would like to designate three points, that I am convinced distinguish al-Zaytouna Centre academically:
1. Expanding the scope of research so it would include the Arab and Islamic worlds. For although most of the Centre’s publications are about Palestine, its issue, history, people, Jerusalem and future… a comprehensive vision will place Palestine where it should be…
2. Diversity of subjects so to encompass an integrated political Palestinian scene, …
3. Great care is given to the strategic and futuristic directions through studies and reports, as well as to the documentary direction. For the Centre issues annual documentary volume under the title Palestinian Documents, …   Top

Dr. Anis Fawzi Kassim
I congratulate al-Zaytouna Centre for its many achievements, in which it managed, in a short period, to reach and interact with a wider range of public opinion, think tanks and studies centres. This proves the seriousness of its work, management and researchers. No doubt that the studies and reports published by the Centre, besides its seminars and conferences, were distinguished with objectivity and committed to the scientific methodology. Definitely, they contributed to filling the gab and fulfilling the demands of the researchers in the Palestinian issue, especially with regard timely and pressing subjects and matters.  Top

Mr. Nayef Hawatmeh
Throughout the last seven years since its inception, we have closely and step by step shared with you the admirable foundation of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations. In a strict academic manner and with a futurist vision, these years offered the ray of knowledge to all concerned, at a time when the Arab world is thirsty to any drop of the light of knowledge… You have achieved all this with a tested intellectual knowledge and miraculous determination so that the Arab-Palestinian will foresee the future from the current situation. Al-Zaytouna Centre had initiated the formation of a collective intellectual mind that would pioneer change, and demonstrates the importance of knowledge and futurist research in confronting the Zionist challenge, … We sincerely congratulate al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations on its seventh anniversary, we congratulate this warehouse of knowledge, and its visionary Palestinian position in the struggle against Zionism. Any activity is judged by its output and fruit, orientation and historical perspective. The Centre had offered a lot during the last seven years, and with a great sense of academic responsibility. It aspires towards rightness and perfection…  Top

Dr. Muhammad al-Sammak
It is my pleasure to convey to you my great appreciation of the giant role that al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations had and will play in building an intellectual bridge with researchers and concerned writers, particularly on the Palestinian issue and its developments. The seven-year quantitatively and qualitatively rich output of the Centre has been instrumental in realizing two primary achievements: The first is close, honest and meticulous compliance with the sweeping developments that took place lately. Secondly, effective benefit from scholarly and original researches and studies. I have the pleasure to congratulate you for the important role that you are undertaking, which offers great services to the Palestinian cause in particular and the concerns of our Arab Ummah in general, …  Top

Dr. Maher al-Taher
We enthusiastically follow and avidly read the outstandingly scholarly and useful studies, researches and reports that are issued by al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations. Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations offered serious and qualitative material to the Arab reader who is concerned with the Ummatic issues, of which the Palestinian issue lies right in the centre.   Top

Prof. Dr. Majdi Hammad
 … The awareness with the huge national and historical responsibility has been the prime mover for the establishment of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations. The experience of the Centre, coupled with the distinguished elite that work for it, under the leadership of my friend Dr. Mohsen Saleh, demonstrated that, with good intentions and honest will, solid determination and clear vision, are capable of doing wonders. By virtue of outcome alone, al-Zaytouna’s experiment showed that the members of this distinguished and dedicated elite are worthy of the great responsibility that they honestly shoulder. For the activities of the Centre and its numerous publications, such as specialized books, series of booklets and strategic reports as well as scholarly forums on the Palestinian issue and the Arab Israeli conflict, have progressively increased… Additionally, the Centre’s activities were effectively an open forum for exchange of views and interaction of ideas between all participants in a free, transparent and unrestricted environment that respects the truth and observes scientific methodology in the light of the prevailing information. In the same vein, the Centre’s experiment testifies that the Arab world has abundant expertise and specialization that do not only analyze the prevailing conditions of the world but also strive to radically change it. Though their direction and orientation are not yet fully known, the current Arab uprisings established what the Centre’s has called for, namely, the “necessities” of the rulers do not necessarily restrict the options of the masses. This ascertains that the Centre has not been established to fill a vacuum, but to present serious and authentic orientations that comply with the aspirations of a perseverant and steadfast Ummah.  Top

Dr. Basheer Nafi‘
This took place seven years ago, shortly after establishing al-Zaytouna Centre. I met Dr. Mohsen Saleh in Cairo, where we spoke briefly about the idea behind the Centre and the hopes pinned on it. Yet we spoke more about the annual Strategic Report dedicated to Palestine and the Palestinian issue, which the Centre had planned to launch at the start of its activity. It is certainly an ambitious project; but what is more ambitious is the main project, the Centre itself. In spite of my participation in editing the first Strategic Report, I was not then totally confident that things will go well, and that the ambitions that helped launch the Centre would get realized. The Palestinian arena knew many research projects, inside and outside the homeland, ever since the collapse of “al-Fakhani Republic” following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982; however, few of these left a significant mark. anyway, what I believed then is that the timing was favorable to the Centre’s idea, and that success would necessary follow, in view of the big void in the Palestinian research domain… During the past seven years, al-Zaytouna has become the main monitoring centre of developments in the Palestinian issue, with its various national, regional and international dimensions, and its political, economic and social manifestations, as well as in the realm of resistance. There was not one development in the Palestinian issue during these years that was not highlighted, whether in the Centre’s electronic daily newsletter “Palestine Today,” research publications, symposiums or the annual Strategic Report. This report in particular, regarding which I cannot forget the suffering of the first issue, has become one of the most important annual comprehensive references of the Palestinian issue. With slow faltering steps in the beginning, but with determination and perseverance, this seven-year old project has made considerable strides toward maturity and professionalism, to assert its presence as a very serious and profound research centre, worthy of keeping abreast of the biggest issue in the Arab-Islamic east and in the world.   Top

Prof. Dr. Norton Mezvinsky
The materials I regularly receive from al-Zaytouna Centre are extremely informative and are useful to me for my writing and speaking. The analyses, contained therein, are thoughtful, penetrating and in-depth. I am additionally favorably impressed with the books, published by the Centre. They are valuable studies. Finally, I am intrigued by the conferences that the Centre plans and holds… Please continue your good work. Top

Prof. Dr. Talal ‘Atrissi
I had the opportunity to participate in many of the activities of al-Zaytouna Centre, in seminars and panel discussions. I also contributed to various strategic reports. On this occasion, as we celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of this Centre, there is something that should be told to its administrators and staff. For in addition to the important publications issued by the Centre in the last few years regarding Palestinian-Israeli affairs, the Centre’s management was very keen, especially in seminars and panel discussions, on the participation of “all.” What is meant by that are the different Palestinian points of view expressed, even during the most heated political and security times between this and that Palestinian party. Thus we witnessed one belonging to Hamas sitting side by side with one supporting Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), or the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). With them and among them, you find Lebanese and Palestinian independents and experts. Another example, at the time when Egypt failed to reconcile Fatah and Hamas, the Centre’s seminars brought them together, and on the highest leadership and intellectual levels. Thus, the Centre’s seminars and panel discussions consecrated an unprecedented tradition in Palestinian circles in particular, and in Arab circles in general, which is the ability to listen to those who hold an opinion different from ours. There is also an attempt to crystallize analytical conclusions of a certain issue that reflects the opinions of a group of participants, coming from different directions. This is what al-Zaytouna Centre was keen on adhering to, as evidenced by its many publications, in particular the strategic assessment, as well as the panel discussions that it convenes whenever there is an important issue that has an impact on the regional situation, or more specifically on the Palestinian situation… These assessments and panel discussions are meant to benefit the decision-maker or any researcher with an interest in this area. Not to mention a striking gentleness prevalent in the relationship of the Centre’s administrators with their guest researchers… In its journey that is still in its infancy, al-Zaytouna Centre’s experiment is a serious one in presenting scientific material on the one hand, and being open to the others’ views on the other… Thus al-Zaytouna Centre, its team, and those responsible for it, deserve all our appreciation and respect. To them go all the prayers and wishes for success and continuity. Palestine deserves such an olive tree “al-Zaytouna”…  Top

Dr. Mohamed Noureddine
I had the singular honor to be one of the group of researchers who cooperated with al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations on specific projects, notably the annual Palestinian Strategic Report… This was an opportune opportunity to see and experience by myself the determination of the Centre that all its publications be exposed to several “sieves” for the sake of having the largest possible measure of objectivity, accuracy, narration and conclusion. The Centre has never blocked the other opinion within the same roof. I had been an eyewitness to many heated and sensitive dialogues and discussions between different Palestinian groups in a totally free environment that accepted the other. Dr. Mohsen Saleh had brought together what remains of the elite of the intellectual institutions. He provided a large —if not complete— measure of freedom in all the activities of the Centre, and fully cooperated with the researchers. Dr. Mohsen never believed in individual work; he is a team player who cooperates with a group of responsible and dedicated researchers. With its outstanding scholarship, al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations constitutes an enlightened landmark in the Palestinian and Arab struggle, it fills a huge gap in the Palestinian-Arab intellectual scene…  Top

Dr. Tareq al-Suwaidan
Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is one of the most prominent and important centres widespread in the Arab world. The Centre is distinguished by its specialized team, which enjoy a high level of competence, experience and hard work. This is clearly shown in all their publications. Furthermore, the Centre is distinguished by its high scientific standard; accuracy in any subject put forth and outstanding analysis; and this is what I have noticed.  Top

Mr. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Sayyed
Since 1982, and for more than two decades, the field of thought and culture, even Palestinian strategy, continued to live in a state of void, grabbling to fill it through individual and institutional attempts, dissimilar in visions and judgments, but limited in capacities and capabilities… Finally, al-Zaytouna Centre came on the scene as a modern institution. Since its beginnings, it started out young and confident, possessing the tools of the age, dealing with almost complete thoroughness with all aspects of the Arab-Zionist conflict, restarting the studies, researches and analyses that were interrupted. It presented futuristic visions with multiple options; far from personal bias, to such a degree that we venture to say that it is highly objective, which is the most important thing we seek in this turbulent time of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, with preponderance of the Palestinian side. … One of its most important achievements is the publication of the Palestinian Strategic Report, in addition to the condensed series that deal with certain cases or issues. The Centre commands our respect as —while over the last seven years, it presented us with this almost comprehensive and complete library— it designated, since its inception, the groups targeted with its output. These groups are not limited to the interested persons, whether Palestinian or Arabs, Palestinian factions or forces, or the centres of Arab studies. They rather extended their reach to the political society outside the Arab world concerned with the conflict; in particular, academic circles and international research centres. This is a very important shift… I can say for sure that with its output, al-Zaytouna Centre has knocked on the doors of international studies centres, with diligence and patience, a trend which I suppose and wish it would continue. We conclude from this that al-Zaytouna Centre, with its tools and means, (particularly the seminars and scientific conferences) has entered —whether it wants or not— the front of the intellectual and strategic struggle with Israel and its supporters, on an international level. This requires from all concerned in the Palestinian resistance, to stand firmly behind this promising Centre, to benefit from what it does and offer, and protect its progress without the slightest attempt to influence it, …  Top

Mr. Muhammad Jum‘a
If I have a say, I would be the vanguard of those who strive to have an office for al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in each and every capital of major Arab and Muslim countries, which would extend its research drive and advertise its works in all these areas. I say this because I know for sure that various groups in the Egyptian arena, be them Islamists or otherwise (nationalists, leftists or even liberals), are earnestly eager to know in details the particulars of the Palestinian issue, particularly so as other centres that claim to be serving the Palestinian cause do not provide such service, though they preceded al-Zaytouna Centre by more than ten years… Only three years after its inception, al-Zaytouna Centre has become one of the most important research centres that addresses and pursues the Palestinian concerns, and a major and rich source of information on the issue. Thus no academic researcher or political writer on the Palestinian issue could disregard the studies and publications issued thus far by this Centre. Those who are lucky to participate in a symposium or a workshop organized by al-Zaytouna Centre would realize right from the beginning that they are dealing with an esteemed and, more importantly serious reservoir of knowledge. They discover this through the meticulous and careful preparations for the symposium and the subjects for deliberations, or via the drive of the Centre’s administration to extend the scope of participation… … I sincerely record that al-Zaytouna Centre is a great success to the totality of the Palestinian national movement, and not to a specific faction or group within the Palestinian arena. The successful experiment of this gigantic institution deserves to be patronized and supported by all the concerned and loyal supporters of the Palestinian issue…  Top

Ambassador Mohammad Sbeih
I have the pleasure to warmly greet and congratulate you and all your staff on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of al-Zaytouna Centre, the source of distinguished publications that addressed all the issues that concern our Ummah, particularly the Palestinian issue and its central concern Jerusalem, in a scientific, objective and documented manner, which benefited each and every student and researcher, as well as those who work for the media. We in the League of Arab States (the sector of Palestine and the occupied Arab territories) gratefully receive all your beneficial publications that help us in our effort to serve the Palestine cause. Top

Prof. Dr. Mona Haddad Yakan
I have the pleasure of being amongst those who give their testimonies in front of Allah and history. This is an acknowledgement of the pioneering and effective role that al-Zaytouna Centre undertakes to serve the vital issues of the Ummah. At the top of those concerns is the “Central Issue,”… which galvanizes culture and thought in resistance actions against the Zionist occupation of the beloved Palestine. Equipped with a group of distinguished and committed intellectuals, this Centre provided the foundation for a new intellectual uprising that is based on rejection of submission, humiliation and absolutism, as well as the catastrophes suffered by our brothers in the occupied territories. The Centre has succeeded in presenting the Palestinian issue in a civilized and effective manner that appealed to all the world. I do hope that the Centre will upkeep its accelerating drive until the achievements of the Ummah’s aspirations, honor and dignity. We highly commend via the Research and Development Centre of Jinan University of Lebanon (JUL) this effective and institutionalized strife of the blessed al-Zaytouna Centre.  Top

Dr. Nahla Chahal
What I like in al-Zaytouna… Profound institutionalism, which requires continuity, collectivity, teamwork and perfection. The realization of this characteristic in the works and publications of al-Zaytouna Centre was a real, but pleasant, surprise to me. In addition to this admirable quality, is broadmindedness and tolerance that accept the other opinion (though the Centre has its own specific and comprehensive position). The Centre also tolerates criticism which all in all reflects its strict pursuit of objectivity. I am strongly convinced that this is what we particularly need in the region,…
Personally I am a regular reader of the bulletin “Palestine Today,” which is crucial for my profession and struggle. Moreover, I benefited very much from al-Zaytouna publications. This successful and conducive environment allows and triggers the presentation of suggestions to improve and enhance the performance of the Centre, which, I very well know, is most welcome by al-Zaytouna family, collectively and individually.  Top

Prof. Dr. Walid Salim Abdul Hai
The scientific output of al-Zaytouna Centre, in which I had the honor of participation, is characterized by three characteristics. First and foremost is scientific objectivity; then the persistent follow up of all that is within the specialization of the Centre, particularly all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict; thirdly the drive to send its publications to as many readers as possible, particularly Europeans, either through translations or via the Centre’s website. No doubt, al-Zaytouna Centre represents a pillar for the reform and guidance of Arabic political thought, which tries to avoid oratory and preaching language.  Top

Dr. Hussien Abu al-Namel
The establishment of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations was warmly welcomed by all those interested in the Palestinian issue. We note among them those who, in principle, appreciate the importance of the word and thought in the continuous struggle with Israel, on the one hand; and on the other realize that, for decades, the Palestinian scientific research has been suffering a deep structural crisis. This crisis had many manifestations, not the least of which the diminishing role of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS), the reduction of its activities and research staff, for reasons that will not be addressed here. The above has charged al-Zaytouna Centre with the added responsibility of compensating the quantitative and qualitative shortage caused by “the assassination” of the Palestine Research Centre and the reduced role of the IPS. Not to mention that the increasingly complicated Palestinian-Israeli conflict is posing more questions that are in need of mature intellectual answers, which may contribute to facing the challenges in a more mature and efficient manner… There is no doubt that now, in the world of research and publications, al-Zaytouna Centre occupies a prominent place. There are two indicators to this; the first, is the volume of excerpts taken from the Centre’s publications and the number of times they are quoted in various researches. The second indicator is the number of its publications under different titles, which places the Centre first in the Arab world in this respect. Thus, in just few years, it may, in output, have surpassed firmly established institutions such as the IPS and the Centre for Arab Unity Studies.  Top

Dr. Mahmoud al-Mubarak
If the Western scientific and specialized centres constitute the major factor for the scientific and civilizational progress and prosperity in the developed countries, al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations had managed to occupy a pioneering position in the world of advanced international scientific centres. What drew my attention and admiration is the high degree of professionalism in this Centre, which presents to the Arab Ummah a living example of the ability of its sons to build without government funding a private scientific centre, which constitutes a source of pride to Arab and Muslim educational institutions. Today, the Arab-Muslim scholar may be profoundly proud by having al-Zaytouna Centre, for it managed within a brief period to occupy a distinguished position in the reputed world of academia. With these outstanding achievements and recognition, the Centre will provide an intellectual model for the Arab-Muslim Ummah Top

Mr. ‘Abdul Majeed Manasrah
The establishment in 2004 of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations was elating news for me and to all the supporters of the Palestinian just cause, which also needs the power of the word, documentation, facts, study and reporting. On happily readings its first analytical and objective annual report on the Palestinian issue, I came to the conclusion that the Centre is equipped with a highly competent academic and administrative personnel. Moreover, I realized that, unlike previous projects of its kind that disappeared suddenly and at an early stage because of shortage of funds, vision, patience and perseverance, this Centre will continue to function and flourish… I sincerely hope that this solid research and information body continues its efforts in support of the Palestinian strife until the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine at large.  Top

Mr. ‘Abdul Ghaffar ‘Aziz
Since knowing and dealing with al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, I found it to be a model to be emulated in the field of research, investigation, documentation, and analysis of information. The voluminous output of the Centre, in the form of published books, studies, reports, particularly annual reports, and investigations could not have possibly been undertaken by government institutions with huge financial resources. The works of al-Zaytouna Centre are indeed scholarly and produced in a professional manner. Their partiality, objectivity and reliability have attracted the attention and admiration of numerous quarters, and further enhanced the reputation and credibility of the Centre. The Muslim World and the numerous concerns of the Muslim Ummah need many of the like of al-Zaytouna Centre. One hopes that the authorities and governments in the Muslim World give due recognition and attention to the gigantic academic and scholarly achievement of this Centre…  Top

‌Mr. Hussein Ibrahim
Congratulations and salutations to al-Zaytouna Centre, whose reports are indispensable to those interested in the Palestinian issue, as they combine in them information and analysis. We at the International Forum for Islamist Parliamentarians (IFIP), whose objectives include support of the Islamic Ummah’s issues, at the head of which the Palestinian one, and asserting peoples’ right to resist occupation and repel aggression, have benefited a great deal from the Centre’s output. We call upon all supporters of the Palestinian issue to benefit from this prolific and distinguished output… Top

Prof. Dr. Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim
… I have followed closely the development of this Centre until it became, in a very short time, a lofty scientific edifice. I would not be exaggerating if I said that it is one of the most important centres for objective and serious Palestinian studies in the region and the world, maybe the most important. This achievement is due primarily to the Centre’s general manager and founder’s strict adherence to scientific methodology, which opens the door wide to constructive and objective dialogue, and opposing views. This is evident in the Centre’s numerous publications, and in the scientific conferences and meetings which it convenes and sponsors, in and outside its Beirut headquarters. I was very pleased with the visit I paid to the Centre recently, during which I noticed with great admiration the objectivity, sincerity and dedication of the staff there, each in his or her own field; also their brotherly spirit and teamwork. No doubt, this is an additional factor in the Centre’s success and steady growth.  Top

Prof. Dr. Nizam Barakat
Being a researcher and specialist in the Palestinian issue and Israeli studies, I am of the opinion that the establishment of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations represents a qualitative transformation in the arena of serious political studies on the Palestinian issue. Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations had presented a collection of scientific, serious and documented studies in the arena of the Palestinian issue, of which the most important is the annual Palestinian Strategic Report, which offer a scientific analysis to the most important Palestinian concerns during each year. … In addition, the Centre undertakes translations of the most important foreign and Israeli reports that constitute important sources to all researchers of the Palestinian issue. The Centre’s publications have become important sources in the areas of Palestinian and Israeli studies.  Top

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Sa‘id Nufal
During the last two decades, studies centres proliferated in the Arab world. However, few of them were able to continue and realize an effective presence on the Arab cultural scene. Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is at their head… as during the few short years of its existence, al-Zaytouna Centre managed to become one of the most important serious studies centres in the Arab world, which are specialized in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Centre’s work is distinguished by its earnestness and seriousness in all its scientific output. This is proven in its various activities, such as convening symposiums and conferences, publishing books and translations of foreign material concerned with the Palestinian issue, in all its dimensions: political, economic and social. Thus al-Zaytouna Centre was able to earn for itself a distinguished name among similar Arab centres and think tanks and become an important reference for Arab researchers, academics and politicians. Top

Mr. Majed al-Zeer
Being closely and with great interest following the drive and performance of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, we have the pleasure and honor to highly commend its experienced cadre, and their rich and diversified output that addresses numerous aspects of the Palestinian issue. This constitutes a welcome and qualitative effort in the academic arena, and it enriches dialogue and discussion within the ranks of the Palestinian public and among its intellectuals, politicians, policy makers and all those concerned with the Palestinian issues within and outside the Arab world. The outstanding and voluminous achievements surpass the seven-years of the Centre’s life. The Palestinian people are in great need for such serious centres. I hope for the Centre, its general manager Dr. Mohsen Saleh, and all its cadre all success and progress. Please keep moving forward.  Top

Dr. Ahmad Mashal
It gives me great pleasure to have been one of those who dealt with al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations as a researcher and as one who benefited daily from its publications… The Centre plays an effective role in spreading awareness of the Palestinian issue, in its Arabic and international dimensions, to the Palestinian and Arab public opinion. Thus, it addresses political leaders, decision-makers, political organizations, scientific circles, researchers, the press, the media, and other interested parties, and work on establishing communication between them. The Centre’s independence of any political authority and its commitment to the Palestinian cause helped it preserve the values and solid foundations of the Arab and Palestinian people.  Top

Dr. George Jabbour
I had been repeatedly informed by the late monumental scholar, Dr. Anis al-Sayegh, of your commendable Centre. He profoundly praised it, which you truly deserve, in as far as scientific accuracy and good treatment of others are concerned. God bless your efforts to support the truth by the power of the word, and I do hope that the Centre’s future years will be overwhelmed by achievements and progress. I do welcome what I receive of your publications. Your Centre respects the reader, as it presents to him authentic works that are professionally printed.  Top

Dr. Johnny Mansour
… According to its publications that keep coming since its founding, the Centre constitutes a system of influence on public opinion and decision-makers. From this premise, I consider the Centre an authority in providing information to the Arab reader and researcher interested in Arab affairs in general and the Arab-Israeli struggle in particular. The Centre is also an authority in analyzing the current status of the region, using intellectual, analytical and applied tools that help the academic, the politician, and the one dealing with economic, social, and cultural affairs to have deep understanding of the developments and changes brought on by events in the Arab region in general. The most important question posed here is: does the Centre’s output have an impact in the domains targeted by its researches and studies? A preliminary but basic answer is: those who benefit from what the Centre has to offer are numerous and the circle of those interested in its output is widening. We believe this to be a definitive proof of the work’s high standard of earnestness and seriousness. Top

Mr. Hilmi Musa
In as much as I have known of al-Zaytouna Centre and other centres, I believe that al-Zaytouna Centre had determinedly managed to occupy a distinguished intellectual position either via its regular bulletins or through its published books and researches. Having in mind its voluminous and qualitative publications during the last few years, it is difficult not to commend the Centre’s actions and activities.  I am optimistic that the Centre will continue its drive with the current enthusiastic spirit, and to develop its performance to achieve the desired objective, namely, the establishment of a research institution that attempts to persuade the political and intellectual elite to articulate for themselves knowledge-based positions. I hope that the success and development of the Centre will trigger honest competition in the Palestinian arena that promotes rationalism and transparency, and dismisses ignorance and exclusivity, which will ultimately lead to the establishment of similar centres that serve the very same objective. Hopefully, the Centre will establish knowledge branches in all Palestinian towns. Top

Mr. Talal Salman
Al-Zaytouna Centre: A light on the path to the future… The establishment of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in Beirut came to meet a real need for a serious institution, that would take an interest in entrenching the constants of the foremost Arab issue, that has the gravest impact on the present, as well as, on the Arabic future: that of Palestine. Certainly, al-Zaytouna Centre will endeavor to compensate for the role that the Palestine Research Centre was intended to play; thus, consolidating the role played by the prestigious Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS), which continues to exert effort in that area. Learning through serious research, a document that confirms a right, awareness of the march of history, the facts of international conflicts and regional rivalries, and the place of the Palestinian issue among them, all of these bring victory day nearer. Surely, institutions similar to al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations will play a vital role in serving this goal.  Top

Dr. Abdul-Sattar Qassem
… I read many of your publications, in particular your annual book that expresses a strategy. I have greatly benefited from your research related to the demographic, water and agricultural situations, also from that related to Israel’s policies and strategic planning. I consider that many of the researches published by your Centre constitute an important database for researchers, scholars and decision-makers…  Top

Dr. Raed Nairat
… I would like to offer a testimony… in favor of the Centre that I consider a pioneer in the Arab world and wish it continuity and success. Through my observations, I found that the Centre was able to offer the following: First: diversity in its cognitive activities that have a national and objective dimension, partial to its nation’s concerns and issues. Second: to the observers of the Palestinian scene, and in a relatively short period of time, the Centre was able to become one of the most prominent sources of thought and scientific and objective knowledge. Third: multiplicity of activities which made the Centre the focus of attention for a large sector of elites and intellectuals. Fourth: the variety of those contributing to the Centre’s activities made of it an identity for Palestinians as a whole, regardless of affiliation or color. Fifth: from my follow-ups, I believe that, for students working on their graduation projects and master theses, the Centre has become a primary source of information. Top

Dr. Hafiz al-Karmi
… The invaluable academic publications and activities of al-Zaytouna Centre are really a great source of pride and admiration… The Role of al-Zaytouna in training… creating awareness… strategic studies provide those concerned and decision makers with a comprehensive vision and farsightedness for the right planning for the future… Congratulations to the Centre, its management, researchers and employees for their distinguished efforts and plentiful academic studies…  Top

Dr. Farid Abu Dhair
… Al-Zaytouna Centre had solidly established itself as a specialized centre in researches, studies and reports on the Palestinian issue. It has become an important and indispensable source of information for researchers and members of the public who are interested and concerned about the Palestinian cause. The Centre is reputed for its various publications, of which the most important is its daily bulletin “Palestine Today,”… Another significant publication of the Centre is its annual Palestinian Strategic Report that addresses several important and central issues, … … The Centre had issued excellent books that are of such a massive political and historical significance that could not be ignored by any means; in fact they are considered an important asset to the Palestinian cause, … I hope for al-Zaytouna Centre further progress and success, and to be an enlightened source for the Palestinian cause that has been distorted for several decades. I am confident that the achievements of al-Zaytouna Centre will leave their crystal clear fingerprints on the future of the Palestinian issue.  Top

Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh
I congratulate al-Zaytouna Centre on its seventh anniversary. It is a distinguished Centre that offers useful academic productions, with a clear message. The Centre sheds light on Palestine, its regional and international surrounding. This will serve in the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of our state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the Palestinian refugees. We wish al-Zaytouna Centre long life similar to that of Palestine’s olive trees.  Top

Distinguished scholar Prof. Dr. Omar al-Ashqar
Almighty Allah has preordained that I become attached to al-Zaytouna Centre since its inception. I became part and parcel of it, as it took its first steps and developed its first concepts; and I watched it evolve and grow. This growth was achieved in a record time, letting the Centre become, a reputable institution working for the Palestinian cause, in terms of its past, present and future. Some of its pioneering projects became prominent features spread all over the world; as the Centre gave back to the Palestinian issue its leading Islamic role. The Arab and Islamic worlds, rather the whole world, started to welcome all that al-Zaytouna Centre produces; and we began to see its good efforts flow out, and in the process, remove the rotten fog that used to envelop the Palestinian issue. All of this was due to proper planning of the Centre’s activities, meaningful conferences, specialized seminars, accurate reports, and books that dealt with the issue’s dimensions. Those who are interested in the Palestinian issue began to eagerly await the Centre’s output; for al-Zaytouna Centre has truly become a torchlight that guides those working for the Palestinian cause, steering them in the right direction lest they go astray. I ask almighty Allah to bless the efforts of those working at the Centre, so that its production would multiply and its status would rise higher, until it reaches the goal to which it aspires.  Top

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Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations, 14/12/2011