It is with great sadness that the board members, management, and staff of al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations learned of Prof. Anis Al-Sayegh’s passing. Al-Sayegh was among the pioneering intellectuals in the field of Palestinian Studies, member of the board of Consultants of al-Zaytouna Centre, and a consultant in the editing of the Centre’s Annual Palestinian Strategic Report. He passed away in Amman, on Friday 25/12/2009 at the age of 78.
The Centre’s most sincere condolences and deepest sympathies go to his family. Al-Sayegh’s passing was a loss to the whole Palestinian intellectual arena.
Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 28/12/2009
Anis Al-Sayegh was born in Tiberius in 1931, and fled Palestine with his family in 1948. He obtained his BA in Political Science and History from the American University of Beirut, and later his PhD in Political Science and Arab History from Cambridge University (UK), where he was appointed among the faculty of Oriental Studies.
His intellectual career in the field of Palestinian Studies was remarkable with many contributions. He founded the Palestine Research Center in Beirut in 1965, and headed it for 10 years. The Center’s library was the largest library about Palestine outside Palestine, with estimated 25,000 books and volumes, in addition to photographs, documents and manuscripts. The library was targeted (stolen/destroyed) by the Israelis. Al-Sayegh himself had been a target for the Israelis, and survived three assassination attempts. His face was disfigured and he sustained partial hearing loss and blindness in a letter bomb sent to his office in Beirut.
Al-Sayegh was also special adviser to the secretary general of the Arab League and the editor in chief of the Arabic journal Shu’un ‘Arabiyyah (Arab Affairs). He was appointed dean of Palestinian Studies and Research in Cairo, where he contributed to establishing a huge library and archive on the Palestinian issue, and was editor in chief of the Arabic journal Shu’un Filastiniyyah (Palestinian Affairs) and the Arabic newsletter Rased (lit. track) that tracks the Israeli radio. He initiated the idea of the Palestinian Encyclopedia in 1966. He was also the founder and editor in chief of the Arabic journals Al-Mustaqbal Al-‘Arabi (The Arab Future), and Qadaya Arabiyya (Arab Issues).
He authored and edited tens of books on the Palestinian and Arab issues. In 2006, he published his autobiography Anis Sayegh ‘an Anis Sayegh, where he detailed some of the most prominent episodes of his life experience especially in academia and politics.
Selected Photos for Al-Sayegh during his participation in some of Al-Zaytouna Centre’s Activities: