Dr. Jamal Nusseibeh is currently on leave from teaching law at Al Quds University in Jerusalem – the only Arab university of higher learning in this historic city, and one of the two major Palestinian institutions that still remain in the city. For the last three years, he was responsible for managing the unique legal and political challenges confronted by the University in Jerusalem, central amongst which is Israel’s continued refusal to recognize it as a legitimate university, and the constant pressure and threat of closure under which the University consequently operates. Moreover, since Al Quds graduates are not recognized as such by Israel, it is almost impossible for them to work or make a life in Jerusalem – especially in the fields of medicine, dentistry and education, for instance, which are regulated by Israel in the city. Another persistent challenge facing the university is posed by the Separation Wall surrounding the city, which has isolated the two principal campuses of Al Quds from each other, and made access by students and professors almost impossible.
Dr. Nusseibeh comes from a family that traces its roots in Jerusalem back 1300 years. He studied in France, the UK and the U.S., with a J.S.D from Columbia University, and was active in the private sector for many years, including a stint at the New York law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle. He returned to Jerusalem a few years ago to provide support to Al Quds University, which has been run by his (more famous) father, Professor Sari Nusseibeh, since 1994.