Ziad Abu Amr
(1950 - )
Born 1950, Gaza City. Dr. Abu Amr is married with four
BA in English Literature and Language, Damascus University,
MA and PhD. Comparative Politics, Georgetown University
Dr. Abu Amr has been teaching political science at
Birzeit University, Ramallah, West
Bank since 1985. He has published several books and papers, the
most internationally known is "Islamic Fundamentalism in the West
Bank and Gaza: Muslim
Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad."
In 1996, he was elected to the Palestine
Legislative Council (PLC) as an independent to represent Gaza City.
He is the Chairman of the Palestine Legislative Council's Political
Committee. In 2003, he was nominated to be the Minister of Culture in
the new Palestinian Authority cabinet. He is a member of
an independent party.
Dr. Abu Amr is associated with the Palestine Center
in Washington; he is the President of the Palestinian Council of Foreign
Relations; and the Deputy Secretary-General of MIFTAH, a Palestinian
civil rights organization.
Dr. Abu Amr is a reform minded politician who has mentored
and shares philosophies with the "young guard" of Palestinian
elected leaders (elected leaders in the PLC who oppose the "old
guard" PLO revolutionaries
who are loyal to Yasser Arafat)..
He has, at times, been critical of the Palestinian Authority administration
and security services. He has called for open elections. Dr. Abu Amr
is popular with young, reform minded Palestinians.
Dr. Abu Amr is a proponent of democratic elections
and has suggested Hamas and Islamic Jihad be allowed
representation as opposition groups. He believes they would then be
more accountable for their actions.
Dr. Abu Amr has been quoted as saying that Sept. 11
is not the only reason the Bush administration has given the Sharon government the "green light" to deal firmly with the Palestinians.
He believes the "…suicide bombings…may also have something
to do with it." His comments may be interpreted by some as a criticism
of suicide bombings’ value as a negotiating tool.
Dr. Abu Amr is viewed as a likely ally of Prime Minister Abu Mazen.
Sources: Asia Times, (Sept. 11, 2002); PalestineCenter.org, (July
1, 2002); USEmbassy.state.gov, (July 3, 2002); al-Bab.com; MiddleEastReference.org,
Palestine Media Center