THE ALL COMPASSIONATE
AND PEACE BE UPON SAYYIDNA
MUHAMMAD, SEAL OF THE PROPHETS.
Dear Kinsmen and Family Members,
In the name of God, I open this first meeting of members of the Nuseibeh family for the purpose of establishing a UNION carrying the family’s name and, with a view of reuniting and consolidating the bonds of kinship which bind them together, and to create propitious social and family conditions befitting an old established family, proud of its ancient heritage, and anxious to preserve and enrich it. It should, however, be made clear that, in striving to achieve the aforementioned objective, we family members should detach ourselves from inimical and empty boasting and superficial superiority complexes, which only serve to alienate. All people are good and blessed. And all of the families in Palestine and Jordan are proud and cherish as we cherish a rich heritage. What develops upon us, as upon others is the duty to compete in doing good deeds, and to uphold the duties and responsibilities of the ties of kinship, all of which are derived from our great Arab and Islamic heritage and, from our own inherited family traditions.
The establishment of a family UNION has become all the more urgent and necessary not only because most other families have founded family unions; but because the circumstances and the exigencies which have confronted us and others, in consequence of the sequences which befell Palestine in 1948 and 1967 and, the dreadful events which afflicted Kuwait and Lebanon and other Arab countries, have created a situation of dispersal, exodus and a state of alienation from our birthplace in beloved Jerusalem, notwithstanding that we are indisputably the oldest family in Jerusalem going back to 1400 years.
Our duty, under the circumstances, is to reunite our family and to get to know one another more closely and, particularly the new generations whom we probably don’t know and, who in turn probably don’t know us. We are called upon to consolidate close family ties until, God willing we return to free Jerusalem.
As I see it, and it is up to you to decide is : the principle of complementarily and "mutual reliance". This means that, should we find that a member of the family were in dire need for assistance, his kinsmen and family are first and foremost obligated to his assistance.
It is inadmissible that we abandon a family member, in dire need, and abandon him to become a burden on others. The family fund should be able to extend assistance in such a case.
Perhaps, exploring the possibility, should financing be available, to extend a returnable loan, for a member of the family, who may need assistance to complete his studies and who may already be in the midst's of such a study.
To defend the family heritage against those who try to undermine it, and particularly pertaining to the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock Waqfs such as the (Sabra Suq) which should be reconstituted and brought back to existence, as a part of the family heritage in the old city. It is also a commercial project of considerable importance, whose revenues can be allocated to various family projects, after payment of entitlements to family members as are their dues. Also Khaski Sultan entitlements, the Lubban A’Shaar, etc.
To request qualified members of the family as well as outside experts, to study the historical association of the family with the Holy Sepulchre, and in particular to contact the Greek Orthodox Monastery and other denominational monasteries, and specialized historians such as Allistair Duncan, author of the Book " Noble Heritage". In his book, he asserts that our association with the Holy Sepulchre began in (1191) ad. when Salah-U-Ddin accorded our family this privilege. He may be able to indicate to us the source and documents on which he based his assertion. We should also request our nephew Zaki Hasan Nuseibeh to intensify his valuable research work, particularly in connection with the Sharia’ courts registers in Jerusalem. We should be willing to bear the financial costs in lieu of studies made on our behalf.
That the Family should have presence at public occasions, whether they be joyful or sorrowful, but without undue extravagance.
This is a historical issue to which I attach utmost importance, and which is still beclouded with mystery. I refer to the organic kinsmanship between the Nuseibeh family and Bani Ghanim. The two are, indeed, one Khazraj family, as our late uncle Salim Abdul Rahim Nuseibeh (Abu Khalid) asserts, in one of his annotations on a document relating to al-Lubban estate (between Jerusalem and Nablus).
Our ancestor the Emir Burhan-Uddin, had taken abode in the village of Bureen (adjacent to Nablus), in the wake of the crusader invasions. He established a power center in the Nablus area which assisted Salah-U-Ddin in the reconquest of Jerusalem. Sala-U-Ddin rewarded our great father by awarding him the (50,000) dunums of land at Lubban; also the famous Sheikhdom of the (Salahiyah Khankha) – a theological Seminary for the teaching of Sufism-, the Imamate of the Haram esha-Shareef, and many other Waqf (foundations) most of which have lapsed, or were lost, by the passage of time.
The name Bani Ghanim has ceased to exist since the beginning of the Ottoman era (five hundred years ago), after they have governed Jerusalem and other areas of Palestine for three hundred years, and particularly during the Ayubbi and Mamluk eras. This has been attested to in the recent (two decades ago) discovery of a cash of original old documents, in one of the ceilings at the Harm-ushareef Sanctuary. They almost seemed to be (according to one orientalist), the private library collection of one of the Bani Ghanim judges. The valuable find is being researched in Germany, and it is available at the Goethe Institute in Beirut. It is a heritage worth pursuing.
It is the instrument of the 21th century. We have all the confidence in Rumiana Muhammad Yacoub Nuseibeh to forge our way into the Internet, and to utilize its facilities to acquaint a broader spectrum in the world of our old family and its heritage in Jerusalem.
Is naturally enough, to maintain the closest relationships with our families in the occupied territories, as well as abroad. And to consolidate such relationships to the greatest extent, since the family can only survive and prosper by the convergence of its two wings – inside and outside of Jerusalem. Our kinsmen in Jerusalem attempted to establish a UNION of the family two years ago. But it seems that the attempt has dithered. And here we are trying to make another attempts at a UNION. And I ask: which should be better, a federal or confederal relationship? (laughter)
In conclusion, I apologize for my lengthy presentation, and its formal format. But, I had done so, with a view to organize my thoughts, so that we may move forward from talk to action with a clear picture of what we intend to do.
We ask every member of the family to contribute to the welfare of the family and to join any committee which he or she may select for this purpose.
Dr. Hazem Nuseibeh