Palestinian Elites

Nasser al-Din al-Shaer

Nasser al-Din al-Shaer

Nasser al-Din Mohammed Ahmed Hassan al-Shaer was born on December 9, 1961 in Sebastia, a Palestinian village located in the northwest of the city of Nablus. He is married, with six children. He studied at Sebastia schools and successfully passed the secondary level, in the scientific stream, in 1981. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from An-Najah National University, a master’s degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the same university, and holds a doctorate in comparative religion from the University of Manchester in England, Britain. Between 1985 and 1989, al-Shaer worked as a teacher in public and private schools. In 1989, he started working as an instructor at An-Najah National University. Between 2001 and 2005, he held the post of Deanship of the Faculty of Sharia at An-Najah National University.

At an early stage of his life, he was engaged in the cultural and national matters of Palestine. He has always been influenced by his father’s political orientation and by the religious and cultural environment he was brought up in. He began his political activities at school and at the mosque. He read the Qura’an eloquently and mastered the art of delivering speeches. In 1981, the Israeli forces imprisoned him for 18 days in Nablus Central Prison for participating in demonstrations against the illegal occupation of Palestine. He was among the students who joined an Islamic movement which calls for the restoration of national unity and tolink it with religion. This has resulted in arresting him for 18 days in 1984.

He was dismissedfrom his post as an instructor due to expressing his political opinions; so, he came back to working as a teacher in a private school. He became popular, among the Arab Muslim minorities, while studying in Britain through organizing several conferences and symposiums. In 1995, he was a member of the Muslim Council of Britain. Between 1997 and 2001, he was a member of thetrade-union at An-Najah National University and was elected, later, as a member of the administration body of the union. He was elected as the Chair of the Consumer Cooperative Society (CCS) at An-Najah University. With the approach of the 2015 elections, he was arrested by the Israeli forcesfor five months. After being released, he was elected to be the Minister of the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and he was the Deputy Prime Minister in 2006. After that, he was elected, again, as the Minister of the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education in 2007. Following that, he was arrestedwith a couple of ministers and deputies; they were subjected to investigation for two months. Then, he was held in administrative detention for four months and for another six months in 2009.

Al-Shaerplayed a remarkable role in achieving a national reconciliation in 2007. He was hosted to a number of conferences and interviews related to the national reconciliation. In 2011, he was chosen to be a member of the Freedom Committee, which included a number of political and juridical figures. The committee aimed atresolving grievances following the political division in Palestine. He was distinctive in the intellectual and cultural sphere; he participated in a number of academic conferences and intellectual conferences inside and outside Palestine. He published a number of research papers and studies in credible journals.  He wrote and published articles in Palestinian and Arabian newspapers, and he was hosted in several radio and television programs to talk about political, religious, cultural, and social issues. He has published several books, which are: The Israeli–Palestinian PeaceProcess, The Situation of Muslim Imams and Preachers: Reality and Ambitions, Scientific Research and Its Applications, Family System in Islam, Social Networking and other books authored or co-authored.

Al-Shaer believes that the current peace talks are leading to nowhere, the thing which will leave an impact on future generations of Palestine. This raises the possibilities of witnessing unexpected changes from our future generations, who are silently keeping an eye and reacting on the current situation. Regionally, themap of historical Palestine is almost disappearing as Israel keeps taking over the land. As for the dictatorial regimes, they are of no legitimacy for people, knowing that they are no longer concerned with the Palestinian cause. He also believes that the role which the Arab and regional counties played to lead to this point is unquestionable. Internationallyspeaking, he states that the mono-polar system of the United States (US) has started to lose its powers in controlling the future the Palestinian cause, considering Putin’s desire to restore Russian power just like how it was before or ever greater.

Al-Shaer sees that the Oslo Accords marked the beginning of radical transformations in the future of the Palestinian cause; it brought nothing but misfortunes; yet, Palestinians were able to use these misfortunes for their own cause to prove the illegitimacy of the Israeli occupation on the land of Palestine. Despite that, taking advantage of the Oslo Accords is not enough to end the occupation. It is worth mentioning that the political division in Palestine has helped in deteriorating the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In spite of the attempts to end this division, there are powerful endeavorsimpede achieving this. Furthermore, there are other attempts to prevent ‘politicizing Islam’.

Al-Shaer calls for developing and activating the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and respecting it being the representative of the Palestinian people. He recommends that the PLO should include all Palestinian political parties through fair elections. He also believes that resistance is the legal right of the Palestinian people, and this right is ensured by international laws. Finally, he believes that there must be a national consolidated decision to determine how and in what way it should be organized, which will help inserving the Palestinian cause.

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