Hanna Nasser (academic)
Hanna Nasir (Arabic: 'حنا ناصر, alternately transliterated Hanna Nasser) is a Palestinian Christian academic and political figure. He holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics from Purdue University in the United States. Nasser was a long-time president of Birzeit University, which his father, Musa Nasser, founded. He directed the school's transition from a community college to an accredited university. In November 1974 Nasser was exiled by the Israeli authorities. He continued to serve as Birzeit's president in exile; while the school's vice-president managed its day-to-day business, Birzeit officials regularly visited Nasser in Amman to receive his input on major decisions.
Nasir served on the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization between 1981 and 1984 and held the position of Head of the Palestine National Fund between 1982 and 1984. Nasir, along with 29 other exiles, was allowed to return to the West Bank in May 1993 as the peace process got under way. He remained president of Birzeit until his retirement in 2004. In 2002 he was appointed by Yasser Arafat as the head of the Central Elections Commission which was responsible for two major elections in the Palestinian territories.
An extensive discussion of Nasir's career can be found in Gabi Baramki's Peaceful Resistance: Building a Palestinian University under Occupation, Pluto Press, October 2009.
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