Bios

Palestinian Jerusalemites have made myriad and diverse contributions to their city’s history and community fabric. Here we profile some of those people—past and present; famous and obscure—whose lives and work and stories have helped shape the larger Jerusalem Story over time.

Find alphabetically by first letter of last name

The West Side Story Hanna Safieh

Among the first Jerusalemites to use a camera professionally to document key historical events as well as everyday life in pre-1948 Palestine and beyond

The West Side Story Hala Sakakini

A Palestinian educator and writer who wrote an iconic, vivid narrative recounting her family’s exile from Qatamon and Jerusalem in 1948

The West Side Story Khalil Sakakini

An educator, political and social figure, and intellectual whose diary of over 3,000 pages covers 45 turbulent years in Jerusalem and Palestine in the early 20th century

Serene Husseini Shahid

A Palestinian woman who preserved the living memory of the Jerusalem she grew up in through her embroidery and her acclaimed autobiography, Jerusalem Memories

Zulaykha al-Shihabi

A fierce feminist Jerusalemite who devoted her life to advocating for women and supporting the national cause

Mahmoud Shukair

A prolific novelist who was exiled from Jerusalem for almost two decades, yet says “Jerusalem is a part of me and I am part of Jerusalem.”

‘Abd al-Hamid Shuman

A committed Arab nationalist who founded the Arab Bank in Jerusalem in 1930 and led much of Palestine’s banking activity

Randa Siniora

A human rights and women’s rights activist whose organization has worked for decades to address gender-based violence in Jerusalem and beyond