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Biography

 

Dr. Azmi Bishara
  
Place of Birth: Nazareth
Date of Birth: July 22, 1956 (Resident of Haifa and Jerusalem in exile since March 2007). Citizen of the state of Qatar.   
Dr. Azmi Bishara is a Palestinian Arab writer and intellectual.


Author and editor of the following books:

- (ed.) The Enlightenment- an unfinished Project, 1995.
- A Contribution to the Criticism of Civil society, 1996.
- (ed.) On the Construction of Identities, 1997.
- A Reading in a Ruptured Political Discourse, 1998.
- The Arabs in Israel- a view from within, 1999.
- The Palestinian Intifada and its reflections in the Israeli public opinion, 2001.
- Theses on a Deferred Awakening, 2002.
- From the Jewishness of the State to Sharon, 2004.
- The Arab Question, 2007.
-The Meaning of being an Arab in Present, 2009.
- Palestine and the Culture of Liberty, 2010.
- Tunisia: The Diary of a Resplendent Revolution in the Making, 2012.
- On Revolution and Susceptibility to Revolution, 2012.
- Does Egypt have a “Coptic Question”? , 2012.
- Syria: A Path of Freedom from Suffering: An Attempt in Contemporary History (March 2011 – March 2013), 2013.
- Religion and Secularism: in a Historical Context (Part One): Religion and Religiosity, 2013.
- Religion and Secularism: in a Historical Context (Part II, Volume 1): Secularism and Secularisation: In the History of Ideas, 2015.
- Religion and Secularism: The Historical Context (Part II, Volume 2): Secularism and Secularisation Theories, 2015.
 

Azmi Bishara also published the following literary works:

- The Checkpoint- fragments of a novel, 2003.
- Love in the Shadow’s Zone, 2005.
- The Song of Songs that is Ours. A Text, 2008.
- Fosul, 2009.


Languages:

Arabic, English, German, Hebrew


Education:

1977-1980, Hebrew Univ. Jerusalem,( Law, Philosophy)
1980-1983, Humboldt Univ. Berlin, Diploma in Philosophy
1983-1985, Graduate student at the Philosophy Department.
1985-1986, Teaching philosophy (Theory of Knowledge) as assistant prof. at the same department.


Upon completing his PhD in philosophy at Humbodt University in Berlin (PHD thesis titled: The Hegelian Unity of the Logical and Historical in the Methodology of the Capital of Karl Marx) he joined the faculty of Bir Zeit University in 1986, and went on to head the philosophy and political science departments until 1993-1995. Dr. Bishara was the director of research at the Van Leer Institute between 1990 and 1996 and was active in presenting the Palestinian cause for the Israeli and European and American public opinion the during the first Intifada 1987-. Azmi Bishara is the chairman of the Board of trustees of “Muwatin”, the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, in Ramallah, the most important research center in the West Bank which he co-founded. He also founded the first Arab research Institute for Applied Social Sciences inside the “green line” (1948) “Mada” in Haifa. Dr. Bishara publishes in Arabic, English, German and Hebrew, writing articles and editing books on issues of nationalism, national minority rights in Israel, democracy and civil society, Islam and democracy and the Palestinian question both in and outside the Green Line. He is the editor of a book on the philosophy of enlightenment 1997, a book on identity and construction of identities 1995.  Bishara contributed articles to tens of books that deal with Islam and democracy, the Palestinian Issue, and minority rights he also edited a series of fifteen brochures and school books for teaching democracy and democratic principles. 

He was member of the Knesset for 4 terms 1996-2007 and founding member of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), representing the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel under the banner of national democratic values. The discourse that was spread by Mk Azmi Bishara coined may of the major concepts of debated in public and political life and in the Palestinian struggle inside the “Green line”.

Around the time of the Oslo accord 1992-1994, Dr. Bishara was among the first who raised the possibility of the one state solution as a more just solution, and in the wake of Israel’s undermining the two states and consolidating an Apartheid reality of Bantustans and in the wake of the rise of a Palestinian leadership that collaborates with this reality.

2002 and 2006 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected five appeals presented by the state’s attorney general and by right wing parties to prevent him and his party from running to elections, and he ran and won for the third term and fourth term. Dr. Bishara’s political program is informed by his experience as a student activist and academic. In 1974, he established the first National Committee of High School students, and in 1976 was instrumental setting up the Committee for the Defense of Arab Lands and the first National Arab Student Union.  He resigned from the Knesset and went into forced exile after a declared Israeli Attempt to charge him of ‘assisting the enemy at time of war’. After the failure of the previous attempts to oust him legally, security charges were prepared by the Israeli intelligence services accompanied with an incitement campaign.


International Prizes:

- Ibn Rushd prize for Freedom of Thought 2002. (Berlin).
- Global Exchange Human Rights Award 2003 (San Francisco).


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