Birzeit University Mourns Former Board Chair Dakkak

Birzeit University mourns the loss of Ibrahim Dakkak, who chaired Birzeit University’s Board of Trustees from 2003 until 2006. He passed away on June 2, 2016.

The Birzeit community recognizes the leadership and wise counsel with which Dakkak served Birzeit for many years.  Ibrahim Jamal Dakkak was granted an honorary doctorate by Birzeit University in 2012 for his great contributions to the institution, community development, and Palestine.

Dakkak was born in Jerusalem in 1929, studying at Robert College in Istanbul to become a civil engineer. He was known for his longstanding support for Palestine. As a prominent leader of the Palestinian national movement, he cofounded the Palestinian National Liberation Front, which was active until 1972. He also served as secretary of the Palestinian National Steering Committee in the occupied territories, which included mayors and a spectrum of the Palestinian national movement.

Dakkak supervised the construction of Tira College for Girls in the city of Ramallah and the Jordanian Shobak School. He was placed in charge of reconstruction of the al-Aqsa Mosque after it burned in 1969.

Dakkak contributed to the formation of a number of leading Palestinian civil society organizations such as the Higher Council of Education and the Arab Thought Forum, which he chaired from 1978 to 1992. He headed the Engineers Association in the West Bank for 19 years, from 1978 until 1986. He then worked on the launch of the Palestinian National Initiative with Mustafa Barghouti and Haidar Abdel-Shafi.

Dakkak was a board member in several academic and research organizations such as the Center for Arab Unity Studies (1992-2005), College of Science and Technology (1981-1993) and the Institute for Palestine Studies (1992-2005). He was a founding member of the Council for Higher Education and chairperson of its General Assembly (1977-87) before becoming a board member (2003-04).

He published several works on Palestine, settlements, and prospects for national development.