’Aref al-Dajani

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'Aref Pasha al-Dajani (1860-1930), was in the early 1920s a former mayor of Jerusalem and the President of the Muslim-Christian Association.

Born in Jerusalem in 1856; mayor of Jerusalem during World War I; in 1918 representative to the Administrative Committee of the Muslim-Christian Association (MCA); became (January 1919) president of the MCA in Jerusalem and through the senior status of the association's Jerusalem branch, the MCA's overall president; under this presidency he initiated the First Palestinian National Congress in Jerusalem (1919), demanding an independent Palestinian government in federation with Syria and rejecting Zionist political claims; elected vice president of the congress's Executive Committee; one of the leaders of the movement `Palestine for the Palestinians' which emerged in 1919; elected representative to the 3rd (December 1920, Haifa) and 4th (May 1921, Jerusalem) Congress of the Arab Executive Committee for Jerusalem; elected vice-president at the 4th Congress; member of the Arab Executive until 1922; he and Ragheb Nashashibi in the early 1920s led the opposition before splitting in 1926/27. One of only three men on whom the Othoman State betowed the title of Pasha.

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