On Albert Hourani, the Arab Office, and the Anglo-American Committee of 1946


This historical narrative mixed with personal reminiscences, undertaken to provide background for Albert Hourani’s testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry elsewhere in this issue, focuses closely on the decade or so that precedes the Committee’s hearings in 1946. In recounting the establishment of the Committee and the Arab Office (which Hourani represented), the author highlights the complex interaction between the local, regional, and international dimensions: the intra-Palestinian (involving primarily Haj Amin al-Husayni, Musa Alami, and Jamal Husayni), the regional (involving especially Nuri Pasha al-Said of Iraq), and the international (especially the process by which the United States began to replace Britain as the pacesetter of events in postwar Palestine). A supporting cast includes George Antonius, Ahmad Hilmi Pasha, Hussein Fakhry Khalidi, Ahmad Shukayri, and Wasfi Tall.


Walid Khalidi, a founder of the Institute for Palestine Studies and its general secretary, is a former professor at Oxford University, American University of Beirut, and Harvard.

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