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Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh

Zaki Nusseibeh at a conference

Greetings to all visitors. This is the official website of Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh,

Cultural Advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates

Chancellor of the UAEU and former Minister of State for Cultural and Public Diplomacy.


Zaki Nusseibeh at his desk

“In order to create a society that is adapted to the challenges of the twenty-first century, you need to have really the best education that you can provide for your own people.”

Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh

Introducton & Early Life

Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh is the Cultural Advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates (2021-present) and the Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University UAEU (2020-present).


Prior to taking on this role, Nusseibeh was a Minister of State in the government of the United Arab Emirates (2017-2021) setting up the Office of Cultural and Public Diplomacy (OPCD) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC). 


He served as an Assistant Minister in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (2016-2017) and as the Cultural Advisor at the UAE Presidential Court (1975-2021). He has been active in government service in the United Arab Emirates since the country’s establishment (1971-present), and prior to that, in the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,modern-day capital of the UAE (1968-present).


Born in Jerusalem, Nusseibeh was educated at St. George’s Schoolin the city, subsequently competing his secondary education at the Rugby School in Warwickshire, UK. He then attended Queen’s CollegeUniversity of Cambridge, graduating with an MA (honours) degree in Economics in 1967.

Many members of the Nusseibeh family were displaced during the conflict that led to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. His late mother, Nuzha Al Ghoussein, left with her family from Ramleh in 1948 and her brother, Talat Al Ghoussein, subsequently became Kuwait’s Ambassador to Washington, DC (1970).


Nusseibeh’s late father, Anwar Nusseibeh (d. 1986) who had lost a leg during the 1948 war, became active in Jordanian politics, and held a number of cabinet posts in the Jordanian government, including Defence, Interior and Education (1950s). He served in the Jordanian Parliament as well as the Senate. He was also Governor of Jerusalem (1961), and subsequently Ambassador to the Court of St. James (1965).

Black and White Mosque

The Nusseibeh Family

The Nusseibeh boast of a 1,300-year presence in Jerusalem, being descended from Ubayda ibn as-Samit, the brother of Nusaybah bint Ka'ab, a female warrior from the Banu Khazraj of Arabia, and one of the four women leaders of the 14 tribes of early Islam. Ubadya, a companion of Umar ibn al-Khattab, was appointed the first Muslim high judge of Jerusalem after its conquest in 638 AD, together with an obligation to keep the Holy Rock of Calvary clean.


According to family tradition, they retained an exclusive right to the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre down to the Ottoman period, when the Joudeh family obtained a warrant to share possession.


To this day, the Nusseibeh family are said to be trustees, and upon receiving the keys from a member of the Joudeh clan, the Nusseibeh are said to turn them over to the warden of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at dawn every day.

Media Appearances

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