Muhammad Hallaj, a political scientist specializing in Palestinian affairs and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was born in Qalqilya, Palestine, in 1932. After earning his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1966, he taught at Florida's Jacksonville University and then at the University of Jordan in Amman. Hallaj returned to the West Bank in 1975, where he served as dean of social sciences and later as academic vice president of Birzeit University before becoming the first director of the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank and Gaza. While taking a leave to go to Harvard University as a visiting scholar in 1983, Hallaj was denied a visa to return to the West Bank. Among the positions he has held since then have been editor of Palestine Perspectives (1983––1991), member (and subsequent head) of the Palestinian delegation on Refugees to themultilateral peace talks following the Madrid conference (1991––1993), and executive director of the Palestine Center and the Jerusalem Fund. At the request of JPS, Dr. Hallaj shared his memories of the 1948 war and its aftermath, which he experienced as a high school student in Jaffa, and then in Qalqilya and Tulkarm.

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