Portrait of Samih Al-Abid

Samih Al-Abid

Diana Tamari Sabbagh Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies


Samih Al-Abid, Ph.D., is the Diana Tamari Sabbagh Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Baker Institute and the champion and coordinator for Gaza Vision 2050 in Ramallah. Under the auspices of the institute’s Conflict Resolution Program, he participates in the Baker Institute Israeli-Palestinian Working Group, both at the institute and in the Middle East. Al-Abid heads the Palestinian Housing Council, a nonprofit institution that provides development plans, loans and other forms of support to help meet Palestinian housing needs in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

He is also a consultant for the CEO and chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, an independent firm that aims to strengthen the local economy and generate investor returns through projects that create jobs and other benefits for Palestinian citizens. Previously, as head of the Committee for Borders and Territory, Al-Abid was integrally involved in a final status agreement between Palestine and Israel.

In addition, he was a key participant in negotiations during the Camp David, Taba and Annapolis processes in pursuit of peace and stability in the region. Al-Abid has been involved in the planning and development of the West Bank for more than 30 years.

As the Palestinian Authority unity government’s minister of public works and housing (2007) and deputy minister of planning (1995-2007), he developed planning policies at the regional and national levels, coordinated with various ministries to put a unified strategic development plan for Palestine before the cabinet, and negotiated with donor countries to establish programs for an economically viable Palestine. Al-Abid earned a Ph.D. in regional planning from Liverpool University in the United Kingdom; an M.A. in urban design from North Carolina State University in Raleigh; and a B.Sc. in urban planning and architecture from Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

Contact at sabid@ppc.org.ps or 713-348-4683.