Jordan Hashemite Rule (1948-1967)

After the Arab legion entered Palestine under the command of the British, and after the loss of the greater part of Palestine, Jordan annexed the West Bank. Later, King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein was unfortunately assassinated in Jerusalem after being blamed for the loss of the major parts of Palestine. The throne was thus passed on to King Hussein Bin Talal, who succeeded in instilling unity and stability through the Arabization of the army and making Amman Jordan’s political capital; Jerusalem became the economical and spiritual capital. The King used to spend a significant amount of time in Jerusalem, which was undergoing tremendous social and economical advancements, especially in the tourism sector.

During that period, the members of the Al Husseini family residing outside of Palestine were going through a financial crisis after losing most of their assets and land. The family in Jerusalem was living on the margins of political and economical life due to their firm opposition to the western policies in the region. The family later lost its religious significance. Yet, the Al Husseinis persevered, with some pursuing higher education and others winning parliamentary elections, such as Dr. Dawood Al Husseini and Muhi-Al-Deen Mustafa Al Husseini.

The 1948 war was a very critical period for Palestine and for The Orient House, as the residence of Ismail Beik was located in the middle of a combat zone near districts and neighborhoods controlled by the Zionists. Part of the house served as a hospital to aid the injured from the bombings and violent attacks. In 1949, the house was turned into the headquarters for the UN Coalition Committee and for the Swiss committee of the Red Cross, and in 1950, UNRWA took The Orient House as its head office.

As a result of the war, occupation and segregation, Jerusalem had lost almost all of its hotels. This pushed Ibrahim Beik to turn his father’s house into a hotel, which he named The New Orient House. He soon began to receive many tourist groups and host important social events. However, some members of the Al Husseini family, including Ibrahim Beik, continued to use parts of the house as a head office and meeting place, especially during the summer.