true beginning of tennis in Palestine can be traced to the 1920s. It was
practiced by members of few clubs such as the Jerusalem Sports Club (founded in
April 1921 by the British administration), Cercle
Sportife Al-Muntada al-Riyadi in Jaffa (founded in 1911 by Palestinian intellectuals, later it came under the British
administration), the YMCA (founded in the beginning of the twentieth century),
Arab SC in Jerusalem (founded in 1928), Maccabi Tel Aviv and Nathanya Tennis
first club to start annual tournaments in tennis was the Cercle Sportife in
1919, followed by the Jerusalem SC in 1921. The Arab newspaper Filastin reported about a tennis
match between these two clubs:
“A match in tennis was held Sunday in Jerusalem between Jaffa Sports
Club [Cercle Sportife] and al-Quds club [Jerusalem Sports Club].” 
In 1931 the
Gaza Tennis Club was founded:
ceremony of the Tennis Club was held at the municipality's land next to the
park. Among the attendees were the Governor of the Gaza district Mr. Billard
and his secretary, Shawwa, members of the municipality, an elite of
dignitaries, teachers, and ladies. Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Khadra and the Mayor
Fawzi Bishara opened the ceremony. Each has addressed in his speech an aspect
of sports and then invited the Governor of to open the courts; he talked about sports
games and those who paid tribute to this useful activity.”
Since 1931 the YMCA
started to organize an annual tournament in tennis that lasted until 1946. The Arab newspaper
Al-Carmel announced that “the sports director of the YMCA in Jerusalem reported
that the second game of tennis for the Palestinians will take place on August
22-23  on courts of the of the Association. This tournament is being
played under the patronage of the High Commissioner.”
Arab members of
this association took part in these tournaments, Palestine Bulletin reported
that Malak beat Tenenbaum 6-3, 6-3; Farradj beat F. Dadis 6-3, 6-3. Mouchabek
beat A. Malak 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. 
Maccabi SC in
Tel Aviv organized annual championships in tennis. The Championships were under
the auspices of the – Zionist-dominated - Federation of Amateur Sports Clubs in
Palestine FASCP, which body was affiliated to the Federation of International
Lawn Tennis Clubs and was under L.T.A. Rules.  The Rajwan Brothers were the
club’s best players. 
The Lawn Tennis Federation of Egypt invited the Palestine
Federation (FASCP) to participate in the International Lawn Tennis Championships
of Egypt, that
should have been staged in March 1946. 
Palestine Post reported
about a match between the Jerusalem SC and the YMCA where Arab ladies took part:
“The Ladies of the Jerusalem Sports Club were
at home last Saturday in a return match against the Y.M.C.A and were successful
in reversing the result of the previous game by winning an exciting event by
3-2. The Club was fortunate in having Mrs. Campbell Murray – who at one time
was on the reserve list for England – to strengthen the side. The individual
teams were well matched and particular mention might be made of the game in
which Mrs. Sharp was successful after a five-game encounter against Miss A.
Halaby. The following are the results, the Jerusalem Sports Club members being
mentioned first: Mrs. Campbell Murray beat Miss K. Abdo 3/0; Mrs. Sharp beat
Miss A. Halaby 3/2; Mrs. Phillips lost to Miss N. Halaby 2/3; Mrs. Kendall lost
to Miss K. Hishmeh 1/3; Miss J. Kenniff beat Miss R. Thouma 3/2.” 
Filastin reported in November 1931 that "The annual Palestinian
tennis games in Jaffa last Sunday afternoon after four days with great success.
It was attended by many sports enthusiasts throughout
Palestine and Transjordan, a number that reached 500, which indicates the success of these games. At the awards ceremony his honor
Mr. Alfred Rock gave a welcoming speech in which he thanked the president and
members of the Cercle Sportife for organizing such sports event. Prizes were
distributed to the winners: Atallah Iqdis and Mr. Emil Bardqash won the second
place in men’s double. Mr. Bolani and Mr. Hudson won men’s single prize.
Mr. Iskandar Dabbas – the referee – was honored with an award." At
these games women also took part in single, double and double mixed.
At the annual Palestine Tennis Championship in July 1933,
cups were presented by:
1. Sir Herbert Samuel Cup and Colonel Leo Cup for single men's match.
2. Circle Sportife Cup and Jaffa Municipal Cup for single women's match.
3. Edmond Rock Cup for mixed match [is played the same as doubled].
4. Mrs. Sonders Cup for the double ladies’ match.
5. Mr. Nobel Cup for men's double.
“In men's singles Nathan won over
Hilburn, Eastwood over Tannenbaum, Thabit over Nashashibi, Manza over
Armstrong, Majdalani over Elias Bardqash, and Farah Ali.” Arab competitors participated in these
matches, including Constantine Bardqash, Elias Bardqash, Nashashibi, Majdalani,
Farah, Thabet and Salem.”
In 1938 the Arab
Sports Club in Jerusalem started organizing tournaments in tennis. In August
1940 Filastin reported that "the third annual tennis tournament
started among the members of the Arab Sports Club in Jerusalem. The courts were full of a large number of spectators and members of the club. Mayor
Mustafa Al-Khalidi presented the prizes. This year, the tennis committee of this club is
supervised by Mr. Amin Nasr, the Registrar of the
Central Court in Jerusalem, Mr. Anwar Nusseibeh, the Governor Magistrate Mr.
Ali Dajani and Ibrahim Nusseibeh."
tournament Anwar Nusseibeh won the Trophy of the Mayor. Also, he and his
brother Mahmoud won the trophy presented by Boutaji in the double matches. They won over Dr. Bahauddin Al-Nimri and his brother
Ala Eddin and won the cup presented by Judge Anton Effendi Atallah and Amin
Nasr. Ms. Mary Zakarian and Mun’im Abdel Hadi won the cup presented by Najati
Nashashibi in double matches.
Anwar Nusseibeh played delightful
tennis and had a particularly good tournament, not only winning the singles,
but in partnership with Adolph winning the Men's doubles; Nusseibeh had
previously defeated Adolph in the singles final.”
Among the best
players in this sport were the brothers Hazem and Mahmoud Nusseibeh.
They started playing at Victoria College in Alexandria and then at the YMCA in
Jerusalem. The Nusseibeh brothers began playing at Victoria College in
Alexandria, where Hazem won an international tournament under the age of 18.
During his studies at the American University of Beirut, he won the Tennis
Championship in 1941-1943.
It’s worth noting that many young men from
Palestine studied at the American University of Beirut where tennis was among
the main sports there. Hilmi Hanoun, a Palestinian student and athlete who
studied at this university from 1933 to 1935, was the captain of the university’s
tennis team at that time.
In August 1946 the Y.M.C.A announced that it had decided
to discontinue its Lawn Tennis Championships for Palestinians. “It will
however, in future run an Open Tennis Tournament. The trophies previously
presented for the Championships for Palestinians will now be awarded for the
Open Championship titles.”
Also, in October 1946 officials at the Jerusalem SC announced that “they
were unable this year to run their Annual Open Lawn Tennis Championships, but
the Club tennis enthusiasts were amply compensated for the loss of this
tournament by participation in one of the best Club Championships ever run.
In 1969, the Higher Council for Youth Care was formed.
After the events of September, he moved from Amman to Beirut. Its first
conference was held in 1974 in Souk El Gharb (the name was changed to Supreme
Council for Youth and Sports). At that time many federations were established. The tennis federation included table tennis,
golf and squash federations).
establishment of the Palestinian Authority the Supreme Council for Youth and
Sports in Lebanon was suspended in 1994. The Palestinian Tennis Association was
founded in mid 1995s its first elections
were held in 1996. Located in Beit Sahour. It was admitted to the Asian and
International Tennis Federation in 1998. It is headed by Issa Rishmawi
and members of Samar Mousa Al-Araj, Amin Zaid, Nazer Al-Zughayer and Khalil
In Gaza Sector there is the Palestinian Tennis Federation
headed by Dr. Damen al-Wahidi. 
Filastin, 28 August 1928.
 Filastin, 16 September 1931.
13 August 1932.
 Palestine Post, 31 August
 Palestine Post, 26 September 1941
 Palestine Post, 17
28 November 1931
15 August 1940.
18 August 1940.
Post, 7 October 1946.
 An e-mail
message from Hazem Nusseibeh to the author.
Post, 20 August 1946.
Post, 7 October 1946.
 Ejjawi Khalid, Al-Haraka al-Riyadiayya
al-Falastiniyya fi al-Shatat, [Palestine Sports Movement in Diaspora] (Damascus:
al-Dar al-Wataniyya al-Jadida, 2002) 485.
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