Shoman, Abd Al-Hamid (1888–1974)

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SHOMAN, ABD AL-HAMID (1888–1974)

Palestinian banker, born in 1888 in Beit Hanina near Jerusalem. Shoman immigrated to the United States in 1911 and returned to Jerusalem in 1929. In 1930 he founded the Arab Bank, today one of the largest banks in the Arab world (with branches all over the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Europe). A conservative Palestinian nationalist, Shoman was an associate of Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the mufti of Jerusalem, in the 1930s, and was arrested twice by the British during the Palestine Arab Revolt of 1936–1939. In 1948 Shoman moved to Amman, Jordan, where the bank is now headquartered. The Abd al-Hamid Shoman Foundation in Amman supports scientific research and some arts institutions in Jordan and the Arab world. Shoman's son Abd al-Majid Shoman, who succeeded his father as chairman of the Arab Bank, was for at time the chairman of the Palestine National Fund of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

SEE ALSO Husayni, Hajj Amin al-; Palestine Arab Revolt (1936–1939); Palestine Liberation Organization.