Yasser Arafat

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Name Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini.
Nick Name Yasser arafat, Abu Ammar,
Profession Leader, Statesman
Date of birth 24 August 1929
Place of birth According to him he was born in Jerusalem but researchers have evidence that he was born in Cairo
Died November 11, 2004 at Percy Military Teaching Hospital in Clamart, outside Paris, France.
Religion Islam – sunni muslim
Family
  • Father:Abdel Raouf Arafat Al-Qudwa Al Husseini,
  • Mother:Zahwa
  • Wife – Suha Tawil
  • Daughter-Zahwa
  • Parents ancestry
  • father was a textile merchant who was a Palestinian with some Egyptian ancestry
  • mother was from an old Palestinian family in Jerusalem
  • claims that he was related to the Jerusalem Husseini clan through his mother have been disputed by the Palestinian historian Said Aburish.
  • Education Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Faud I
    Yasser It was during his college years that he adopted the name Yasser, which means “easygoing” in Arabic.
    Previous Occupations worked briefly in Egypt, then resettled in Kuwait, first being employed in the department of public works, next successfully running his own contracting firm.
    Al-Fatah In 1958 he and his friends founded Al-Fatah, an underground network of secret cells, which in 1959 began to publish a magazine advocating armed struggle against Israel.
    PLO It was also in 1964 that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was established, under the sponsorship of the Arab League,
    Survived escaped death in an airplane crash, survived all assassination attempts by Israeli intelligence agencies, and recovered from a serious stroke.
    Suha Arafat
  • was a Palestinian Greek Orthodox Christian later converted to islam
  • marriage was a secret for 15 months
  • she was 28 and he was 62 when they married
  • Governing style More dictatorial than democratic.
    UN On November 13, 1974, Arafat made an unprecedented appearance before the UN, wearing his military uniform with an empty holster [he was forced to remove his pistol before entering the chamber] around his waist,. and declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”
    Awards and prizes
  • Joliet Curie Gold Medal-World Peace Council 1979
  • Honorary Ph.D. from Jamaat Islamiya in Hyderabad, India -1981
  • Awarded Felix Houphouet Boigny peace prize July 1994
  • shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Rabin and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s foreign minister.
  • Received the “Golden Pegasus” prize in Florence in June 1998
  • Awarded Prince of Sturias Prize Nov. 1994
  • Awarded an Honorary Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Masstricht University of Holland on 31 Aug. 1999
  • His finances
  • Close to $1 billion — with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands.
  • Forbes ranked Arafat sixth on its 2003 list of “Kings, Queens and Despots,” estimating his personal wealth at a minimum of $300 million.
  • His wife Suha reportedly received a stipend of $100,000 each month from the Palestinian authority budget.
  • Style He wore his kaffiyeh in a unique fashion, draped over his shoulder in the shape of Palestine, that is, all of historic Palestine, including Israel.
    Positions held
  • founder and president (1952-57) of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) in Cairo/Egypt;
  • founder and chairman of the Union of Palestinian Graduates in 1956;
  • co-founder (with Abu Jihad) of the first Fateh-cell in 1957; founder of Fateh party (January 1959), until today PLO’s largest faction;
  • Fateh leader since 1958 and its spokesperson since 1968;
  • member of the first Palestinian delegation to China to confer with Premier Chou-En-Lai in March 1964; elected chairman of the PLO Exec. Committee
  • appointed Commander-in-Chief of the all-Palestinian/Arab guerilla forces in Sept. 1970; agreed to ‘liberate Palestine by stages’ at the PNC conference of 1974;
  • Was Vice – Chairman of NAM and was the permanent Vice-Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Conference.
  • President of the Palestinian Authority
  • Chairman of the PLO
  • Connection with Saddam Hussein made the mistake of supporting Saddam Hussein during the Kuwait crisis of 1990 and paid the price of political isolation in the Gulf.
    Refrained from coffee, alcohol,tobacco
    Facts
  • His mother died when he was 5 yrs old
  • Was the fifth of seven children
  • Was second lieutenant in the Egyptian Army during the Suez Crisis.
  • Was brought up by his older sister
  • Did not attend his father’s funeral
  • He attributed his quivering lips and hands to neurological damage from injuries suffered in the 1992 plane crash.
  • His mother-in-law Raymonda Tawil is a nationalist poet and journalist who used to run the Palestine Press Service in Jerusalem.
  • Attaining Palestine The Palestinian National Council met in 1968 and revised the Charter, adopting Fatah’s commitment to liberate Palestine by armed struggle alone.
    His grave The Palestinians had wanted to bury Arafat in Jerusalem, but the Israelis objected. The Palestinians plan to make Arafat’s grave a shrine, but they have expressed the intention of moving his body to Jerusalem after achieving independence and establishing a capital in some part of the holy city.
    Cause of death Not very clear. Some suggestions of blood disorder due to low blood platelet count. Also known to have suffered from Parkinson’s disease
    Laid to rest At his compound in Ramallah. His crypt was filled with earth from the Jerusalem City’s al Aqsa mosque, the point from which Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.
    His successor Mahmoud Abbas
    Quote “The battle for peace is the most difficult battle of our lives.”

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