Yasser Arafat


Yasser Arafat Famous memorial

Original Name Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat Al Qudua al-Husseini
Cairo, El Qahira, Egypt
Death 11 Nov 2004 (aged 75)
Clamart, Departement des Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France
Burial Ramallah, Ramallah and al-Bireh, West Bank
Memorial ID 9747634 View Source

Palestinian Leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and head of the Palestinian Authority, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. Born Mohammed Yasser Abdul-Ra'ouf Qudwa Al-Husseini in Egypt of Palestinian parents, Yasser Arafat grew up in Cairo until he was five years old, when his mother died. (The place of Arafat's birth is in dispute. Some accounts put his birth in Jerusalem, other sources say he was born in the Gaza Strip. His date of birth is also in dispute as either August 4th or 24th). He was sent to Jerusalem, then under British rule, to live with a maternal uncle and his family. After four years in Jerusalem, he returned to Cairo, where he lived with an older sister. In his mid-teens, he helped smuggle guns into Palestine, to oppose the British. In 1948, when war broke out between the newly independent nation of Israel and the Arab League, he left the University of Cairo to fight in Gaza. Following the war, he returned to his studies, and in 1956, graduated from the University of Cairo with a degree in Architectural Engineering. For a short time, he worked in Egypt, then moved to Kuwait to work in the Department of Public Works. Here he became interested in the fledgling Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and in 1958, he and several others founded Al-Fatah, an underground network that called for an armed struggle against Israel. In 1964, he left Kuwait to become a full time Revolutionary, organizing Fatah raids into Israel from Jordan. In 1969, he became the third Chairman of the PLO, then based in Jordan. Following the aftermath of the 1969-71 dispute with Jordan, the PLO was expelled and Arafat moved to Lebanon, where he remained until 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon. He re-established the PLO headquarters in Tunis, but he moved from country to country, seeking aid for his cause. A breakthrough between Israel and the Palestinians came in 1988, when Arafat spoke at a special UN meeting in Geneva, renouncing terrorism and supporting the right of Israel to exist. In 1993, at the urging of US President Bill Clinton, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a peace accord, guaranteeing each other's security, and establishing a Palestinian Authority over the occupied land of the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip. For this peace accord, the 1994 Noble Peace Prize was jointly awarded to Arafat, Rabin, and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. In the next ten years, Arafat worked to build a new nation of Palestine, a goal that he did not see happen within his lifetime. On October 29, 2004, he flew to Paris, France, to be treated for "unspecified aliments," where he died from liver failure. He had requested in his will to be buried in Jerusalem, but this was refused by Israeli authorities.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 4 Nov 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 9747634
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Yasser Arafat (24 Aug 1929–11 Nov 2004), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9747634, citing The Muqata, Ramallah, Ramallah and al-Bireh, West Bank ; Maintained by Find a Grave .