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memri
May 19, 2004 No.
716

The Official Website of Yasser Arafat: Pictures, His Human Side, and Daily Chores

The official website of President Yasser Arafat can be found at www.pnic.gov.ps/english/president/english.html.The site's content includes Arafat's official biography, a list detailing the "Human Aspect of Mr. President," Arafat's "Daily Chores," awards won, as well as an extensive photo gallery. The following are highlights:

General Information on Yasser Arafat

According to the website, Yasser Arafat's real name is Mohamed Yasser Abdul Raouf El-Qudwa El-Huseini. He was born on August 4, 1929, in Jerusalem and is married to Suha El-Taweel. He has one daughter, Zahwa. He can be reached via telephone at 972 - 8 – 2822366 and via fax at 972 - 8 – 2829451.

A Biography of the President

Under the section "Brief Biography on the President's Life," the website states: "In 1958, President Yasser Arafat departed the Arab Republic of Egypt to Kuwait to work as an engineer. H.E. [His Excellency] met several Palestinian figures such as martyr Abu Jihad and martyr Abu Eiad and discussed with them the establishment of the Palestine National Liberation Movement 'Fateh'. Later, H.E. went back to Palestine to meet a group of Palestinian activists and announce the launching of the Fateh movement on the 1st of Jan 1965. …"

"H.E. led the platoons of the Liberation Movement at 'El-Karama Battle' in 1968 to a tremendous victory over the Israeli army assisted by the Arab Jordanian army. President Arafat was elected chairman of The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1969 as the third chairman of the organization after: Ahmad El-Shuqairi and Yahya Hamoudeh. H.E. is still chairman of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization.

"Aftermath, September 1970 events of Jordan, the President left to Beirut and stayed there till 1982. For three months of severe blockade of Lebanon by the Israeli army, the Palestinian militants showed high efficiency and capability of steadfastness and insistence to liberate Palestine. The President left Beirut and headed to Tunisia. The Palestinian uprising (Intifada) broke out in 1987 as a natural result of Israeli occupation pressures on the Palestinian territories. The President directed all the Palestinian people's capabilities to support the Intifada.

"On 13 Sep. 1993, His Excellency signed the Declaration of Principles Accord in Washington with the Israeli Prime Minister, Isaac Rabin. On the 4th of May, Mr. President signed the Cairo Agreement and returned back on July 1994 to Gaza that suffered 27 years of Israeli occupation, repression, killing and recurrent land usurpation of the Palestinian people. His Excellency was awarded the Nobel Prize in conjunction with Isaac Rabin and Shimon Peres due to his honest endeavors in the Middle East peace process.

"Due to reoccurring violations of the Israeli government and hard negotiations President Arafat signed Taba Agreement in 1995, on 20 Jan. of the same year, H.E. was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority through free and independent elections watched by several countries where he obtained 83% of the voters."

The Human Side of Yasser Arafat

Under the "Human Aspect of Mr. President," the website states: "The President cares for all humanitarian issues including women and children. He strives to ensure a better life for the family, society and all humanity." A list of his main humanitarian activities as it appears on his website:

  • Adopts martyrs' children
  • Sets up orphanages
  • Cares for the Palestinian woman and fosters her role at all levels.
  • Supports human rights' issues.
  • Supports environment issues, H.E. formulated a special ministry for this purpose for Environmental Affairs to pursue such issues.
  • Reassures his friends, comrades and activists of liberation in the whole world, in every occasion and he initiates to visit them.
  • Renounces tyranny and occupation.
Yasser Arafat's Daily Chores

Yasser Arafat's website includes a list of his daily chores, which include:

"Daily Working Hours: Colleagues of Mr. President say that he finds utter pleasure in pursuing all his people's issues all day long and part of the night, in normal days. Hardly can he find time for his family and comfort.

"Political Aspect: The President watches daily and directly over the crucial Palestinian people's issues. H.E. has a special priority for the peace process and its developments and follow up the concluded agreements…Mr. President keeps track of work development in the all the country's departments; in particular, the judicial and legislative authorities as an inception to set a state of institutions and law. Primarily, he cares for following up the constitution of the state of Palestine in collaboration with the Arab League. The president devotes himself to meet rulers and presidents of the Arab and foreign countries to acquaint with the recent developments on the Palestinian arena and the Middle East peace process to gain more support for the Palestinian cause.

"Social Aspect: The President adheres to be available at all national, religious and social occasions. His Excellency pays a special attention to the handicapped, the prisoners and the martyrs' families, in addition to supervising the setting up of several societies and departments to improve their health and living conditions."

Yasser Arafat's Awards

The website includes a page devoted to Yasser Arafat's awards, which include: Nobel Prize with Isaac Rabin and Shimon Peres, Honorary Ph.D. from the University of Jamaat Islamiya in Haidar Abad, India, and honorary awards by Arab intimates and foreign friends.

Books about Yasser Arafat

The website includes a section of books dedicated to the President. "It is explained: History views some figures respectfully for their leading roles during events. One of these figures is the symbol of the Palestinian revolution Mr. Yasser Arafat. H.E. is that revolutionary known to the world by his black Kufieh (headgear) since the break of the revolution, the stubborn struggler who had patrolled the whole world holding a displaced people's cause till coming back to his homeland as a president. At this site, we tried to present those books that dealt with the president's character in detail or those books that discussed the Palestinian revolution and mentioned the character of the symbol president."

Yasser Arafat's Personal Photo Album