Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag
Palestine Flag


YASSER ARAFAT

Yasser Arafat

Yasser Arafat was born on August 24th 1929 in Cairo Egypt. He spent his childhood years in both Cairo and Jerusalem. He shot to prominence in 1947 during the Arab-Jewish war. The arabs suffered a resounding defeat by the Jews, who went on to etablish the Jewish state of Israel in the land that was considered Palestine. In 1948, after the establishment of the State of Israel, Arafat fled Palestine and settled in Cairo Egypt, which is where he would re-launch his campaign against the state of Israel. He enrolled at the University of Cairo to pursue a degree in Engineering. In 1952, he joined the Muslim B Brotherhood and Union of Palestinian students where he became President. After getting his Engineering degree in 1956, he moved to Kuwait where he established his own Engineering firm.

In 1957, he formed the Al-Fatah, a guerrila group dedicated to the liberation of Palestine. Al-Fatah has organised systemic attacks against the State of Israel, a fact that has led to it being branded a "terrorist" movement. But you will remember that resistance movements like the Mau Mau of Kenya and the African National Congress of South Africa went through a similar ordeal in their struggle for independence. So whether Al-Fatah is a terrorist organization or not really boils down to which side of the fence you are on. Arafat has never shyed away from Al-Fatah, often taking the risk of being branded a terrorist, but a sizeable proportion of the world population agree that this is just another independence struggle. The whole world also knows that Israel is funded and armed by the mighty United States, making the desperate Palestinians resort to guerrila tactics---the time tested weapon of underdogs. Al-Fatah was and still remains a branch of the Palestinian Liberation Organization(PLO), which Arafat became Chairman in 1969. With Arafat as Chairman of the PLO and head of Fatah, he became the bona fide leader in the struggle for Palestinian independence. Most of the PLO operations were launched from the neighbouring Lebanon.

In 1974, Arafat addressed the UN General Assembly and expressed the plight of his Palestinian people. In 1982, Israel attacked Lebanon forcing the PLO to relocate to Tunisia. The Israeli troops, under the tutelage of Ariel Sharon are accused of having committed some serious war crimes, but thanks to their loyal friend the U.S. they have never been held accountable for their acts. In 1988, at a meeting in Algiers, Algeria, the state of Palestine was proclaimed. Arafat was elected President of the state of Palestine by the Central Council of the Palestine National Council. During the 1991 peace talks held in Madrid Spain and headed by th U.S, various proposals for peace between Israel and Palestine were made but never materialized. A landmark achievement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process came in 1993 during the meeting in Oslo, Norway. The talks, dubbed the Oslo Peace Process, for the first time got Arafat and the Arab countries to recognize the right of Israel to exist. The idea that was floated was a land for peace deal, whereby Israel would give up some of the Palestinian lands it was occupying(West Bank and Gaza Strip) in return for peace from its arab neighbours.

In May 1994, in a positive move, the Israelis withdrew from the Gaza strip and Jericho, after which Arafat came home to a tumultous welcome by his Palestinian followers. On January 20th 1996 Arafat was elected President of the Palestinian Authority in public elections, garnering a warping 88% of the votes. He continues to fight for Palestinian statehood to this day.

But Arafat is not the only brave soldier in the Palestinian struggle. Other prominent and notable names include Hannan Ashrawi and Saeb Erakat all who have stood and continue to stand alongside Arafat in this tough struggle. Below are pictures of Ashrawi(left) and Erakat.

Hannan Ashrawi Saeb Erakat

Saeb Erakat was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He graduated in 1979 with a M.A. degree from San Francisco State University. In 1983, he got his Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from Bradford University in England. He is a lecturer of Political Science at An-Najah University and a member of the Palestinian negotiating team to the peace conference. He is also the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Local Government and Municipal Affairs.

Ashrawi was born in Ramallah, Palestine, the youngest of five daughters of a Palestinian physician and political leader. A Christian, she studied in Christian schools and at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, before earning a doctorate at the University of Virginia in the United States. She and her husband, a professional photographer and musician, chose to live in the Occupied West Bank, where she became a professor of medieval and comparative literature at Bir Zeit University.

In the ferment of the Palestinian liberation movement, Ashrawi joined the PLO Fatah faction, which, together with her eloquence and lucidity, recommended her to all sides in the Middle East negotiations. She attended the peace talks throughout the opening session in Madrid until their successful conclusion in December 1993, when she resigned to head the PLO's mission in Washington, D.C. As the Israeli withdrawals began, she returned to her teaching responsibilities in Bir Zeit, where she headed the Palestinian Independent Commission on Civil Rights, concerned among other things with preventing reprisals against Palestinians who had cooperated with the Israelis during the occupation. In January 1996 she was elected to a seat on the Palestinian Council, representing East Jerusalem.

Return to the Home Page

Copyright©AfricanTribute.com Inc., 2002
All Rights Reserved

World Banner Exchange Banner
World Banner Exchange BannerWorld Banner Exchange Banner


The Africa Banner Network