Yasser Arafat

Essay by awesomegirlJunior High, 9th gradeB+, May 2010

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Yasser Arafat, a Palestinian born in the 20th century from Egypt, was the chairman of Palestinian Liberation Organization and devoted his life to create an independent Palestinian state along the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He was born on August 24, 1929. Arafat claimed that he was born in Jerusalem in order to avoid any challenges caused by him being a full Palestinian when in fact, French biographers, Christophe Boltanski and Jihan El-Tahri revealed in their 1997 book, Les sept vies de Yasser Arafat, that he was actually born in Cairo, Egypt, and that is where his birth certificate was registered. His full name is Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini. His nickname became Yasser which means easygoing, like a teenager and some people later actually say that this reflected on his attitude as a person. Early in his life, politics became his passion. He was a student activist at King Fuad I University, which is now Cairo University, where he studied civil engineering.

When the first Arab-Israeli war erupted in 1948, Arafat, then 18, fought with forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, the original Egyptian fundamentalist group, in the area around the Gaza Strip. Arafat never was an actual member, but he still would often work with the Brotherhood and remained an observant Muslim. As shown, even early on in his life, he loved taking on any role of leadership that he could contribute which would later drive him to even bigger projects.

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is a political movement of the Palestinian people who fought for an independent state along the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The PLO was created in 1964 by a group of pro- Palestinian forces in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. In 1969, Arafat became the chairman of it, the highest position of...