Yasser Arafat

Palestinian political leader (1929–2004)

Yasser Arafat[note 1] (24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004) is best known as the first modern leader of the Palestinian people. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1969 to 2004. In 1993, he also became president of the Palestinian National Authority (PA).

Yasser Arafat - The Man of Peace
ياسر عرفات
Yasser Arafat speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2001
1st President of the Palestinian National Authority
In office
5 July 1994 – 11 November 2004
Prime Minister
Succeeded byRawhi Fattouh (interim)
Third Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
In office
4 February 1969 – 29 October 2004
Preceded byYahya Hammuda
Succeeded byMahmoud Abbas
Personal details
Mohammed al-Qudwa al-Husseini

(1929-08-24)24 August 1929
Cairo, Egypt
Died11 November 2004(2004-11-11) (aged 75)
Clamart, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Resting placeArafat's compound, Ramallah, Palestine
Political partyFatah
ProfessionCivil engineer

Arafat was born in Jerusalem, Gaza or Cairo.[1] He studied civil engineering at Cairo University. He worked as an engineer in Kuwait.

In 1994, Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize along with two others.[note 2] They got the prize for their peace efforts in the Middle East when Palestinian National Authority was formed.[2]

The views of him are somewhat divided. Some people see him as a hero, who fought for the cause of the Palestinian people. Others see him as a terrorist, who promoted the use of violence to reach his goals. Still others think he was a charismatic leader, but he made too many concessions to the Israeli government.

Yasser died in Paris from a cerebral hemorrhage. The next day he was buried at his compound, with a hasty funeral in Ramallah on November 12. He was reburied on November 13, about 3:30 am. He was buried in a special casket, with the hope of being reburied in Jerusalem one day when an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital would be established.

  1. Also spelled Yassir Arafat (Arabic: ياسر عرفات). He was born Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini (محمد عبد الرؤوف القدوة الحسيني). He is also known by the kunya Abu `Ammar (أبو عمّار).
  2. The others were Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.


  1. Most sources indicate Cairo as Arafat's place of birth, but others list his birthplace as Jerusalem or Gaza. See here and here for more information.
  2. NobelPrize.org, "Yasser Arafat"; retrieved 2012-9-19.

Other websites


  Media related to Yasser Arafat at Wikimedia Commons