Jerusalem24 – Rula Zughayar – I didn’t know him; I didn’t grow up to knowing him. My childhood didn’t witness any appearance of Yasser, just as he didn’t exist in life. Despite the fact that all my sisters, brothers, cousins, and even aunts have pictures with him. I, myself didn’t appear to have any. Even though, I grew up to my mom’s famous stories about him “He was the kindest and the most genuine one…. he used to be so helpful and generous to his people “All that time, all I heard is what he did, what he was, how he helped, how he revolted…. But deep down, I never actually knew who He was?
“It’s been 17 years and people are still happy sharing their pictures with you! It’s been 17 years and people still didn’t forget about you, with a memorial ceremony or without, with Covid or without, they still remember you! It’s been 17 years and songs still mention your name!” shared Akram Al Sourani on his Facebook page today.
Additionally, the Palestinian author, Khaled Issa in his statement about Palestinians without Yasser Arafat said:
“The only one person in the world that you love and hate at the same time is the martyr Yasser Arafat.”
The undisputed leader of the Palestinians, everyone disagreed with him and did not disagree on him as a rare leader of their struggle, and an accomplished captain to their Palestinian ship in the sea of darkness.
Yasser Arafat, the controversial leader in his life and death, a man who gathered contradictions under his Kufiyah. He is a revolutionary like Guevara and a pragmatist like a Machiavellian at the same time. He wanted it as a Kufiyah that reminds us of the keffiyeh of the revolutionary martyr Abdul Qadir al-Husseini. During his life, he never wore casual civilian clothes. He even entered the White House in his military clothes, and shook hands with Rabin in the clothes of the commando. He carried an olive branch in one hand and a rifle in the other hand at the United Nations.
He lived and died with his pistol on his waist. No one is like Yasser Arafat who mastered combining opposites and contradictions in a collective matter. He lived in a plane and traveled the world for the cause of his people. He entered the palaces of leaders while he had no home. He gathered the counselors around him in fancy Ted Libidos suits while he remained in Khaki clothes among them, sewing a loose button for his military uniform himself! Billions are under his hands whilst he has no personal expenses, feasts are held around him while he dines with a piece of cheese with honey!
The corrupt gather around him like flies but he doesn’t care. He gets busy with issues big and small ones, from appointing an ambassador to paying the price of a “shoes” for a commando, he splits between factions and unite them, and he sits between Nayef Hawatmeh and Yasser Abed Rabbo, and between Ahmed Jibril and Abu Abbas, kisses the head of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and reads Muhammad Dahlan’s reports, he aims to release Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat, and to involve Muhammad Rashid’s “Khaled Salam” in economic projects!
No one is like Yasser Arafat who is skillful enough to lead the most complex issues of the era. They hastened his death, that one controversial death. So, did he die or was he killed?!!!
No one will answer, and the secret of his departure remains a mystery because Yasser Arafat is the difficult figure in his life and death!
The Palestinians, without Yasser Arafat, are lost. As they are continuously looking for a leader who masters his Kufiyah, which is the keffiyeh of the revolution, with a head of a peace dove!! The people of the “Al-Khityar” will continue to search for difficult choices in their struggle with God’s chosen people.”
However, I’m 22 right now, and I can certainly tell you that I know exactly who he was.
He was our precious late president “Abu Ammar”, who was born in Jerusalem on August 4, 1929, his full name is “Muhammad Yasser” Abdel-Raouf Daoud Suleiman Arafat Al-Kidwa Al-Husseini, and he received his education in Cairo, and participated as a reserve officer in the Egyptian army in the war of the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956.
He participated with a group of patriots in founding the Palestinian National Liberation Movement “Fatah” in the fifties, and became its official spokesman in 1968, and was elected as a chairman of the executive committee of the Palestine liberation organization in 1969, after having the position held by, Ahmad Al-Shugairi and Yahya Hammouda.
Following the declaration of independence in Algeria on the fifteenth of November 1988, Arafat launched on December of the same year in the United Nations General Assembly the Palestinian Peace Initiative to achieve a just peace in the Middle East, where the General Assembly then moved to Geneva due to the refusal of The United States to grant Arafat a travel visa to New York, and this initiative was based on the decision of the American administration headed by Ronald Reagan on the 16th of the same month, to initiate a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunisia as of March 30, 1989.
On January 20, 1996, Yasser Arafat was elected a president to the Palestinian National Authority, ever since then, the process of building the foundations of the Palestinian state has started.
Ultimately, this disastrous day, the eleventh of November 2004, marks the 17th anniversary of the martyrdom of President Yasser Arafat “Abu Ammar’’.
“Yasser Arafat surprised us by not surprising us………. Yasser Arafat was the man who could tame the contradiction in exile, with a blend of pragmatism, religion and metaphysics. By virtue of his superhuman dynamism, his total identification of his private with his public life, and his unbounded diligence he transformed himself from leader into luminous symbol.’’ Mahmoud Darwish