Yasser Arafat

Essay by JgramUniversity, Bachelor'sC, January 1996

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Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat

The Middle East, once an area of severe fighting and active terrorism,

is now free of violence due to the actions of one man, Yasser Arafat.

Yasser Arafat has helped create a place where the Palestine and Israeli

people can live together. This peaceful environment did not come easily

though. It took years of work and controversy for Yasser to make the two

Arab nations live peacefully together. Through Yasser Arafat's successful

leadership qualities, the once warring nations of Palestine and Israel now

accept each other and subside peacefully together.

Yasser Arafat was born in the city of Jerusalem on February 17,

1929. He fled Jerusalem after the establishment of the Israel nation in 1948.

He attended Cairo University in Egypt, where he became president of the

Union of Palestinian students and studied engineering. While in Cairo, he

trained as a fedayeen, the Egyptian word for commando and worked with a

construction firm.

He also studied guerrilla tactic and joined the Egyptian

army. Yasser then moved to Kuwait and founded his first rebel group of

fedayeen soldiers on raids deep into Israeli territory. His bold actions gained

him respect among his Arab piers.

In 1959, Arafat established another anti-Israeli guerrilla group called

al-Fatah. This was the largest of the Palestinian guerrilla units dedicated to

undermining and overtaking Israel. There were many of these guerrilla

groups in the Middle East so they decided to form into one unified

organization. This created the Palestinian Liberation Organization,

commonly called the PLO. Formed in 1964, Arafat was elected chairman in

1969. The PLO acted as a government to the Palestinian people but with

one exception, it had no territory to govern. Arafat's establishment and

leadership of these essential beginning organizations began his success as a

leader of...