AKA Mohammed Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Ra'ouf Qudwa Al-Husseini
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Palestinian leader, former terrorist
Military service: Egyptian Army
Arafat's mother died when he was an infant, and his father sent Arafat and his brothers to be raised by an uncle in Jerusalem, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine. One of his earliest memories, as Arafat said, was of British soldiers on a rampage, tearing up his uncle's house and belongings. Some speculate that Arafat's estranged father was killed in battle against the Israelis in 1948. Arafat has claimed Haj Amin al-Husseini, a 1920s proponent of Palestinian nationalism widely remembered by Arabs as heroic, as a relative through his mother's family, but there is scant evidence to support this.
Arafat became involved with Palestinian politics as a teenager in the 1940s, fighting against the idea of Israel before Israel was re-established by U.N. edict. Arafat formed group Al Fatah ("The Struggle") in 1956, while pro-Palestinian forces in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan started the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Arafat was elected Chairman of the PLO's Executive Committee in 1969, operating it as a terrorist group through the late 1980s.
In 1993 he met in secret with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Norway, culminating in the Oslo Peace Accords. Palestine received a limited form of self-rule, and a promise that Israel would withdraw some settlements from disputed areas. Arafat, Rabin, and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Arafat was elected President of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, but since that time, Israel's government has taken a hard turn to the right. The region has suffered an endless spiral of authoritarian Israeli crackdowns inspiring Palestinian suicide bombings and vice versa.
 Arafat claimed to have been born somewhere in Palestine's Gaza Strip, or Jerusalem, but his birth certificate states Cairo, Egypt.
Father: Abdul Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini (textile merchant, d. 1948)
Mother: Zahwa Abdul Saod (d. 1933)
Brother: Fathi (d. 2-Dec-2004 stomach cancer)
Wife: Suha At-Taweel Arafat (Christian, m. Nov-1991)
Daughter: Zahwa (b. 24-Jul-1995)
Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman of the Executive Committee (1969-2004)
Plane Crash Libya (8-Apr-1992)
House Arrest Ramallah, West Bank 3-Dec-2001 to 24-Feb-2002
Coma 4-Feb-2004, approximately two days