Fathi Arafat


Refugee camp doctor and trusted aide to his brother. Fathi Arafat became fascinated by the devotion of his brother Yasser to the nationalistic cause of Palestine. He earned deep trust from Yasser Arafat (1929 - 2004), Palestinian leader of great height. Fathi helped Yasser set up the Palestine Student Union, which gave birth to Al Fatah (the Palestine Liberation Movement). Dr Arafat became resident in paediatrics in a number of Cairo hospitals but the demarcation lines between his professional practice and his Palestinian nationalistic activities became progressively less visible. Dr Arafat started working in the Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and his growing popularity secured his election to the Palestinian National Council. He gained the respect as a caring, dedicated physician working in difficult conditions, as during the three-month siege of Beirut by the Israeli army in 1982. Despite daily bombardment, endless power cuts, shortage of water and medicine, he managed to save many lives. Dr Fathi Arafat was vice-chairman, Palestinian Red Crescent Society (1968-78), chairman (1978-2001) and honorary chairman (2001-04). Fathi Arafat was born Fathi Abdel-Rouf Arafat Al-Qudwa in Jerusalem, the seventh child of a Cairian merchant of Palestinian extraction.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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