Yasser Arafat Biography
Yasir Arafat was born Rahman Abdul Rauf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husayni on August 24, 1929. Although he was raised in Cairo, Egypt, he always considered himself a Palestinian. In the late 1940s while a student in Egypt, he became an ardent Arab nationalist and adopted the name Yasir, after Yasir al Birah, a famous Arab resistance leader. When Arafat as 14, he was involved in gunrunning for Arab guerrillas in Gaza, a task he continued to perform during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. After the war, Arafat entered Cairo University where he received a degree in engineering in 1955. During his student days, he began to train secretly as a guerrilla, becoming an expert in demolitions and taking part in raids on British installations near the Suez Canal. After his graduation from the university, Arafat was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Egyptian army.
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