ABDUL RAHMAN, AHMAD (1943-)

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Born in Beit Shannah, Ramleh, on 12 Nov. 1943; studied at Damascus School of Law, graduating with a BA in 1969; joined the Palestinian resistance and Fateh in June 1967; was one of the founders of the Fateh Tanzim in the Palestinian Student Union in Damascus; in charge of the Fateh student network in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan between 1967-68; joined the Voice of Al-Asifa radio in the Cairo Broadcasting Services in 1968; was assigned to represent Fateh in Sudan in mid-1968; was assigned to represent Fateh in missions in Latin America in 1969 and 1971; served as a Director of Voice of Al-Asifa radio when it was broadcasting from Der’a in Syria from 1970 until it was closed down by the Syrian government in Oct. 1973 and he was arrested and jailed in Al-Maza Prison in Damascus for a few weeks; became close to Yasser Arafat from July 1973, when he joined him at the International Youth Festival in Berlin; served editor-in-chief of Filastin Ath-Thawra from Jan. 1974 until 1994 (the paper was printed in Lebanon from 1974-82, then moved to Cyprus from 1982-94); elected Sec.-Gen. of the Palestinian Union of Writers and Journalists in 1974 (until 2005); enrolled at the AUB and studied towards an MA in Political Science but was unable to graduate due to the Israeli June 1982 invasion into Lebanon; left with the PLO to Tunis following the PLO’s exodus from Beirut in 1982;  PNC member in 1983; appointed as a PLO spokesperson and the PNC since 1983; was sent back to Lebanon in 1983 to challenge Abu Musa’s splinter Fateh Uprising; remained in charge of the unified media of the PLO; Fateh Revolutionary Council member since 1984; returned to Palestine with Mahmoud Abbas in Sept. 1994 for a short period, then went back to Tunis; eventually settled back in Palestine in Jan. 1996; was appointed as a PA Cabinet Sec.-Gen. and given the title of a Minister in May 1996 (until 2003); appointed by Pres. Arafat as Advisor for Political Affairs in 2003; was reappointed to that post by Pres.-elect Mahmoud Abbas in Nov. 2004; observer in the PLO Exec. Committee since Jan. 2005; wrote numerous articles as well as a booklet about the need to establish a Palestinian state under a pen name in 1974.