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My Life in the PLO

Shafiq Al-Hout: My Life in the PLO

  • Shafiq Al-Hout
  • Politics
  • Out now
  • English English
  • 220 EGP
  • Diwan
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Shafiq Al-Hout: My Life in the PLO

Memoires often hold our fascination because they take readers through the details of a
different era. They are especially thought-provoking when they focus on revolutionary
personas like Shafiq Al-Hout, who played a great role in the Arab-Israeli
struggle by founding the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

For nearly
half a century, the PLO aimed at building a democratic state for the
Palestinian citizens, helping in formulating armed resistance guidelines
against Israel, and, most of all, fighting for Palestinians’ rights to return to
their home country. From its start to gaining recognition from the UN and
beyond, the PLO developed greatly and changed the lives of Al-Hout and his

In My
Life in the PLO,
major events during that time are documented, more so than
personal memories. We learn of Al-Hout’s life in details from his childhood
up to his attempts to quit smoking in his final years. He also interprets history and social surroundings as well as a chronological account
of his life up until he resigned from the PLO in 1993 after the signing of the
Oslo agreement.

The autobiography
takes us into the undisclosed process of decision-making, offering insight that
does not shy away from criticizing Arab leaders, including Yasser Arafat. From
disappointments following the Lebanese civil war and violent Israeli raids, to
the author’s hope of reawakening with the Hezbollah party, the book recounts
the events as if they happened yesterday with the rationale and justifications
of a true political expert.

dedication to the Palestinian cause shows in every single word that he wrote. Anyone familiar
with the Arab world will empathise with the author’s sense of longing for the
country of his early childhood to be free of wars and bloodshed. It’s a
cause that he devoted his life to, but one that eluded him.

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Author Bio

Shafiq Al-Hout was a Palestinian politician and writer born in Jaffa in 1932. After he and his family fled to Beirut at the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he founded the Palestine Liberation Front in 1961 and later became a founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. Al-Hout died in 2009.

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