Suha Arafat

Suha Arafat

Widow of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
Country: Jordan

Biography of Suha Arafat

Suha Arafat, the widow of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, is one of the three daughters of a banker who married Raymonde Taouil, a woman with a strong character and close ties to Arafat. Suha and Yasser were married in 1990. For the 14 days that the Palestinian leader was between life and death, his wife Suha, or Susu as he called her, remained by his bedside in a military clinic near Paris. However, as noted by the newspaper "Le Monde," some of the actions of the first lady of Palestine during those mournful days irritated journalists and people in Arafat's circle. She controlled the smallest details of the doctors' assessments of the leader's health and personally decided who could be allowed near the dying man and who could not. She even accused two of the highest-ranking Palestinian leaders of wanting to "bury her husband alive." Suha Arafat is one of the three daughters of a banker who married Raymonde Taouil, a woman with a strong character and close ties to Arafat. Suha and Yasser were married in 1990. The bride was 34 years younger than the groom. In order to become Mrs. Arafat, this young blonde woman, who was a Greek Orthodox Christian, converted to Islam. The marriage remained a secret for a while, as it could have shocked Arafat's supporters, who usually believed that he was "married to Palestine" or "married to the revolution." For the past four years, Suha has lived in Paris with her daughter, who was born in 1995. This has led Palestinians to speculate that the banker's daughters prefer the fashionable salons of Paris to the markets of the West Bank of the Jordan.

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