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Ahmad al-Shukeiri
أحمد الشقيري
Ahmad Shukeiri cropped.jpg
1st Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
In office
May 1964 – December 1967
Succeeded by Yahya Hammuda
Personal details
Born (1908-01-01)1 January 1908
Tebnine, Ottoman Empire
Died 26 February 1980(1980-02-26) (aged 72)
Amman, Jordan
Nationality Palestinian
Shukeiri (standing first left) a founding member of Istiqlal circa 1932.

Ahmad al-Shukeiri (January 1, 1908 – February 26, 1980) (Arabic: أحمد الشقيري) also transcribed al-Shuqayri, Shuqairi, Shuqeiri, Shukeiry, etc.), was the first Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, serving in 1964–67.

Early life

Shukeiri was born in Tebnine, south Lebanon then Ottoman Empire to a Turkish mother and a Palestinian father, As'ad Shukeiri (1860–1940) (who was elected to the Ottoman Parliament in 1908 and 1912). Ahmad acquired the Turkish language from his mother. After studying law in the British law college in Jerusalem, he became a prominent lawyer in British-Palestine and a member of the Independence Party. In 1945 he went to Washington, D.C. to establish a Palestinian office and in 1946 joined the Arab Higher Committee.

Political career

Shukeiri was a member of the Syrian delegation to the United Nations from 1949 to 1951. He then became assistant Secretary General for the Arab League from 1950–56, Saudi ambassador to the United Nations from 1957 to 1962. At the 1964 Arab League summit (Cairo), he was given a mandate to initiate contacts aimed at establishing a Palestinian entity.

In December 1962, representing Saudi Arabia, he told the Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly that the Tacuara movement had been formed to combat Zionism and he hoped it would spread in Latin America and its principles adopted by the United Nations. After receiving information about Tacuara from the Argentinian and Chilean delegations, he backed down, acknowledging that Tacuara was a fascist movement and claiming instead that it was more appropriate to compare Tacuara to Israel.

Chairman of the PLO

In May 1964, he was elected the first Chairman of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). He resigned in December 1967 in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in June. His enemies and opponents used him as a scapegoat. From May 28 to June 2, 1964 Shukeiri and 396 nominated representatives from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza strip, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya and Iraq attended a Palestinian Conference (The First Palestinian National Council in East Jerusalem). Delegates wore badges carrying a map of Palestine and inscribed "We shall return". The Times reported that following an introductory address by King Hussein of Jordan, Shukeiri told delegates that "Palestinians had experienced 16 years' misery and it was time they relied on themselves and liberated Palestine from the Israelis". The conference announced the establishment of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian Arabs. Shukeiri and his colleagues also announced the formation of the Palestinian National Fund, and at the Second Arab Summit Conference in Alexandria in September 1964 of a military wing, the Palestine Liberation Army. Shukeiri was succeeded as Chairman of PLO by Yahya Hammuda in December 1967.

Later life

Between 1968 and 1979, Shukeiri wrote more than twenty books dealing with the Palestinian cause and the Arab Unity. He died on February 26, 1980, aged 72 in Amman.

Palestine Books No 3
Liberation - Not Negotiation by Ahmad Shukairy, 1966

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ahmed Shukeiri para niños

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