Twelve years, since the death of the Palestinian World leader Yasser Arafat , a museum of his life opens on Wednesday 09 November, 2016 in the West Bank complex, Ramallah, where he spent his last years under Israeli siege. the project which began in 2010, Costing $7m (£5.6m) to construct, and years in the making, the Yasser Arafat Museum traces a life indelibly associated with the Palestinian experience and includes the preserved suite of modest rooms he inhabited in the muqata, his Ramallah headquarters. The museum follows Arafat’s life from his birth in 1929 – which it places in Jerusalem, although other historical sources have suggested he was born in Cairo – through his emergence as Fatah’s leader at the height of the armed conflict against Israel, which saw Arafat move around bases in the Middle East including Tunis and Beirut, including the plane crash he survived in the Libyan desert.
According to Nasser al-Kidwa, chairman of the board of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, the museum intends to present the most important events in Palestinian history from the beginning of the 20th century until the death of Arafat in 2004. He said, The team of curators had a hard time collecting all of Arafat’s belongings. Also he said while the belongings in Ramallah were easy to find, most of Arafat’s items in the Gaza Strip were lost in 2007. Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize medal, which he won after signing the interim agreement with Israel in 1993, was found in a market in Gaza.
The opening of the museum on Wednesday – by his successor President Mahmoud Abbas – comes two days before Palestinians commemorate the 12th anniversary of Arafat’s death in a hospital near Paris.The museum’s inauguration, and its deliberate appeal to the memory of the single overarching political figure in recent Palestinian history, comes at a time when Arafat’s Fatah movement, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and indeed the Palestinian people, have never appeared more divided, with Fatah ruling on the West Bank and the Islamist group Hamas controlling Gaza.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “2017 is going to be the year to end the occupation, and even though Arafat is gone in body, he still lives among us in spirit.”
The museum is housed in a sleek white building a short walk from Arafat’s mausoleum, where his body was brought from France for burial. An aerial walkway links the museum building to Arafat’s cramped old office and bedroom. On display are a selection of personal belongings, including his pistol and his keffiyeh kerchief.