Mahmoud Reda ABBAS
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO
President of the Palestinian National Authority
President Mahmoud Reda ABBAS was born in Safad in 1935, located in the upper North of Palestine. He was obliged to immigrate to Syria in 1948.
At the age of 13, he worked to assist his family. Eventually, he returned to school and finished his primary level education and became a teacher. He continued his studies by distance and obtained the secondary level degree. He joined the Damascus University and received a law degree in 1958.
During the period from 1957 to 1970, he was appointed as the Director of Employee Affairs at the Ministry of Education in Qatar. During his tenure in Qatar, he visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip many times to select teachers for employment opportunities. During the mid 1950’s Abbas was one of several founding members of FATEH (the Palestinian National Freedom Movement). In 1970 he dedicated himself to work for this national cause full time.
In 1982, Mr. ABBAS received his PhD from the Oriental Institute of Moscow.
In recognition of his National leading role, President ABBAS assumed many responsibilities such as:
- Member of the Central Committee of FATEH from 1964.
- Secretary General of the Executive Committee of PLO 1996.
- Head of the Department of the National and International Relations of the PLO 1984-2000
- Head of the Palestinian – Jordanian Committee from 1979
Abbas successfully established the project of uniting Palestinian cities with Arab sister cities.
In the 1970’s he proposed to establish contacts with the Israeli peace movement.
President ABBAS has represented the PLO in official ceremonies. He signed the Oslo agreement in Washington, DC on the 13th of September 1993. He also signed the Interim agreement in Washington, DC on the 23rd of September 1995.
Nationally, he assumed many responsibilities:
- The Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department until 2003, which was established after Gaza- Jericho agreement in 1994;
- Headed the first Palestinian elections committee between 1996 and 2002;
- The First Prime Minister for the Palestinian National Authority in April 2004;
- Elected Chairman of the PLO in 2004;
- Elected third President of the Palestinian National Authority in 2004 direct free and fair elections receiving 61% of the vote.
President ABBAS has authored numerous books and studies including:
- The Fall of Netanyahu Government 2000
- The Religious and Ethnic Polarization in Israel 1998
- The Way to Oslo 1994
- The Other Face 1984
- The Evilness Bridge 1984
- Zionism: Beginning and End 1972
President ABBAS is married to Mrs. Amina ABBAS and they have three sons, Mazen (Passed away), Yasser and Tarek as well as many grandsons.