Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yasser Arafat's final day of resting in peace (with visitors) - November 11, 2012

It was a surreal day anyway. Two hours sleep with an Italian/Canadian couple in the wrong hotel, then realising I was on an anarchist's bus tour through Palestine when they started spraying slogans on an Israeli settlement wall. And it was raining heavily. Not your usual day in Palestine.

And so, as the biggest thunderstorm to hit this region in decades descended, we were dropped off at Yasser Arafat's tomb in Ramallah. He had died, aged 75, eight years earlier to the day.

Arafat, former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was one of the most recognisable political leaders of the last 100 years.

The very next day this mausoleum was closed to the public as plans were put in place to exhume his body in order to certify whether he had been poisoned to death with polonium-210.

The soaking walkway to his tomb building is easily the most treacherous stretch of marble I have ever navigated. The red carpet had already turned into the world's longest sponge.

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