Exactly twelve years after Yasser Arafat's death, a museum in his memory opened in Ramallah on Thursday.
The Yasser Arafat Museum is dedicated to his activities as the head of the PLO and chairman of the Palestinian Authority. It presents documentation and personal items from throughout the Cairo-born man's life.
The building is two floors and spreads over 2,600 sq. m. Amongst the items on display are Arafat's rifle, one of his famous keffiyehs, the sunglasses that he wore in his 1974 UN address and the eyeglasses that he used for his last decade alive. Pictures of the leader with various world leaders are hung in the hallways.
The Nobel Prize for Peace that he was awarded together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres after the Oslo Accords were signed is also on display. It was brought from his house in the Gaza Strip.
The crowning exhibit is the small bedroom in which Arafat slept when his compound was under siege during the Second Intifada. Inside the 5-sq.-m room are his single bed, a small wardrobe with his uniform hanging, a small television set, and a picture drawn by his daughter, Zahwa. The room is protected by a glass barrier.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit attended the opening ceremony along with former Secretary General Amr Moussa and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who cut the ceremonial ribbon.
A memorial ceremony was held on Thursday in Ramallah for Arafat, which was attended by MK Aiman Udeh (Joint List). In response, Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) wrote on his Facebook page, "He's not willing to attend Peres's funeral in Jerusalem, but he'll make a speech in Arafat's memory. We'll continue to act until he will no longer be a member of Knesset in Jerusalem, but at most a member of the Palestinian Council in Ramallah."