Talk:Suha Arafat

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Have written my first article on Suha Arafat. Hope it cuts the mustard. Welcome feedback and changes. TerryWhitlam 05:41, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Fear not, you'll get feedback<g>. Looks fine to me, but I have a question. The article quotes a policeman saying "I once saw Arafat kiss a wounded man's groin...." This seems....unusual. Why would Arafat kiss a wounded man's groin? Is this some tradition? - Nunh-huh 05:45, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sounds most unpleasant, depending on the location of the wound I guess. Carlocarlo 01:27, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The Hug[edit]

This article fails to mention in its final paragraph that after Mrs. Arafat launched her anti-Israel tirade, Mrs. Clinton gave her a hug. This led to much of the uproar. Rightly so. Carlocarlo 01:27, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

¶ Hillary Clinton's explanation, which came some days later, was that she and her official entourage, were getting an English translation provided BY THE ARAFAT organization and that this translation didn't convey a peep about Suha's accusations about Israeli crimes; and that, if she had heard such things, Clinton would have reacted. Not everybody accepted that explanation. Sussmanbern (talk) 15:12, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Yet another anti-Palestinian rant[edit]

This "bio" is devoid of any real bio stuff: dates, places, facts. The only numbers here are that Arafat was 60 and Suha 20 at the time of marriage. Is it a coincidence that only an apparent innuendo statement has some factoids in it?

This is essentially just another rush hatched job by the Israeli propaganda troops to smear the opponent. HistoryBuffEr 07:23, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC)

No way, I wrote most of it, I think, certainly I started the ball rolling. I quite admire her feistiness and tried to write as neutrally as possible. Are there any specific things we should change? Terry Whitlam 05:32, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You must be kidding. It reads like a typical tabloid article/rant. Most sentences fail either the "neutral" or "encyclopedia worthy" test, many fail both. HistoryBuffEr 03:58, 2004 Nov 12 (UTC)

Quote: This is essentially just another rush hatched job by the Israeli propaganda troops to smear the opponent. HistoryBuffEr 07:23, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC

Oh, yeah. Them Nazis, always going out for fresh blood. *rolls eyes*

Good Summary[edit]

In the days following when most of this has been writen, Suha was quoted saying that "Arafat's succesors are trying to burry him alive." Suha's personal fortune is estimated to be well over 30 million.


The article in general seems rather negative... and if I dare so so, not very NPOV.

For example this article takes the time to mention the bad and the good...

First time at bat[edit]

I am rather proud of the article I must admit, it has been improved by others but I wrote most of it. It wasn't rushed, I took my time. I'm certainly not an Israeli propagandist, far from it. It wasn't written with a negative view at all, she's a very interesting subject and I enjoyed writing about her. Many of the positive and negative references in that link have already been included. The same article (although I think published elsewhere) was helpful to what I initially wrote. I'd much rather everyone get stuck in and make the changes they seek. Terry Whitlam 15:17, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)


No-one here has specifically pointed to anything in the article that's biased. As I wrote the bulk of it I am happy to defend it. I will remove the neutrality tag after it's been there a week if there are no specific problems. I certainly don't think it's perfect - I would certainly like her birthdate - but it's a reasonable attempt at an encylopedia article. Terry Whitlam 03:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Some objections[edit]

Partial list of items that should be substantiated, revised or removed.

  • "high profile" - judgmental

- Fair enough although not intended pejoratively...Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "occasionally expressing controversial political opinions" - should probably go into article body, with quotes.

- Already is, with extensive quotes (near bottom) Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "her absence from Palestine attracted considerable comment."

- OK, is there another way of putting this? Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "Raymonda Tawil was a highly political'

- I thought this was a positive... but can change Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "obtained a scholarship with Arafat's assistance"

- can source or do you want it deleted? Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "Her mother introduced her to Arafat" - what is the relevance of this?

- interesting I thought... Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "Suha was hired by Arafat"

- can source or should it be deleted, sourced from Washington Post articleTerry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • "when she was in her late 20s and he was already in his 60s." - what is the relevance of this, besides POV smear?

- I hardly see this as a smear, it is noteworthy though because it is unusual. Out of respect to your wishes, I deleted it though as I guess there are more important matters. You seems to think it's very bad that he married a younger women who worked with him and shared his interest in Palestinian liberation. I don't see this as a negative at all but appreciate your point of view so will amend accordingly. Thanks for your detailed and timely reply. Terry Whitlam 08:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • ...

I could go on, but hope you get the picture.

HistoryBuffEr 03:23, 2004 Nov 16 (UTC)

I have attempted the changes as discussed and removed the POV tag. I think it's an improved article incorporating your suggestions. Had to interpret a little bit from what you were saying, one issue to consider remains the question of the claim of the scholarship to the Sorbonne and her husband's involvement in it. The source for that is that the Jerusalem Post, some might think not an unbiased source although I certainly think is a serious newspaper (albeit an opinionated one). I don't think it's a bad thing or reflects adversely on anyone whether true or not true. But Google indicates most of the references originate with the Jerusalem Post. I am relaxed about whether it stays or goes. Terry Whitlam 08:45, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for taking into account suggestions. I am not a hall monitor here and am just offering suggestions how to make article both neutral and interesting. You don't have to remove stuff that's sourced, but consider this:
  • Is the source credible?
JPost is obviously biased on the subject; claims should preferrably have impartial sources, adverse claims without good sources are likely to be deleted by someone sooner or later.
I didn't notice much grumbling about Suha, aside from the "bury him alive" tussle, I doubt it that you have solid sources for various claims. Even then, it may not belong at the top, which should have only main defining stuff.
  • Is the info relevant / important?
Minor details are fine, unless they only serve as a smear (such as the age diff.) The political activity of mother is relevant (to explain why she was arrested), so it should be put back in (but check the adj "highly").
Who helped her with scholarship or job is not relevant, unless it is tied to something else.
  • Is the info useful to many readers, or only to partisans?
And so on. In short, it is best to imagine it is your bio and then evaluate claims accordingly. Good luck.
HistoryBuffEr 09:52, 2004 Nov 16 (UTC)
Far from being hall monitor, your suggestions are constructive and wise. I prefer to delete anything particularly controversial that isn't from a neutral respected source. The AP reporter in Nablus/Ramallah seems to have written most on the subject of how Suha was perceived and I think is an unbiased source.
Agree with you about the scholarship and the match-making, although the age-gap I am still not certain about, 34 years is an important gap and is worthy of note I believe but am happy to leave it out as per our last discussion. I am not sure how it could be seen a smear, I think it reflects well on both of them that they didn't let age (or religion) get in the way of getting married.
Your final point about writing as if it's yourself is particularly helpful and puts the various speculations about a subject into perspective, doesn't it? I'm trying to find my next subject and will definitely keep that thought at the top of my mind. Thanks for your encouragement. Terry Whitlam 11:00, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Nigerian Scam[edit]

Recently I received in my e-mail a typical Nigerian scam e-mail except with reference to this Wikipedia article and other information about Suha Arafat (she is the supposed sender of the scam e-mail). I think it would be nice to have some kind of warning for readers, but at the same time, it doesn't seem to belong on an actual entry in Wikipedia. Opinions, thoughts? Wan-fu 03:06, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

These seem to still be around; we received a complaint about such a message today. I've added a template template:419 warning which can be added to pages used by these scams. --Brion 21:42, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

I don't think an encyclopedia is the place for this kind of activity. I am removing the template reference once only, as is my custom, to demonstrate my opposition. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:28, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree; an encyclopedia definitely should not be used to promote a scam. So, I've restored the warning (once). --Brion 01:31, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

I think we need to look at this carefully. The scam email cites wikipedia simply to establish that Suha Arafat exists. She does. Wikipedia does not support the scam any more than it supports a criminal attack in which the perpetrator gains knowledge of the victim's activities from Wikipedia. Why, then, do we want to put a notice on some pages? Those notices add nothing to the reader's knowledge of Suha Arafat (or Stephen Fry, or Rice Noncicles, or whoever you add the template to). The template doesn't serve a purpose useful to Wikipedia, it appears to me to be an attempt to use Wikipedia as a pulpit or soapbox--an attempt to advance purposes other than Wikipedia using Wikipedia's servers. Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a soapbox. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:42, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The scam messages are confidence games; the scammer claims to be either the famous figure him/herself or to be an associate, and refers to actual news or reference articles about the person to bolster this claim. It's outright fraud and if you think that's an acceptable use of Wikipedia, I think you need to consider that.
Here's an example, a scam e-mail which was forwarded to me recently:

(I removed it and place it at /Brion's 419 example --Tony Sidaway)

Tony, this is a criminal gang using Wikipedia to help establish confidence to trick people into being defrauded. Do you think that's not an inappropriate use of Wikipedia? --Brion 01:51, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

The criminal gang only uses Wikipedia to establish that this person exists. Please do make a section on this article about the 419 scam, but do not use Wikipedia for APBs. It is not a public message service. I will have to escalate this through dispute resolution if you carry on through this path. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:00, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'd be very curious to see that happen. Why do you believe that an informative message (which is, in fact, factually relevant to people visiting this page from such an e-mail) is soapboxing? Establishing the existence of the person is part of the confidence game, so it's entirely duplicitous to claim that this is "only" what they're doing it for. --Brion 02:04, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

Why do I believe that an informative message aimed at people visiting this article is soapboxing? Because that is the definition of soapboxing.

Sure, establishing the existence of the person is part of the game. But if you want to deflate these guys' game, all you have to do is write about it in the article. Be sure to reference Advance fee fraud. Just don't try to turn Wikipedia into a police force or your own personal megaphone. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:17, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If there are 419 scam emails that are referencing a Wikipedia article, that should definately be noted at the top of the article. On the other hand, the notice does not need to be so prominent as the current version of template:419 warning. I would suggest that it should be only the first sentence, there should not be the contrasting background color, and the top and bottom blank lines should be removed from the template. BlankVerse 08:37, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's her bio, a fact such as her marrying a 60 year-old terrorist is quite relevant, I'd wager.

Quote & Standards[edit]

  • I changed the "bury alive" quote, since I have only seen, and can only find on the Internet, versions where it doesn't specifically refer to individuals within the leadership. If she said the same thing another time, then naming Qureia, Abbas & Sha'th, that should be included and appropriately sourced.
  • Also, I find the article is in need of some severe editing. Parts of it is overwhelmingly POV, other parts present media accusations as factual truth (very un-Wiki), some things appear twice, etc. I guess there's been a lot of hostile editing going on here, the article seems to have been badly mangled. I fixed a few things, but far from enough. Arre 10:23, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Not NPOV[edit]

This article is mainly taked from the Jewish Virtual Library, an online library that is wriiten with a zionist perspective.

i do not know where to start editing .... --Thameen 18:53, 18 March 2006 (UTC

Is there any proof (eg DNA test| that Suha's daughter was also Arafat's child? --Vladko 16:34, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Inheritance of Arafat's wealth[edit]

There was a LOT of discussion, during Yasser Arafat's last years and for some years after his death, that he had personally squirrelled away Millions, perhaps Billions, of dollars in PA assets in his own personal and secret bank accounts, and that these all were inherited by Suha, who thereby became an enormously rich woman although the money rightfully belonged to the PA. I believe an earlier version of this page mentioned this. Perhaps the pros and cons of this issue could be included in this article inasmuch as it got a lot of attention at the time. Sussmanbern (talk) 15:43, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Lots of Editing[edit]

I could not help it. This article was so awful. Basically full of bad English. I have made lots of corrections. I have tried not to touch the factual parts which need lots of "help". There is a lack of basic material here: references, dates etc. Benqish 16:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Hilary kiss[edit]

Using a picture of Hilary Clinton kissing Suha Arafat seems both unnecessary and politically motivated. It can't be that difficult to find a picture of her alone or with a more significant figure in her life like say....Yasir Arafat. This would be the equivalent of using a picture of U.S. President George Bush holding King Abdullah's hands next to the title of King Abdullah's wikipedia article. While not necessarily politically motivated their is reason for suspicion.Moah 12:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC) A better photo is here: Sussmanbern (talk) 15:07, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Self-referential sentence[edit]

A sentence in the Nigerian scam section of the page states "Some of the emails used referred to this Wikipedia article." Is this sort of self-referential statement (presumably meant as a disclaimer) acceptable? DO56 (talk) 19:46, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Given the lack of response, I've removed it. DO56 (talk) 21:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Is it correct that she has been a Christian all her life? It seems very strange that a powerful Palestian terrorist-politician would marry a non-Muslim, and she not convert to Islam. Why didn't being married to someone of a different religion not discredit Yasser, and bring shame upon him in the eyes of Palestinians and his supporters? How was he able to gain and keep such a high position - wouldn't he have been seen by many as a traitor for marrying outside his faith, and not being able to have her convert to Islam? F W Nietzsche (talk) 10:09, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Shes not a Christian, she converted to Islam prior to marrying Arafat,she even went to perform hajj with her daughter when people started questioning the genunity of that conversion ♥Yasmina♥ (talk) 08:05, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

When Al-Arabiya tv station interviewed in her home in Francea a couple of years ago, there was a Christmas tree in the background with Christian symbols on the walls.George Al-Shami (talk) 20:40, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Yeah I heard about that too,I heard also she had her daughter baptised,(very unusual) and goes to church on christmas, but it still doesnt change the fact she CONVERTED to Islam, its well sourced i will even post the article about her being sent off to Mecca with her daughter in pilgrimage. she probally only converted for show since Arafat was never really secular, but still doesnt change fact she became moslem to marry Arafat. The reason he even sent her to mecca was because people started to come up with the same conclusion as you that she still had attachments to Christianity. Also its a known fact only that ONLY muslims are allowed into Mecca which she went to in 2001. She's officially recognized as a Muslim now so I think that should be added.♥Yasmina♥ (talk) 11:15, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Read my response on your talk page; if want to add the converts category you should not deny readers of knowing that her conversion is disputed and from finding out about the Christian orthodox.George Al-Shami (talk) 20:20, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I didnt deny that read what I wrote before i did state it was disputed but you shouldnt deny the fact she went to mecca in 2005 when people did start to come to that conclusion (the source you posted is from 2004).♥Yasmina♥ (talk) 09:21, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

She converted to Islam and that is sourced. Unless there are reliable sources indicating that she renounced/converted back, she is Muslim. And as mentioned, only Muslims are allowed in Mecca. Ecthelion 8 (talk) 19:42, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

For all the rants, Suha was a practicing Christian and attented Church services with her husband.[1] Though it is a matter of contention that she accepted Islam after her husbands death.

Tunisian government has revoked Suha Arafat's Tunisian citizenship[edit]

On 7th August 2007, the Tunisian government officially revoked Suha Arafat's recently-granted Tunisian citizenship (Press on the occurrence). They did not revoke her daughter's, which was granted at the same time in 2006. There was no previous indication given to Arafat that this would happen, and she had been in Malta on vacation at the time. She has stated that all of her properties in Tunisia were confiscated as well. Currently there is no solid evidence on why her citizenship was revoked so abruptly, only rumors, and most surround the Tunisian President's wife, First Lady Leila Ben Ali (Reports relating to Suha Arafat/Tunisia). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Appearance on the media[edit]

Yasser Arafat's widow Suha admitted that the late Palestinian leader premeditated the Second Intifada after the failure of the Camp David negotiations.

According to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute., in an interview with Dubai TV on early December 2012 she said:

“Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return.… Camp David had failed, and he said to me: ‘You should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said: ‘Because I am going to start an Intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so,’” [2]

Orthodox or Catholic?[edit]

The sources agree that she was brought up Christian but disagree as to whether her family was Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox. Does anyone know of information that would resolve thisBill (talk) 06:10, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

It's "request" not "bequest"[edit]

And is there a reason the article is locked? (talk) 14:25, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

It was put into semi-protected status in October, for a period of two months, for "persistent sockpuppetry". (You can find such information on the History page of the article.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)


I think that it would be safe to add the "Converts to Islam from Christianity" category again, because although it is disputed whether she was Roman Catholic or Orthodox, she was born a Christian and converted to Islam. The category "Palestinian Muslims" by itself would indicate that she was born Muslim and was not from another religion. (talk) 03:24, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Tunisia issues warrant for Arafat's widow". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Jerusalem Post (12/29/2012). "'Suha Arafat admits husband premeditated Intifada'". Retrieved 12/29/2012.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)