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Aref Al-Aref

(1891 - 1973)

Born in Jerusalem in 1891; studied in Turkey and conscripted into the Turkish army in World War I; captured and spent three years in a camp in Siberia, from where he escaped after the Russian Revolution and went back to Palestine; editor of the first Arab nationalist newspaper Suriyya al-Janubbiyya, published in Jerusalem in 1919; advocated a policy of militant but non-violent opposition to Zionism; arrested during riots in 1920, escaped with fellow-accused Haj Amin al-Husseini to Syria; sentenced to 10 years in prison in absencia on charges of fomenting the riots; transferred back to Pa-lestine in 1929; became civil servant under the British Mandate (1933-48); District Administrative Officer in Beer Sheba in 1936; then ministerial officer in Jordan; appointed mayor of Jerusalem (1950-55); author of Bedouin Love, Law and Legend, History of Beersheba and Its Tribes, History of Gaza, and History of Jerusalem; died on July 30, 1973, in Ramallah.

Sources: PASSIA