Ayman Al-Shweiki: The Yasser Arafat Museum
One year ago I started working at Yasser Arafat Museum which is a national project present the life of Yasser Arafat, a well known Palestinian figure. I’m the Assistant of the Collections Director and my responsibilities are to maintain and document the Yasser Arafat collection – everything belonging to him, such as his Personal acquisitions, Presidential gifts, furniture and the Presidential Guard acquisitions. This also includes preserving the bedrooms, kitchen, president offices, meeting rooms. I also arrange the objects in the stores, collect the stores’ and display areas’ environmental data (humidity, temperature, Light intensity), and provide the exhibition curator with object information.
The Yasser Arafat Foundation (YAF) has launched the first phase of constructing its remarkable Yasser Arafat Museum project on the Presidential Compound (Al Muqata’ah), where Yasser Arafat was besieged. The Museum is located in close proximity to the late Arafat’s mausoleum.
On 12 November 2008, the YAF organised a celebration to lay the foundation stone of the Yasser Arafat Museum in Al Muqata’ah in Ramallah city. This was part of the event commemorating the 4th anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death. President Mahmoud Abbas laid the foundation stone of the Yasser Arafat Museum.
This project is very important because it will materialise YAF’s mission of preserving the legacy of Yasser Arafat and sharing it with future generations. It would be connected to Arafat’s mausoleum in order to tell the story of the Palestinian revolution and its leader to the children of Palestine and to the whole world.
In addition to personal belongings of the late President, the Museum will exhibit articles, pictures and tokens that illustrate and summarise the life of Yasser Arafat. Major turning points in the history of the Palestinian people will also be in place in the Museum. Throughout his life, Arafat was inherently attached to the cause of his people. The Museum will further house a specialised library, archive, exhibits, and forums. Souvenirs marking the life of the late President Yasser Arafat, which visitors like to purchase and keep, will also be available.