Remembering Shafiq al-Hout (1932-2009)
Shafiq al-Hout was one of the original founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, a member of its Executive Committee in 1966–68 and 1991–93, the long-time PLO representative in Lebanon, a prolific and talented writer and journalist, and an orator with rare gifts. He was born in Jaffa to a Palestinian family that originated in Lebanon, but lived most of his life in Beirut. Shafiq al-Hout never returned to Palestine after his family was forced to flee Jaffa for Beirut by boat in April 1948, but he always yearned for a return with dignity. He was deeply marked by the cosmopolitanism for which those two seaside cities are known.