Model Role Details

Shawkat Al-Kelani

Sector : Public Figures, Public Figures

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Afghanistan
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1929
  • Age: 92
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The prominent Palestinian doctor Shawkat al-Kelani, who has died of cancer aged 73, was, in 1977, a co-founder, and later president, of the An-Najah University in his hometown of Nablus. To Shawkat, roots were central to a man. Thus it was, after completing his graduate studies in Europe, that in 1964 he returned to northern Palestine, where he became senior medical officer for the United Nations relief and works agency, UNWRA, a post he held until 1989. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967 reinforced his resolve to work for and within his community.

Exile would never be Shawkat's choice. He held unflinchingly to the view that the Palestinians would one day achieve restitution of their basic human rights. That the world had stood back while settlers expropriated and colonised his land, first in 1948 and later in the occupied territories, was, in his eyes, a temporary aberration. Rationally, legally, this usurpation of a people's rights was indefensible.

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