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Ahmed Qurei

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Ahmed Qurei

Ahmed Qurei (Arabic:احمد علي محمد قريع ; Alternate spellings  Al-Ahmed Qurei, Achmad Qureia, Achmad Q'raia, Ahmad Kraia, Achmad Qurei) (Nom de guerre ("kunya")  Abu Ala)  was born March 26, 1937 in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem. He is a Palestinian political activist. He joined the Fatah movement in 1968, specializing in finance. He lived in exile in Beirut and Tunis with Yasser Arafat until the Oslo Agreement allowed their entry into Israeli occupied Palestine.

Ahmed Qurei has been active in negotiations with Israel. He participated in contacts with Israel during the Madrid Conference between the "external" PLO and was a member of the official Palestinian delegation. He also participated in or headed the Palestinian delegation to the secret negotiations which led to The Oslo Declaration of Principles. He headed the negotiations for the Paris Agreement on economic relations between the autonomous Palestinian territories and Israel in April 1994 and negotiated the The Oslo Interim Agreement in September 1995. He is currently (2008) active in the negotiations with the Olmert government to formulate a declaration of principles or "shelf agreement."

Ahmad Qurei was appointed as Prime Minister upon the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas in September 2003. He was nominated head of a new emergency cabinet of eight members by Yasser Arafat on the 5th of October 2003. Though Qurei benefits from the support of the US and the EU, did not demonstrate much ability to overcome the security problems and restore order in the Palestinian National Authority. During his administration, Palestinians began to complain openly about chaos in cities such as Nablus, and officials appointed by Arafat were kidnapped in Gaza. Qurei is considered pragmatic, but politically close to Yasser Arafat. He threatened to resign more than once when Arafat would not give him control over security and the powers needed to carry out reform, but he did not carry out his threats. If the question of succession of Yasser Arafat arises, he is “officially” (according to the Palestinian Authority’s draft Basic Law) the person designated to take over as President of the PNA. When Yasser Arafat became ill in October 2004, Qurei, along with Mahmoud Abbas, took control of the Palestinian Authority and PLO. Subsequently, Qurei and other Fatah officials were eclipsed by the election victory of the Hamas in 2006, but returned to prominence following the Hamas coup in June of 2006.

Qurei suffers from heart disease and has had at least one bypass operation.

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Al-Ahmed Qurei, Achmad Qureia, Achmad Q'raia, Ahmad Kraia, Achmad Qurei, Abu Ala.

Further Information:  Biography: Ahmed Qurei

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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Ahmed Qurei