Arif, Arif Al- (1892–1973)

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ARIF, ARIF AL- (1892–1973)

Palestinian journalist, bureaucrat, and historian. Born in Jerusalem in 1892 and educated in Istanbul, Arif al-Arif worked briefly in the Ottoman foreign ministry. He served in the Ottoman army in World War I and was a prisoner of war in Siberia for two years. Arif returned to Jerusalem after the war and became editor of the Arab nationalist newspaper, Suriya al-Janubiyya, where he advocated Palestinian union with Syria. Sentenced to prison by the British in 1920, he went into exile in Syria and later Transjordan. After being pardoned, he became a civil administrator under the Mandate government and held a number of posts in Palestine and Transjordan. In 1948 the Transjordan government of King Abdullah I made him military governor of Ramallah in the West Bank, and from 1949 to 1955 he was mayor of East Jerusalem. In 1967 he became the director of the Palestinian Archaeological Museum. He died in Jerusalem in 1973. Al-Arif was the author of a number of important histories, including TaDrikh Bir al-SabDa wa QabaDiliha (History of Beersheba and its tribes, 1934), TaDrikh Ghaza (History of Gaza, 1934), al-Mufassal fi TaDrikh al-Quds (History of Jerusalem, 1934) and the seven-volume TaDrikh al-Nakba (History of the disaster, 1956–1962).