Habash, George (1926–)

aka al-Hakim, the Physician

Founder of the guerrilla group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Dr. George Habash was famous for being Yasir Arafat's main rival for many years. The fiery Marxist leader, called al-Hakim or the Physician by his followers, was often said to be the world's second best known Palestinian. Poor health has caused him to largely withdraw from the public arena.

Habash was born in the Palestinian town of Lydda in 1926, the son of a Greek Orthodox family. As a young medical student, Habash fled Lydda in 1948 as a refugee. (His birthplace, now part of Israel, is now called Lod.) Habash earned his medical degree at the American University of Beirut, and in the 1950s he was one of the founders of the Arab nationalist movement.

In 1967, Habash founded the Popular Front for the Liberation ...

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