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Palestinians Bid Farewell to Arafat


Yasser Arafat returned to Ramallah on Friday, where he was laid to rest as tens-of-thousands of Palestinians came to say their final farewell.

Yasser Arafat was coming home Friday to his Muqata compound in Ramallah. Tens-of-thousands of Palestinians, mostly young men, but also women, and entire families gathered at the Muqata hours before his body arrived for burial.

Even before the helicopter carrying his remains touched down, the Muqata had become a sea of bodies. Palestinians expressed a combination of grief at the loss of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and pride for him as a leader.

Young men with black-and-white-checked kaffyieh scarves wrapped around their heads and necks joined in spontaneous chants in praise of Yasser Arafat.

Unlike the stately ceremony provided for the the Palestinian leader in France, or the military funeral in Cairo, this was the people's farewell.