Abbas, Mahmoud, 1935-, Palestinian leader, also known as Abu Mazen. He was born in Saffed, Palestine (now in Israel), but his family fled during the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli conflict and lived in Syria. Educated at Damascus Univ. and Moscow Oriental College, Abbas helped found Al Fatah and held nonmilitary positions in the group under Yasir Arafat. A Palestinian negotiator on the Oslo Accords and in subsequent talks with Israel, he became deputy chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1996 and briefly served as Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister in 2003, resigning after clashing with Arafat over control of the security forces. Regarded as a pragmatist, Abbas has called for an end to armed struggle against Israel, saying that the Palestinians are outgunned and cannot win. He was chosen to succeed Arafat as PLO chairman and the leader of Al Fatah following the latter's death in 2004 and was elected president of the PA in 2005. The 2006 election of a Hamas majority in the PA legislature led to a standoff between Abbas and the Hamas government over recognizing Israel and over control of the security forces, resulting in a government that was unable to function and tensions that at times erupted into fighting between Hamas and Al Fatah. In early 2007 both groups agreed to form a power-sharing government, but Abbas dissolved the government after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, 2007, and appointed an emergency government with no Hamas members. In 2009 Abbas indicated he would not seek a second term, but the PLO voted to extend his PA presidency indefinitely when it and Hamas could not agree on an election date.
Darwish, Mahmoud, 1941-2008, widely considered the Palestinian national poet, b. Barwa, Palestine (now in Israel). He was born to middle-class Sunni Muslim farmers, who were displaced when soldiers from the newly formed state of Israel occupied (and later destroyed) his village. A Communist, Darwish attended university in Moscow for a year (1970), and in 1972 settled in Beirut. There he became an editor for a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) monthly journal and in 1975 was named director of the group's research center. When the PLO was expelled from Beirut (1982), Darwish settled in Cyprus and the following year he won the USSR's Stalin Peace Prize. Named to the PLO executive committee in 1987, he wrote the Palestinian declaration of independent statehood in 1988, but resigned from PLO leadership in 1993 in opposition to the Oslo accords and thereafter moved away from political life. In 1996 the poet settled in Ramallah in the West Bank, where he published Al Karmel, a journal featuring the work of young Arab writers.

Written in classical Arabic, many of Darwish's lyrical yet searing verses evoke a lost and Edenic Palestine of the mind while others reveal the realities of everyday life in contemporary Palestine. In powerfully precise poetic language, he describes the longings of his people and the sorrows of dispossession and exile, and reflects on the human condition. Some of his poetry has been translated into English, including the volumes A Letter from Exile (1970), The Music of Human Flesh (1980), Sand (1986), Psalms (1994), The Adam of Two Edens (2000), Unfortunately, It Was Paradise (2003), and The Butterfly's Burden (2007).

See studies by A. Månsson (2003) and H. Khamis Nassar and N. Rahman, ed. (2007).

Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud, 1956-, Iranian politician. From a humble background, he supported the Islamic revolution (1979) while working toward his civil engineering doctorate and was a founder of the student union that occupied the U.S. embassy. He joined (1980) the Revolutionary Guards and served against Iraq, becoming a senior officer. He was governor of Arbadil prov. from 1993 to 1997, and then taught at Univ. of Science and Industry, Tehran. An ultraconservative shaped by his experience in the Iran-Iraq War, he was appointed mayor of Tehran in 2003, and reversed or restricted many moderate reforms in the city. Running as an anticorruption populist and regarded as a dark horse, he was elected president in 2005, becoming the first non-cleric to hold the office since 1981. As president he gained notoriety internationally for provocative comments calling for an end to Israel and denying the Holocaust happened, but he has also unexpectedly taken somewhat liberal positions on some domestic social issues. His failure to address Iran's economic problems, however, was widely regarded as the cause of the losses suffered by his supporters and allies in the Dec., 2006, elections for local councils and the Assembly of Experts. His reelection by a wide margin in June, 2009, was seen by many as fraudulent, and led to demonstrations that were suppressed by the government.

See biography by K. Naji (2008).

Shaaban "Mahmoud" Mahmoud (Arabic: شعبان محمود محمود; born June 30 1981 in Egypt) is an Egyptian football player who plays for Itesalat. He was a member of the Egyptian Olympic Team.

Titles as a player

4 For EgyptWorld Youth Cup Bronze Medalist with Egyptian Olympic Team 2001
Francophone Games' Bronze Medalist with Egyptian Olympic Team 2001
African Youth Cup of Nations 3rd place 2001

9 For Zamalek 2 Egyptian League title (2002/2003 & 2003/2004)
2 Egyptian Super Cup (2000/2001 & 2001/2002)
1 Egyptian Cup Titles (2001/2002)
1 African Champions League title (2002)
1 African Super Cup title (2002)
1 Arab Club Championship Title (2003)
1 Egyptian Saudi Super Cup (2003)

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