SABAH (Turkey), THE GUARDIAN (UK), YNET (Israel)
Nine years after her husband’s death, Suha Arafat regrets her marriage to the former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat . They married in a secret wedding in Tunisia in 1990 when Suha was 27. Arafat, then 61, was 34 years older.
In an interview given last week to the Turkish newspaper Sabah , Suha Arafat said that she loved her husband, but the marriage “was a big mistake and I regret it.”
Suha Arafat says she has lived two lives "My childhood and my youth were my first life. Arafat became my second … my identity was completely destroyed."
Born in Jerusalem to a prominent Palestinian Christian family, she would later study in a convent and eventually move to France , where she met Arafat in 1989. She would later convert to Islam to marry the legendary Palestinian leader.
“Had I known what I would endure, I clearly wouldn't have married him. True, he was a huge leader, but I was lonely," said Suha
“We were married for 22 years; however it felt like it was 50," she told the Sabah journalist. "My life with him was hard I tried to divorce Arafat more than 100 times and he didn’t let me.”
Since Arafat’s death in a Paris hospital in 2004 Suha said she has had multiple marriage proposals,but rejected them all with the same answer: “Arafat was my hero.” Last year, she asked French authorities to open a murder investigation into her husband's death, and authorized the exhumation of his body.