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For immediate release: Nov. 11, 2004
Media contact: Patricia Allen, (609) 258-6108, pallen@princeton.edu

Media advisory: Princeton scholar available to discuss Arafat legacy

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The death of Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat could pose a challenge to Middle East peace efforts because the new Palestinian leadership will face many domestic obstacles as it prepares for elections, said Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University politics professor, who studied Arafat's leadership style for an upcoming book on civil society in the Arab world.

"Chairman Arafat's death creates a power vacuum. There is no one leader who has the ability to garner the type of support that Arafat once had," Jamal said. "The new Palestinian leadership has the arduous task of winning Palestinian popular support, Israeli support and U.S. support, all monumental objectives that appear at odds with one another."

Jamal's research includes analysis of civil society in Palestine, politics and Islam, and political and democratic development in the Middle East. She is available for interviews on Arafat's legacy, the future of Palestine and its political leadership. She can be reached at (609) 258-7340 or at ajamal@princeton.edu.

Jamal, a Palestinian-American, said Arafat's passing will have a profound emotional impact on the people in Palestine. "This is a great loss for the Palestinian people because Arafat for so long has been seen as the founder of the Palestinian national movement," she said.

Jamal joined the Princeton faculty in 2003 after teaching at Columbia University. A graduate of the University of California-Los Angeles, she earned her doctoral degree in political science at the University of Michigan.

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