Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, was born in Safad in 1935.
In 1948, following the Israeli occupation, he emigrated with his family to Syria, where he studied and graduated in Law, at Damascus University, in 1958.
From 1957 to 1970 he worked at the Ministry of Education in Qatar as Chief of staff.
One of the founding members of Al-Fatah, he has been a member of its Central Committee since 1964.
In 1982 he gained a Pd.D. in History from Moscow University.
Elected Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1996, he was Director of the PLO Department for Arab and International Relations from 1984 to 2000.
He represented the PLO on many official occasions, including the signing in Washington of the declaration of “Oslo” principles on 31 September 1993.
He was the President of the first Central Committee for Palestinian elections from 1996 to 2002.
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) government in 2003, he was elected President of the PLO in 2004, of the PNA in 2005, and of the State of Palestine in 2008.