Arab-American scholar Clovis Maksoud dies aged 90

Veteran diplomat, writer and scholar Maksoud was a strong advocate of the Palestinian cause and Arab unity.

    Maksoud held several diplomatic positions with the League of Arab States [Al Jazeera]
    Maksoud held several diplomatic positions with the League of Arab States [Al Jazeera]

    Clovis Maksoud, former Arab diplomat, professor, writer and thinker, died on Sunday at Washington Hospital Center, in Washington DC, after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage.

    Maksoud was born in Oklahoma in 1926 to Lebanese parents who immigrated to the United States, but grew up in Lebanon.

    He studied political science at the American University of Beirut and graduated in 1948, before moving back to the US to study law at George Washington University, where he received his law degree.

    Diplomatic positions

    Maksoud held several diplomatic positions with the League of Arab States, which is now known as the Arab League. He was the Chief Representative of the League of Arab States in India from 1961 to 1966 and the League's Special Envoy to the United States in 1974.

    In 1979, he became the League of Arab States' Chief Representative to the United Nations but resigned from his post in 1990 in the aftermath of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

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    Former Lebanese ambassador to the US, Masoud Maalouf, told Al Jazeera that the passing of Maksoud was an occasion of deep sadness for him personally and to the Arab community as a whole.

    "Maksoud was one of the last warriors who truly believed in Arab nationalism and believed in the fight to defend Palestine as the cause for all Arabs."

    Maaloof who accompanied Maksoud at his last public appearance at Al-Hewar Center for Arab culture and dialogue in Virginia, said that Maksoud spoke about the importance of the Palestinian cause to all Arabs and how important it is to keep it as the compass that unites Arabs.

    Subhi Ghandour, the director of the Al-Hewar Center, told Al Jazeera that the passing of Maksoud was a great loss to him and to the community at large.

    "He was a great loss to the Palestinian cause, because, as a true believer in his Arab identity, he felt Palestine was his first foremost cause to defend and speak on its behalf," Ghandour said.

    "He is irreplaceable because he represented an era when it was noble to belong to the collective identity of being an Arab, as opposed to today's sectarianism," Ghandour added.

    Maksoud's friend of 40 years, Mokhless al Hariri, told Al Jazeera that he was utterly shocked and saddened when he heard the news of the death of his friend.  

     “To me he was a symbol during a time of great hope for all of us who believed in in one Arab nation, as personified by him. He always had faith in his Arab nation, as one nation."

    Maksoud is survived by his first wife Rosemary Curry, his daughter Elizabeth and one grandchild, Mathew.

    Follow Ali Younes on twitter @ali_reports

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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