Assad, 69: Profile
Following is complete profile of late Syrian Hafez Assad, who died Saturday after ruling the Arab country for about 30 years.
Born in Kurdaha near Lattakia, on the 6th of October 1930.
Obtained his High School degree in Lattakia in early forties.
Showed interest in public issues during that period which witnessed the Second World War. He participated in demonstrations against the French Occupation as well as in political activities to attain independence which was achieved on April 17th, 1946.
He was elected to the Students Committee in Lattakia and chaired the first Students Conference in Syria. At that time, as Chairman of the Committee, he led the student's movement under the banner of Al Baath Arab Socialist Party . Liberation from colonialism, Palestinian cause and other national issues were the prominent issues of his concern in late forties and early fifties.
He enrolled in the Baath Arab Socialist Party in 1946, and struggled under its banner against the old political forces.
He joined the Military Academy in 1952 where he chose the Air force Academy from which he graduated Air force Lieutenant Pilot in early 1955. On graduating he was champion in Aerobatics.
He attended many military courses; the most important was in the former Soviet Union, as Fighter Pilot and Night & Day Fighting Pilot. He passed a course of Squadron Leader with Excellent degree in 1959. He also had Excellent degree in a course of Air force Staff Officer in 1964.
In 1958, he served in a Night Fighting Squadron in Cairo, during the years of unity with Egypt.
He was excluded from the Armed Forces on the 2nd of December 1961 and transferred to a civil job after cessation from Egypt on September 28th 1961, due to his national stand against that separation.
He was a main leader of the underground military committee (five members) that led the 8th of March revolution in 1963, initiating major contacts, both civil and military, that made the revolution a great success.
He occupied leading posts in both the Regional and National Command of the Baath Arab Socialist Party until he became General Secretary of the party.
He played a major role in the success of the 23rd February Movement 1966, which put an end to the conflicts within the party.
He became Prime Minister, Minister of Defense on November 21st 1970 after leading the Correction Movement which widely opened the party's doors to the Arab Masses.
He was elected President of the Syrian Arab Republic in a referendum held on March 12th 1971.
On the May 14th 1971 the new Regional Command of the Baath Arab Socialist Party held its first meeting and elected President Hafez Al-Assad Regional Secretary of the Party.
In the second half of August 1971 he was elected Secretary General of the Party during its Eleventh National Conference.
After the success of the Correction Movement he invited the following political parties: Arab Socialist Union, Socialist Unionists, Arab Socialists and the Communist Party to form the Progressive National Front under the leadership of Al Baath Arab Socialist Party. After extensive discussions with the above mentioned parties, President Assad managed to solve the severe contradictions between them and found mutual grounds among them which led to establishing the Progressive National Front for the first time in Syria, the Arab Nation, the non-allied countries.
The front, later on expanded to contain the United Syrian Communist Party, the Unionist Democratic Socialist Party, and representatives from the workers, peasants and youth Organizations. This Front highly enhanced the national unity.
He led the Liberation War of October 1973 in which our Armed Forces and people achieved great victories and emancipated the will of the Arabs and destroyed the enemy's arrogance and the myth of his military superiority.
He participated in many Arab and international summit conferences, such as the Non Allied Countries, the Islamic and Arab Summits where he had a remarkable say in the service of our national issues – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)