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Sa'id al-Afghani Sa'id al-Afghani 1911 - 1997 Professor of Arabic language and literature
Sabah Fakhri Sabah Fakhri 1933 - 2021 Syrian tenor singer
Hashim al-Atassi Hashim al-Atassi 1875 - 1960 President of Syria
Nabil Maleh Nabil Maleh 1936 - 2016 Film director, screenwriter, producer
Fadwa Souleimane Fadwa Souleimane 1970 - 2017 Actress
Umar Rida Kahhala Umar Rida Kahhala 1905 - 1987 Historian and literature scholar
Aktham Naisse Aktham Naisse 1951 - 2022 Human rights defender
Mohammed Makhlouf Mohammed Makhlouf 1932 - 2020 businessman
Asmahan Asmahan 1912 - 1944 Singer and actress
Shafiq Ades Shafiq Ades 1900 - 1948 Ford car company agency in Iraq
Moustapha Akkad Moustapha Akkad 1930 - 2005 producer of Halloween series and director
Khairallah Assar Khairallah Assar 1935 - 2015 Professor of sociology at the University of Annaba
Abd al-Wahhab Hawmad Abd al-Wahhab Hawmad 1915 - 2002 Minister of Education, Minister of Finance
Maryana Marrash Maryana Marrash 1848 - 1919 Writer and poet of the Nahda
Shukri al-Quwatli Shukri al-Quwatli 1891 - 1967 First president of independent Syria
Hassan Sobhi Mourad Hassan Sobhi Mourad 1942 - 2015 Academic
Qustaki al-Himsi Qustaki al-Himsi 1858 - 1941 Nahda movement
Abdul Aziz Said Abdul Aziz Said 1930 - 2021 Professor of International Relations
Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi 1830 - 1900 Poet and Leader
Fateh Moudarres Fateh Moudarres 1922 - 1999 Painter and lecturer
Leila Mustafa Leila Mustafa 1988 - 2023 Co-chair of the Civil Council of Raqqa
Abu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi Abu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi 920 - 980 Author of Kitab al-Fusul fi al-Hisab al-Hindi
Munir al-Rayyes Munir al-Rayyes 1901 - 1992 Newspaper editor and historian
Mahmoud Al-Zoubi Mahmoud Al-Zoubi 1935 - 2000 Prime Minister of Syria
Fathallah Saqqal Fathallah Saqqal 1898 - 1970 Attorney and government minister
Bassel al-Assad Bassel al-Assad 1962 - 1994 Engineer, colonel, politician
Ibrahim Al-Omar Ibrahim Al-Omar 1978 - 2016 Camera operator for Al-Jazeera Mubasher
Nazik al-Abid Nazik al-Abid 1887 - 1959 Women's rights activist, nationalist
Abd al-Masih Haddad Abd al-Masih Haddad 1890 - 1963 Writer and journalist of the Mahjar movement
Ferzat Jarban Ferzat Jarban 1965 - 2011 Cameraman
Adham Al-Akrad Adham Al-Akrad 1974 - 2020 Rebel leader in Daraa Governorate
Khaled al-Asaad Khaled al-Asaad 1932 - 2015 Head of antiquities at Palmyra
Flavian I of Antioch Flavian I of Antioch 320 - 404 Bishop of Antioch
Bashir al-Azma Bashir al-Azma 1910 - 1992 Prime Minister of Syria
Fahd Ballan Fahd Ballan 1933 - 1997 Syrian folk singer and actor
Walid Ikhlasi Walid Ikhlasi 1935 - 2022 Novelist, short story writer and playwright
Sami al-Jundi Sami al-Jundi 1921 - 1995 Ba'athist leader and diplomat
Yusuf al-Azmah Yusuf al-Azmah 1883 - 1920 Minister of War
Muhammad al-Imadi Muhammad al-Imadi 1930 - 2022 Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade
Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai 1914 - 1994 Artist, architect, archaeologist, and author
Salom Rizk Salom Rizk 1908 - 1973 Author, lecturer
Sadiq Jalal al-Azm Sadiq Jalal al-Azm 1934 - 2016 Professor of Modern European Philosophy
Ali al-Jundi Ali al-Jundi 1928 - 2009 Free verse poet
Ninos Aho Ninos Aho 1945 - 2013 Assyrian poet and activist
Nazem al-Jaafari Nazem al-Jaafari 1918 - 2015 Painter, pioneer of impressionism in Syria
Farid al-Atrash Farid al-Atrash 1917 - 1974 Singer, composer, and actor
Feras Saied Feras Saied 1981 - 2015 Professional bodybuilder
Kamil Pasha al-Qudsi Kamil Pasha al-Qudsi 1845 - 1926 Governor General of the State of Aleppo
Hadiya Khalaf Abbas Hadiya Khalaf Abbas 1958 - 2021 Speaker of the People's Council of Syria
Jihan al-Mosli Jihan al-Mosli 1908 - 1996 Teacher and parliament member
Naji al Jerf Naji al Jerf 1977 - 2015 Documentary filmmaker
Khaled Khalifa Khaled Khalifa 1964 - 2023 Novelist, screenwriter, and poet
Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi 870 - 950 Philosopher, logician, musician, cosmologist
Muhammad al-Sufi Muhammad al-Sufi 1927 - 2018 Field marshal and defense minister
Mai Skaf Mai Skaf 1969 - 2018 Actress and activist
Lutfi al-Haffar Lutfi al-Haffar 1885 - 1968 Founder of the National Bloc
Omar Hamdi Omar Hamdi 1952 - 2015 Painter and designer
Clement of Alexandria Clement of Alexandria 150 - 215 Christian apologist
Riad Beyrouti Riad Beyrouti 1944 - 2019 Painter and sculptor
Nazim al-Kudsi Nazim al-Kudsi 1906 - 1998 President of Syria
Masoud Juni Masoud Juni 1939 - 1991 Writer, poet and novelist
Sabri Moudallal Sabri Moudallal 1918 - 2006 Traditional Syrian music
Khalil Mardam Bey Khalil Mardam Bey 1895 - 1959 Poet and critic
Constantine Zureiq Constantine Zureiq 1909 - 2000 Historian, professor, diplomat
Izzat Traboulsi Izzat Traboulsi 1913 - 2000 Governor of the Central Bank of Syria
Ahmad Madoun Ahmad Madoun 1941 - 1983 Artist
Haidar Haidar Haidar Haidar 1936 - 2023 Writer and novelist
Nazir Nabaa Nazir Nabaa 1938 - 2016 Painter
Sami Droubi Sami Droubi 1921 - 1976 Politician, career diplomat, writer, translator
Sabat Islambouli Sabat Islambouli 1867 - 1941 Physician
Amin al-Hafiz Amin al-Hafiz 1921 - 2009 President of Syria
Solhi al Wadi Solhi al Wadi 1934 - 2007 Qanun player and director of Radio Orchestra
Raed Fares Raed Fares 1972 - 2018 Founder of Radio Fresh FM
Louay Hussein Louay Hussein 1960 - 2022 Writer and opposition activist
Francis Marrash Francis Marrash 1836 - 1874 Scholar, publicist, physician
Paul Baghdadlian Paul Baghdadlian 1953 - 2011 Singer, songwriter, composer, musician
Bassma Kodmani Bassma Kodmani 1958 - 2023 Syrian National Council spokesperson
Shukri al-Asali Shukri al-Asali 1868 - 1916 Parliamentarian and senior inspector
Apollodorus of Damascus Apollodorus of Damascus 50 - 130 Architect and engineer for Trajan
Izzat Husrieh Izzat Husrieh 1914 - 1975 Journalist, author, publisher and researcher
Nouri Iskandar Nouri Iskandar 1938 - 2023 Musicologist and composer
Ibrahim Hananu Ibrahim Hananu 1869 - 1935 Leader of the Hananu Revolt
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zaki al-Arsuzi 1899 - 1968 Co-founder of Ba'athism
Fares al-Khoury Fares al-Khoury 1877 - 1962 father of modern Syrian politics
Nasim al-Safarjalani Nasim al-Safarjalani 1935 - 1994 General Secretary of the Presidential Council
Bassel Shehadeh Bassel Shehadeh 1984 - 2012 Documentary filmmaker and IT engineer
Khayr al-Din al-Asadi Khayr al-Din al-Asadi 1900 - 1971 Historian
Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein 1952 - 1982 Modern Arabic poetry
Nourhane Nourhane 1922 - 2022 Singer and actress
Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurashi Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurashi 1976 - 2019 Leader of the Islamic State
Nizar Qabbani Nizar Qabbani 1923 - 1998 Poet, writer, publisher
Hanna Mina Hanna Mina 1924 - 2018 Social realist writer
Halim Barakat Halim Barakat 1936 - 2023 Arab sociologist and novelist
Riyad al-Rayyes Riyad al-Rayyes 1937 - 2020 journalist and publisher
Kamal al-Qassab Kamal al-Qassab 1853 - 1954 founder of the Syrian Higher National Committee
Rafiq Subaie Rafiq Subaie 1930 - 2017 Actor, writer, director
Hunein Maassab Hunein Maassab 1926 - 2014 Epidemiologist
Sultan al-Atrash Sultan al-Atrash 1891 - 1982 Commander of the Great Syrian Revolt
Ayyash Al-Haj Hussein Al-Jassim Ayyash Al-Haj Hussein Al-Jassim 1864 - 1926 fighter against French occupation
Hammoudi ibn Ibrahim Hammoudi ibn Ibrahim 1875 - 1953 Archaeological foreman
Riad Ismat Riad Ismat 1947 - 2020 writer, critic and theatre director
Mamdouh Adwan Mamdouh Adwan 1941 - 2004 Poet, writer and translator
Badawi al-Jabal Badawi al-Jabal 1903 - 1981 Poet, writer, nationalist leader
Mohammed Maghout Mohammed Maghout 1934 - 2006 Modern Arabic poetry
Muhammad Salim Barakat Muhammad Salim Barakat 1930 - 1999 Writer, translator, teacher of Arabic language
Mihemed Sexo Mihemed Sexo 1948 - 1989 Kurdish folk singer
Salma Kuzbari Salma Kuzbari 1923 - 2006 Literary critic and biographer
Afif Bahnassi Afif Bahnassi 1928 - 2017 Islamic art historian and museum curator
Riad Haidar Riad Haidar 1951 - 2023 Member of the Sejm of Poland
Muhammad al-Tunji Muhammad al-Tunji 1933 - 2021 linguist and author
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi Abu Bakr al Baghdadi 1971 - 2019 Leader of the Islamic State
Zeyad Errafae'ie Zeyad Errafae'ie 1967 - 2009 Actor
Ulfat Idlibi Ulfat Idlibi 1912 - 2007 Novelist
Haqqi al-Azm Haqqi al-Azm 1864 - 1955 Prime Minister of Syria
Hussein Aoudat Hussein Aoudat 1937 - 2016 Writer and journalist
Michel Kilo Michel Kilo 1940 - 2021 writer and human rights activist
Fouad al-Zayat Fouad al-Zayat 1941 - 2018 Founder of Mortimer Off Shore Services Ltd.
Omran al-Zoubi Omran al-Zoubi 1959 - 2018 Minister of Information in the Government of Syria
Ahmed Kuftaro Ahmed Kuftaro 1915 - 2004 Grand Mufti of Syria
Michel Aflaq Michel Aflaq 1910 - 1989 Founder of Ba'athism
Kamal Kheir Beik Kamal Kheir Beik 1935 - 1980 Poet
Yusuf al-Khal Yusuf al-Khal 1917 - 1987 Poet, journalist, publisher
Ahmad Izzat Pasha al-Abid Ahmad Izzat Pasha al-Abid 1851 - 1924 Second Secretary of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II
Abdul Halim Khaddam Abdul Halim Khaddam 1932 - 2020 Vice President of Syria
Abd al-Masih al-Antaki Abd al-Masih al-Antaki 1875 - 1922 Journalist and founder of periodicals
Badia Masabni Badia Masabni 1892 - 1974 Night club owner and businesswoman
Husni al-Za'im Husni al-Za'im 1897 - 1949 President and Prime Minister of Syria
Hani al-Rahib Hani al-Rahib 1939 - 2000 Novelist and literary academic
Adib Ishaq Adib Ishaq 1856 - 1885 Journalist and translator
Saadallah Wannous Saadallah Wannous 1941 - 1997 Playwright, writer and editor on Arabic theater
Sabri al-Asali Sabri al-Asali 1903 - 1976 Prime minister of Syria
Raoul Gregory Vitale Raoul Gregory Vitale 1928 - 2003 Musicology, Ancient history
Hanna K. Korany Hanna K. Korany 1870 - 1898 Writer and speaker
Abd al-Razzaq al-Dandashi Abd al-Razzaq al-Dandashi 1899 - 1935 Founder of League of Nationalist Action
Nureddin al-Atassi Nureddin al-Atassi 1929 - 1992 President of Syria
Khairy Alzahaby Khairy Alzahaby 1946 - 2022 Novelist, thinker, historian, columnist
Moussa Ayoub Moussa Ayoub 1873 - 1955 Portrait Painter
Ali Al-Tantawi Ali Al-Tantawi 1909 - 1999 Islamic scholar, writer, judge
Giuseppe Nahmad Giuseppe Nahmad 1932 - 2012 Art dealer and collector
Shuaib Al Arna'ut Shuaib Al Arna'ut 1928 - 2016 Hadith scholar and editor
Riad al-Turk Riad al-Turk 1930 - 2024 Syrian opposition leader
Zaki al-Khatib Zaki al-Khatib 1887 - 1961 Prime Minister of Syria
Sania Saleh Sania Saleh 1935 - 1985 Poet and writer
Lu'ay al-Atassi Lu'ay al-Atassi 1926 - 2003 President of Syria
Louay Kayali Louay Kayali 1934 - 1978 Modern artist
Georges Tarabichi Georges Tarabichi 1939 - 2016 Writer, philosopher, and translator
Salwa Fallouh Salwa Fallouh 1920 - 2008 Painter and illustrator
Hanna Diyab Hanna Diyab 1688 - 1763 Originator of Aladdin and Ali Baba stories
Al-Kamil Nasir ad-Din Muhammad Al-Kamil Nasir ad-Din Muhammad 1177 - 1238 Sultan of Egypt and Syria
Abu Khalil Qabbani Abu Khalil Qabbani 1835 - 1902 Founder of the short musical play
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Top 10 Died Influential People

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  • 1. Nizar Qabbani

    Died: 1998 A.D
    Slogan: What is the difference between me and the sky?it is that when you laugh, I forget about the sky.

    Nizar Qabbani was a Syrian poet, writer, and publisher who is considered to be one of the most influential and popular poets in the Arab world. He was born in Damascus in 1923 to a middle-class merchant family and was the grandnephew of the pioneering Arab playwright Abu Khalil Qabbani. He studied law at the University of Damascus and graduated in 1945. He then joined the Syrian Foreign Ministry and served as a diplomat in several countries, including Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Britain, China, and Spain. He resigned from his diplomatic career in 1966 and moved to Beirut, Lebanon, where he founded his own publishing company. He later lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and London, England, where he died in 1998. Qabbani's poetic style combines simplicity and elegance in exploring themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion, and Arab nationalism. He wrote more than 20 collections of poetry, some of which were set to music and sung by famous Arab singers. He also wrote prose, essays, and letters. He is known for his innovative use of free verse and his expression of the Arab woman's voice and perspective. He was influenced by the tragic death of his sister, who committed suicide rather than marry a man she did not love, and by the political and social upheavals in the Arab world, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Arab defeat in the 1967 war. He was a staunch critic of Arab regimes and leaders, and a supporter of democracy and human rights. He was also a lover of Arabic culture and language, and a defender of Arab identity and dignity. He received many awards and honors for his literary contributions, and is widely regarded as Syria's national poet.

  • 2. Moustapha Akkad

    Died: 2005 A.D
    Slogan: I did the film because it is a personal thing for me.

    Moustapha Akkad was a Syrian-American film producer and director, best known for producing the original series of Halloween films and directing The Message and Lion of the Desert. He was born on July 1, 1930, in Aleppo, Syria, and moved to the United States to study film at UCLA and USC. He worked as a consultant for Sam Peckinpah and a producer for CBS before making his directorial debut with The Message, a historical epic about the life of Prophet Muhammad. He faced many challenges and controversies while making the film, but he saw it as his duty to tell the truth about Islam and bridge the gap between the Western and Muslim worlds. He later directed Lion of the Desert, another historical drama about the Libyan resistance leader Omar Mukhtar, starring Anthony Quinn. He also produced the Halloween franchise, starting with the 1978 horror classic by John Carpenter. He was the executive producer of all the sequels until his death in 2005. He was killed along with his daughter Rima in the 2005 Amman bombings, a terrorist attack that targeted a hotel in Jordan. He was 75 years old. He is remembered as a pioneer of Arab cinema and a visionary filmmaker who brought diverse stories and perspectives to the screen.

  • 3. Amin al-Hafiz

    Died: 2009 A.D
    Slogan: Syria is the heart of Arabism

    Amin al-Hafiz was a Syrian politician, general, and member of the Ba'ath Party who served as the President of Syria from 27 July 1963 to 23 February 1966. He led a coup against the Syrian government in 1963, shortly after the dissolution of the United Arab Republic. He became the head of the National Revolutionary Command Council and instituted socialist reforms and oriented his country towards the Eastern Bloc. He also improved ties with the Soviets, bankrolled Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Fatah guerrillas, and ordered engineers to divert two rivers that fed Israel's share of the Jordan. He was overthrown by a radical Ba'athist faction headed by Salah Jadid in 1966 and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. He died in Aleppo in 2009 at the age of 88.

  • 4. Asmahan

    Died: 1944 A.D
    Slogan: I am the daughter of the moon and the stars

    Asmahan was a Syrian-Egyptian singer and actress who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born to a Druze family in As-Suwayda, Syria, and was the sister of Farid Al Atrash, a famous singer and composer. Asmahan began her career as a singer in the early 1930s, and soon became one of the most popular singers in the Arab world. She sang the compositions of Mohamed El Qasabgi, Zakariyya Ahmad, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and her brother Farid. Her voice was one of the few female voices in Arab music that could compete with that of Umm Kulthum, the most distinguished singer of the 20th century. Asmahan also starred in several films, such as Intisar al-Shabab, Gharam wa Intiqam, and Laila bint al-Sahra. She was known for her beauty, charisma, and controversial personal life. She was married three times, had several affairs, and was involved in political intrigues during World War II. She allegedly worked as a spy for the British, the French, the Germans, and the Jewish Agency in Palestine, and tried to influence the outcome of the war in the Middle East. She died in a mysterious car accident near Cairo in 1944, at the age of 31. Her death sparked many rumors and conspiracy theories, and remains unsolved to this day. Asmahan is considered one of the legends of Arabic music and cinema, and her songs and films are still admired by millions of fans.

  • 5. Michel Aflaq

    Died: 1989 A.D
    Slogan: One Arab nation with an eternal mission

    Michel Aflaq was a Syrian philosopher, sociologist and Arab nationalist. He is considered to be the principal founder of Ba'athism and its political movement. He published various books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Battle for One Destiny (1958) and The Struggle Against Distorting the Movement of Arab Revolution (1975). Aflaq was born into a middle-class family in Damascus, Syria, in 1910. He studied at the Sorbonne, where he met his future political companion Salah al-Din al-Bitar. He returned to Syria in 1932, and began his political career in communist politics. Aflaq became a communist activist, but broke his ties with the communist movement when the Syrian–Lebanese Communist Party supported colonial policies through the Popular Front under the French Mandate of Syria. Later in 1940 Aflaq and al-Bitar established the Arab Ihya Movement (later renaming itself the Arab Ba'ath Movement, taking the name from Zaki al-Arsuzi's group by the same name). The movement proved successful, and in 1947 the Arab Ba'ath Movement merged with al-Arsuzi's Arab Ba'ath organisation to establish the Arab Ba'ath Party. Aflaq was elected to the party's executive committee and was elected "'Amid" (meaning the party's leader). The Arab Ba'ath Party merged with Akram al-Hawrani's Arab Socialist Party to establish the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in 1952; Aflaq was elected the party's leader in 1954. During the mid-to-late 1950s the party began developing relations with Gamal Abdel Nasser, the President of Egypt, which eventually led to the establishment of the United Arab Republic (UAR). Nasser forced Aflaq to dissolve the party, which he did, but without consulting with party members. Shortly after the UAR's dissolution, Aflaq was reelected as Secretary General of the National Command of the Ba'ath Party. Following the 8th of March Revolution, Aflaq's position within the party was weakened to such an extent that he was forced to resign as the party's leader in 1965. He moved to Iraq, where he was given the symbolic title of Secretary General of the Iraq-based Ba'ath Party. He remained in Iraq until his death in 1989. His body was returned to Syria, where he was posthumously reinstated as the leader of the Ba'ath Party by Hafez al-Assad.

  • 6. Shukri al-Quwatli

    Died: 1967 A.D
    Slogan: Syria is the heart of Arabism

    Shukri al-Quwatli was a Syrian statesman who led the anti-colonialist movement in Syria and became the nation's first president. He began his career as a dissident working towards the independence and unity of the Ottoman Empire's Arab territories and was consequently imprisoned and tortured for his activism. When the Kingdom of Syria was established, Quwatli became a government official, though he was disillusioned with monarchism and co-founded the republican Independence Party. Quwatli was immediately sentenced to death by the French who took control over Syria in 1920. Afterward, he based himself in Cairo where he served as the chief ambassador of the Syrian-Palestinian Congress, cultivating particularly strong ties with Saudi Arabia. He used these connections to help finance the Great Syrian Revolt (1925–1927). In 1930, the French authorities pardoned Quwatli and thereafter, he returned to Syria, where he gradually became a principal leader of the National Bloc. He was elected president of Syria in 1943 and oversaw the country's independence three years later. Quwatli was reelected in 1948, but was toppled in a military coup in 1949 by Husni al-Za'im. He subsequently went into exile in Egypt, returning to Syria in 1955 to participate in the presidential election, which he won. A conservative presiding over an increasingly leftist-dominated government, Quwatli officially adopted neutralism amid the Cold War. After his request for aid from the United States was denied, he drew closer to the Eastern bloc. He also entered Syria into a defense arrangement with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to confront the influence of the Baghdad Pact. In 1957, Quwatli, who the US and the Pact countries attempted but failed to oust, sought to stem the leftist tide in Syria, but to no avail. By then, his political authority had receded as the military bypassed Quwatli's jurisdiction by independently coordinating with Quwatli's erstwhile ally, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Following months of unity talks, in 1958, Quwatli merged Syria with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic and stepped down for Nasser to serve as president. In gratitude, Nasser awarded Quwatli the honorary title of "First Arab Citizen". However, Quwatli grew disenchanted with the union, believing it had reduced Syria to a police state subordinate to Egypt. He backed Syria's secession in 1961, but plans for him to complete his presidential term afterward did not materialize. Quwatli left Syria following the 1963 Ba'athist coup, and he died of a heart attack in Lebanon weeks after Syria's defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War.

  • 7. Hashim al-Atassi

    Died: 1960 A.D
    Slogan: Syria is not a gift to anyone, it is the homeland of the Syrians.

    Hashim al-Atassi was a Syrian nationalist and statesman who served as the president of Syria three times in his life. He was born in Homs in 1875 to a prominent and wealthy family. He studied public administration in Istanbul and began his political career as an Ottoman official in various provinces of Syria. He became a member of the Syrian National Congress in 1919 and was elected as its chairman. He declared Syria's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1920 and became the prime minister under King Faisal I. However, his government was soon dissolved by the French forces who occupied Syria under the mandate system. He opposed the French rule and led the National Bloc, the main resistance movement, in negotiating a treaty for Syrian independence in 1936. He was elected as the first president of Syria under the new constitution, but resigned in 1939 when the French refused to ratify the treaty. He returned to power in 1949 after a series of military coups and was re-elected as president in 1950. He tried to maintain a neutral stance in the Cold War and the Arab-Israeli conflict, but faced internal opposition from the military and the Ba'ath Party. He resigned again in 1951 after a failed assassination attempt. He was recalled to the presidency in 1954 after the fall of Adib Shishakli's dictatorship and restored the 1936 constitution. He supported the idea of a union with Egypt and other Arab states, but resigned for the last time in 1955 when he realized that the union would undermine Syria's sovereignty. He retired to his hometown of Homs and died there in 1960 from a heart attack. He is widely regarded as one of the most respected and influential leaders in Syrian history.

  • 8. Hafez al-Assad

    Died: 2000 A.D
    Slogan: Unity, freedom, and socialism

    Hafez al-Assad was a Syrian statesman, military officer and revolutionary who served as the 18th president of Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000. He had previously served as prime minister of Syria from 1970 to 1971 as well as regional secretary of the regional command of the Syrian regional branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and secretary general of the National Command of the Ba'ath Party from 1970 to 2000. Hafez al-Assad was a key participant in the 1963 Syrian coup d'état, which brought the Syrian regional branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party to power in the country. The new leadership appointed Hafez as the commander of the Syrian Air Force. In February 1966 Hafez participated in a second coup, which toppled the traditional leaders of the Ba'ath Party. During Assad’s ministry Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel in the Six-Day War (June 1967), dealing Assad a blow that shaped much of his future political career. Assad then engaged in a protracted power struggle with Salah al-Jadid—chief of staff of the armed forces, Assad’s political mentor, and effective leader of Syria—until finally in November 1970 Assad seized control, arresting Jadid and other members of the government. He became prime minister and in 1971 was elected president. Assad set about building up the Syrian military with Soviet aid and gaining the loyalty of the Syrian populace with public works funded by Arab donors and international lending institutions. Political dissenters were eliminated by arrest, torture, and execution, and when the Muslim Brotherhood mounted a rebellion in Hama in 1982, Assad ruthlessly suppressed it at a cost of some 20,000 lives and the near destruction of the city. In foreign affairs Assad tried to establish Syria as a leader of the Arab world. A new alliance with Egypt culminated in a surprise attack on Israel in October 1973 (see October War), but Egypt’s unexpected cessation of hostilities exposed Syria to military defeat and earned Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, Assad’s enduring resentment. Assad also intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, sending troops to support the Maronite Christians against the Palestinians and the Muslims, and later to fight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Assad faced several challenges to his rule, such as a failed coup attempt in 1984 by his brother Rifaat, a rebellion by the Kurds in the northeast, and growing discontent among the Sunni majority. He also suffered from health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. He tried to improve relations with some of his Arab neighbors, such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and engaged in negotiations with Israel over the Golan Heights, but without reaching a final agreement. He also maintained close ties with Iran, Russia, and China, and supported various militant groups opposed to Israel, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Assad died in office in 2000, and was succeeded by his son Bashar, who had been groomed for the presidency since the death of his elder brother Basil in a car accident in 1994.

  • 9. Paul Baghdadlian

    Died: 2011 A.D
    Slogan: I sing for love, I sing for you.

    Paul Baghdadlian, often known simply as Paul, was a Syrian-Armenian singer, songwriter, composer, musician, entertainer, and businessman. He is referred to as the King of Love Songs. His music is loved by many Armenians and particularly by the Armenian diaspora. Paul, originally named Krikor Baghdadlian, was born on July 10, 1953, in Aleppo, Syria. He was born to Baruyr and Arousiag Baghdadlian. Paul grew up with two brothers and a sister. In 1961 the Baghdadlian family moved to Kuwait. He had great success in singing modern Armenian music after moving to Beirut, Lebanon. In 1965, at the age of 12 his mother died (his father eventually remarried and settled in Pasadena, CA). Struggling to live his daily life, he started performing to make his living. During the early 1970s, Paul Baghdadlian was known as Paul the Prince and was singing only English songs. After listening to fellow singer of the Armenian diaspora music Harout Pamboukjian, however, Baghadadlian started to sing in Armenian, mostly performing love songs. ⁴ Having achieved great success in Beirut and the Middle East in this new phase of his career, he moved to Los Angeles, in 1977 for an international career. ² In Los Angeles he produced hundreds of recordings, mostly ballads, most of which he sang in Armenian, though he sang in a number of other languages, most notably Arabic and English. Many of his songs were recorded and produced by Parseghian Records in Los Angeles. ⁴ He often toured the major centers of the Armenian diaspora and Armenia. ⁵ On November 27, 2010, Paul Baghdadlian performed a concert in Laval, Canada. This concert happened to be his last prior to his death 7 months later. Baghdadlian died on June 28, 2011, after a long battle with lung cancer. He died in Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where he was being hospitalized. The cause of death was ruled to be respiratory failure due to the cancer. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. He is survived by his two sons, his daughter, and his father.

  • 10. Akram al-Hawrani

    Died: 1996 A.D
    Slogan: For a more just and fair society.

    Akram al-Hawrani was a Syrian politician who played a significant role during the democratic era of Syria in the 1950s. He established and led the Arab Socialist Party and was a highly influential figure in Syrian politics from the early 1940s until his exile in 1963. He introduced significant reforms towards a more just and fair society, especially in relation to the agricultural sector and land redistribution against the feudal system.

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