Amin al-Hafiz

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Amin Al-Hafiz
أمين الحافظ
Amin al-Hafez 1965.jpg
Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
4 October 1964 – 19 December 1965
Secretary General Michel Aflaq
Munif al-Razzaz
Preceded by Shibli al-Aysami
Succeeded by Nureddin al-Atassi
(Regional Command dissolved in December 1965, new Regional Secretary elected in March 1966)
President of Syria
In office
27 July 1963 – 23 February 1966
Vice President Muhammad Umran
Nureddin al-Atassi
Shibli al-Aysami
Preceded by Lu'ay al-Atassi
Succeeded by Nureddin al-Atassi
Prime Minister of Syria
In office
4 October 1964 – 23 September 1965
Preceded by Salah al-Din Bitar
Succeeded by Yusuf Zu'ayyin
In office
12 November 1963 – 13 May 1964
Preceded by Salah al-Din Bitar
Succeeded by Salah al-Din Bitar
Member of the National Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
In office
23 October 1963 – 23 February 1966
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
1 February 1964 – 19 December 1965
Personal details
Born (1921-11-12)12 November 1921
Aleppo, State of Aleppo, French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
Died 17 December 2009(2009-12-17) (aged 88)
Aleppo, Syria
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Spouse(s) Zeinab al-Hafiz
Amin al-Hafiz
أمين الحافظ
Born (1921-11-12)November 12, 1921
Died December 17, 2009(2009-12-17) (aged 88)
Allegiance  Syria
Service/branch Syrian Arab Army
Years of service 1938-1966
Rank Syria-Feriq.jpg General of the Army

Amin al-Hafiz (or Hafez; 12 November 1921[1] – 17 December 2009)[2] (Arabic: أمين الحافظ‎) 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.

Career

Early life

Al-Hafiz was born in the city of Aleppo.

Rise to power

Hafiz (right) with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser on his arrival to Cairo for the Arab League summit, 1964

The 1963 Syrian coup d'état led by the Military Committee introduced al-Hafiz to public life. In the aftermath of the coup, the National Council of the Revolutionary Command (NCRC) became the country's supreme organ. The NCRC was dominated by the Syrian branch of the radical, pan-Arab Ba'ath Party. Al-Hafiz became President, instituted socialist reforms, and oriented his country towards the Eastern Bloc.

Downfall

On 23 February 1966, al-Hafiz was overthrown by a radical Ba'athist faction headed by Chief of Staff Salah Jadid.[3][4] A late warning telegram of the coup d'état was sent from President Nasser to Nasim al-Safarjalani (The General Secretary of Presidential Council), on the early morning of the coup d'état. The coup sprung out of factional rivalry between Jadid's "regionalist" (qutri) camp of the Ba'ath Party, which promoted ambitions for a Greater Syria, and the more traditionally pan-Arab al-Hafiz faction, called the "nationalist" (qawmi) faction. Jadid's supporters were also seen as more radically left-wing.[5] The coup was also supported and led by officers from Syria's religious minorities, especially the Alawite Muslims and the Druze, whereas al-Hafiz belonged to the majority Sunni population.

Exile and return

After being wounded in the three-hour shootout that preceded the coup, in which two of his own children were seriously injured, al-Hafiz was jailed in Damascus's Mezzeh prison before being sent to Lebanon in June 1967. A year later, he was relocated to Baghdad. In 1971, the courts of Damascus sentenced him to death in absentia; however, Saddam Hussein "treated him and his fellow exile, Ba'ath founder Michel Aflaq, like royalty", and the sentence was not carried out.[6] After the fall of Saddam in the Iraq War of 2003, al-Hafiz was quietly allowed to return to Syria.[7] He died in Aleppo on December 17, 2009; reports of his age differ, but he was believed to be in his late 80s.[2][8] He received a state-sponsored funeral.[6]

References

  1. ^ http://www.findyourfate.com/astrology/celebritybirthday.php?sign=Scorpio&page=4
  2. ^ a b Syria-news Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine (in Arabic)
  3. ^ Associated Press (16 February 2010). "Amin al-Hafez obituary". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  4. ^ Associated Press (August 24, 1993). "Salah Jadid, 63, Leader of Syria Deposed and Imprisoned by Assad". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Syria:Coups and Countercoups, 1961-70". countrystudies.us/. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  6. ^ a b Joffe, Lawrence (16 February 2010). "Amin al-Hafez obituary: Leader of Syria's first Ba'athist regime". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. ^ Anthony Shadid (May 18, 2005). "Syria Heralds Reforms, But Many Have Doubts". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  8. ^ AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (December 18, 2009). "Amin el-Hafez, Baathist Leader of Syria in 1960s, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
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