Sami al-Jundi

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Sami al-Jundi
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
1 February 1964 – 4 April 1965
Personal details
Born 1921
Salamiyah, French Mandate of Syria
Died 1996
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Alma mater Damascus University

Sami al-Jundi (1921-1996) was a Syrian Ba'athist politician, and a follower of Michel Aflaq.

Life

An older cousin of Abd al-Karim al-Jundi,[1] Jundi was born to a scholarly family in Salamiyah.[2] He studied dentistry at Damascus University, graduating in 1944. Initially attracted to Arab nationalism by Zaki al-Arsuzi, he joined the Ba'ath Party of Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar in 1947. In the 1950s he joined Gamal Abdel Nasser's Arab nationalist movement, and Nasser appointed him director of information and propaganda after Egypt and Syria merged as the United Arab Republic in 1958. After the 1961 Syrian coup installed Nazim al-Qudsi, Jundi lost his job, but after the 1963 Syrian coup he became minister of information in Salah al-Bitar's cabinet. He was also official spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC).[3]

The RCC named Jundi prime minister, delegating him to form a cabinet on 11 May 1963, but he failed to do so and resigned three days later. He was minister of information, culture and national guidance in Prime Minister Bitar's second cabinet, and remained in government under President Amin al-Hafez until October 1964. In 1964 he became ambassador to France.[3]

Jailed in Syria for some time in 1969,[1] Jundi retired to Beirut, writing his memoirs. After Israeli invaded Lebanon in 1982, he returned to Syria, but worked as a dentist and was not active politically.[3]

Jundi's account of the fate of the Ba'ath Party has been characterized as "an honest and sad portrayal of what has befallen many national anticolonial movements".[4]

Works

  • Arab wa Yahud [Arabs and Jews], Beirut, 1968
  • Sadiqi Ilyas [My friend Ilyas], Beirut, 1969
  • Al Ba`th [The Ba`th], Beirut, 1969
  • Athadda wa Attahim [I challenge and I accuse], Beirut, 1969

Quotes

"We were racists. We admired the Nazis. We were immersed in reading Nazi literature and books that were the source of the Nazi spirit. We were the first who thought of a translation of Mein Kampf. Anyone who lived in Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab inclination toward Nazism."[5]

References

  1. ^ a b Itamar Rabinovič (1972). Syria Under the Baʻth, 1963-66: The Army Party Symbiosis. Transaction Publishers. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-4128-3550-3. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Fouad Ajami (2012). The Syrian Rebellion. Hoover Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-8179-1506-3. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Sami M. Moubayed (2006). Steel and Silk: Men and Women who Shaped Syria 1900-2000. Cune Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-885942-40-1. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Fouad Ajami (1992). The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and Practice Since 1967. Cambridge University Press. pp. 49–59. ISBN 978-0-521-43833-9. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Perdue, Jon B. (2012). The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books Inc. p. 73. ISBN 978-1597977043. 
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