George Sabra

George Sabra
جورج صبرة
President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
In office
22 April 2013  6 July 2013
Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto
Preceded by Moaz al-Khatib
Succeeded by Ahmad al-Jarba
Personal details
Born (1947-07-11) 11 July 1947
Qatana, Syria
Alma mater Damascus University
Indiana University, Bloomington

George Sabra (Arabic: جورج صبرة, born 11 July 1947) was elected president of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in Syria, on 9 November 2012 and later was acting president of the Syrian National Coalition from 22 April[1] – 6 July 2013. Sabra is a member of the Syrian Democratic People's Party. He is a Greek Orthodox Christian.[2]

Early life and education

Born to a Christian family in the city of Qatana in Rif Dimashq Governorate.[3] Sabra graduated with a geography degree from Damascus University in 1971 and a degree in educational technology systems from Indiana University in 1978.[4] He since became a geography teacher, as well as a screenwriter. He is one of the writers for the Arabic version, Iftah Ya Simsim, of the children's show Sesame Street.[5]

Political career

Sabra has been politically active in the Syrian opposition movement since the 1970s. Sabra joined the Syrian Communist Party (Political Bureau) in 1970 and was elected to its Central Committee in 1985. He was arrested in 1987 during one of many government crackdowns on the party and imprisoned for eight years. A few years after his release, in 2000, he was assigned to represent his party in the National Democratic Gathering, a coalition of leftist parties that was originally formed in 1979, and he was subsequently elected to the gathering's Central Committee.[4]

On 22 April 2013, president of the Syrian National Coalition Moaz al-Khatib resigned in protest of the lack of international aid to the Syrian opposition by the Friends of Syria group. The Christian opposition figure George Sabra was then appointed as Khatib's successor.[6]


  1. "Syrian National Council chooses George Sabra as leader". BBC News. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  2. "Syria: Deraa bombings 'kill soldiers'". BBC News. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. "Syrian opposition head wants no-strings aid". Al Jazeera. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  4. 1 2 "George Sabra". Carnegie Middle East Center. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  5. Hammond, Andrew (9 November 2012). "Syria's opposition SNC elects George Sabra as new head". Reuters. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  6. Syria opposition names interim leader,, retrieved: April 23, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Moaz al-Khatib
President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces

Succeeded by
Ahmad Jarba
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