Shibli al-Aysami

Ba'ath Party National Command in Baghdad (around 1974) with Michel Aflaq, Saddam Hussein, Shibli al-Aysami (center), Hasan al-Bakr, others
Shibli al-Aysami's books about concepts and history of the Ba'ath Party were translated into several languages, for example into German: Einheit, Freiheit, Sozialismus (Unity, Freedom, Socialism) and Die Gründungsperiode in den vierziger Jahren (The founding period in the 1940s)
Berlin, February 2014: Ba'athist student in front of the Lebanese embassy reminding al-Aysamis's disappearance

Shiblī Yousef Hamad al-Aysamī (Arabic شبلي العيسمي), alternatively also Shibli-L-Aʾysami, al-Ayasami, al-Ayssami or al-ʿAisamī, (5 February 1925-24 May 2011) was a Syrian politician and Arab nationalist figure. He was born to a Druze family in al-Suwayda, Syria. He was kidnapped by unknown persons in Aley, Lebanon and is presumed to be dead.

In 1947, together with Michel Aflaq, he became a founding member of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and from 1963 to 1964 he held different ministerial posts in the Syrian government. In 1964 he was elected as General Secretary of the Syrian Regional Command of the Ba'ath Party and in 1965 he became Vice President of Syria under Amin al-Hafiz. After the 1966 Syrian coup d'état and the Syrian-Iraqi rift he fled to Iraq where in 1974 the Iraqi Branch of the Ba'ath Party installed a rival National Command of the Ba'ath Party with Aflaq as General Secretary and al-Aysami as his deputy (until 1979). In 1982 al-Hafiz and al-Aysami, together with Islamist, nationalist and leftist opposition groups founded the Iraqi-backed National Alliance for the Liberation of Syria, but in 1992 al-Aysami retired from political life. He remained in Iraq until the 2003 invasion of Iraq and fled to Egypt, then the United States and Yemen thereafter.

In 2011 during a visit to Lebanon he was kidnapped by unknown militants and is presumed dead. His family accused the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad for the kidnapping. The Syrian government, however, blamed the Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.


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