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Adib Shishakly (Arabic: أديب الشيشكلي) is a Syrian businessman, co-founder and vice-CEO of Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy, and the sole distributor of AvGas (aviation gasoline) in the Middle East. Also, he runs other piston engine aircraft sales and maintenance services companies.
A co-founder and member of the Syrian National Council (SNC) in charge of Arab relations, he had been extensively involved in the Syrian opposition long before the revolution started. Early in 2005, he was behind making the flag of independence the symbol of change, calling it "the new old flag of independence." Since then, he has been printing and distributing the flag which became the unifying revolutionary symbol. Most recently, he was selected as vice president of the Syrian National Bloc, and director of international relations of WATAN organization.
Advocate and Lobbyist
An active lobbyist and advocate for the Syrian opposition's cause, Shishakly has met leaders and policy makers in more than thirty countries, organizing humanitarian support for refugees and internally displaced Syrians. He planned, facilitated, and participated in relevant conferences and consultancy meetings in Turkey, Egypt, Maghreb, GCC and EU countries, and the USA. Several leadership, negotiation and conflict management workshops[which?] are credited to him.
Once described as a Gandhian philosophy adopter when the uprising bloomed in Syria, Shishakly's political tendency shifted in reaction to the unprecedented levels of brutality practiced by Bashar al-Assad's regime against unarmed civilians across the country. He has been among other opposition figures calling for international intervention and for arming the Free Syrian Army as an effective means to end brutal killings and massacres committed by regime troops and Shabiha militias. He was also one of the first to criticize the support of the Assad regime by Russia and Iran. He has been interviewed and quoted by mainstream international and pan Arab media.
Shishakly's other political, business and civil activism has included membership of World Affairs Council, Syrian American Club, Greater Houston Partnership, Islamic Society of Greater Houston, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, ancd The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
Shishakly was born in Syria in 1968 to a prominent military-political family. He is the grandson of the late Adib Shishakli, former Syrian leader then President of Syria, who was assassinated in Brazil in 1964. His father, Ihsan Shishakly, also is a military-political notable and a former high-ranking official in Syria. Suppression by Assad regime, including killing and imprisoning family members, obliged Adib Shishakly to leave to the United States during his early life, dreaming of returning to a free Syria one day.
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