Mahdi Dakhlallah

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Mahdi Dakhlallah
مهدي دخل الله
Minister of Information
In office
4 October 2004 – February 2006
President Bashar Assad
Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Al Otari
Preceded by Ahmad Hassan
Succeeded by Mohsen Bilal
Personal details
Born 1947 (age 67–68)
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Alma mater Zagreb University

Mahdi Dakhlallah (Arabic: مهدي دخل الله‎) (born 1947) is a Syrian Ba'ath party politician and diplomat. He served at different positions, including editor-in-chief, information minister and ambassador.

Early life and education[edit]

Dakhlallah was born into a Sunni family born in the Daraa Governorate in 1947.[1] He studied politics at Zagreb University in former Yugoslavia and received a bachelor's degree.[1] He also holds a PhD in development, which he obtained from the same university.[1]

Career[edit]

Dakhlallah is a member of the Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, who is known for his reformist and liberal views.[2][3] He served in varied positions. He worked in the research section at the National Leadership Council (Qiyada Qawmya in Arabic) from 1983 to 2001.[1] Then he was charged with the writing the speeches for Abdullah Al Ahmar, who was then assistant secretary-general of the party.[1] Next he served as the editor-in-chief of Al Baath, official daily of the party, from 2002 to 2004.[4][5] He published two editorials, for instance entitled "Reform: Political or Economic?" and "Developing the Social Foundation: Much Work Awaits", in the daily in 2003 and 2004, arguing that both the role and influence of the Ba'ath party should have been reduced.[6][7] He also called for significant democratic reforms in his editorials.[8]

He was also named as the information minister on 4 October 2004, replacing Ahmad Hassan.[9][10][11] Dakhlallah was in office until February 2006, and was replaced by Mohsen Bilal in a cabinet reshuffle.[12] During his term, Dakhlallah urged the Syrian journalists to adopt a bolder approach.[4] In addition, media outlets ended the use of the word rafiq that means Comrade in English while referring to the Ba'ath leaders except for the party's official daily Al Baath during his term.[11] In 2005, Dakhlallah publicly said "Syrian newspapers were unreadable." and he forced Syria's chief censor to resign.[13] Dakhlallah also stated that Syrian media were in a transition period from "dirigiste media" to "media with a purpose", and [13] that constitutions should not be regarded as holy entities and therefore, were subject to modification.[14]

In a cabinet reshuffle in February 2006, Dakhlallah was succeeded by Mohsen Bilal as information minister.[15] Then Daklallah headed the Strategic Studies Center at Regional Leadership until 2009.[16][17] In October 2009, he was appointed Syrian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Landis, Joshua (8 October 2004). "Asad's Alawi dilemma". Syria Comment. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Moubayed, Sami (26 May – 1 June 2005). "The faint smell of jasmine". Al Ahram Weekly 744. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Hinnebusch, Raymond (2011). "The Ba'th Party in Post-Ba'thist Syria: President, Party and the Struggle for ‘Reform’". Middle East Critique 20 (2): 109–125. doi:10.1080/19436149.2011.572408. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Blanford, Nicholas (28 November 2004). "Censors ease up on Syrian press". The Christian Science Monitor (Damascus). Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Aji, Albert (5 October 2004). "Syria ousts 8 Cabinet ministers in shakeup". The Boston Globe (Damascus). AP. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Flynt Lawrence Leverett (1 January 2005). Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire. Brookings Institution Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-8157-5206-6. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Editor-in-Chief of Syrian Ba'ath Daily In Favor of Political Reform". MEMRI 549. 7 August 2003. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Abdulhamid, Ammar (December 2004). "Media Reform in Syria: A Door Ajar?" (PDF). Arab Reform Bulletin 2 (11): 14–15. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Landis, Joshua (5 October 2004). "What Does the New Syrian Cabinet Portend?". Syria Comment. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Asad's visit: Saudi-Syrian Rapprochement back on track?". Wikileaks. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Eyāl Zîser (2007). Commanding Syria: Bashar Al-Asad and the First Years in Power. I.B.Tauris. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-84511-153-3. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Assad reshuffles Syrian government". UPI (Damascus). 11 February 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Kraidy, Marwan M. (May 2006). "Syria: Media Reform and Its Limitations". Arab Reform Bulletin 4 (4). Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Moubayed, Sami (7–13 April 2005). "What Syria wants". Al Ahram Weekly 737. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Moubayed, Sami (16–22 February 2002). "Strengthening the line". Al Ahram Weekly 782. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dr.Mahdi Dakhlallah is Syria's ambassador to Saudi". SNS. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Syrian president appoints ambassador to Saudi Arabia". BBC Monitoring International Reports. Al Quds Al Arabi. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Syria nominates Mahdi Dakhlallah as new ambassador to Saudi Arabia". Now Lebanon. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Syrian Ambassador to Kuwait sworn in before President Al Assad". KUNA (Damascus). 25 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ahmad Hassan
Minister of Information
2004 – 2006
Succeeded by
Mohsen Bilal