His father was an Assyrian survivor of the Assyrian genocide, that took place in present-day Turkey, who had taken refuge with his parents in a Beirut slum. He married in 1938 a Lebanese Maronite young woman from Bkassine (near Jezzine), then joined the Free French Forces after De Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June. After the war, the family got the French naturalisation and was hosted by its new fatherland in a slum near Marseille. The father was sent in Madagascar till 1950 to repress the anticolonial insurgency, then again in Indochina in one of France's colonial wars. In 1963, the family, including 8 children, tries a comeback in Lebanon, and settle in Ain al-Remmane, but this attempt led to a fiasco, and two years later the family turned back to Marseille, Henri left school at 15, became a crane driver, and afterwards entered the French Poste.
After being a trade-unionist at the Poste, he became conseiller général for the Socialist Party in a Marseille canton and maire-adjoint in a Marseille secteur in 2001, then he was elected member of the National Assembly of France on June 17, 2007, with 57.41% of votes (25.85% at the first round), so becoming one out of three metropolitan deputies with non-European family roots.
On December 19, 2014, he is accused of breach of trust and illegal acquisitions of interest regarding the payment of four small cruises he organised for retired people of Marseille, right after and right before elections. In August 2018, he is committed for trial for misappropriation of public funds and illegal acquisitions of interest..
- Henri Jibrayel, le seul député français d'origine libanaise, Magazine-L'Hebdo (Beyrouth), Nº 2590 du Vendredi 29 Juin 2007
- the two others were George Pau-Langevin, an Afro-Caribbean woman from Guadeloupe, elected in Paris, and Arnaud Montebourg, whose mother Leïla Ould Cadi is an Algerian
- in French, France métropolitaine refers to the European French territory, as opposed to the France d'outremer, Overseas France, i.e. the overseas departements and territories in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific
- Leroux, Luc (23 December 2014). "Henri Jibrayel, député PS des Bouches-du-Rhône, mis en examen". Le Monde (in French) (21751). p. 10.