Muhsen Bilal

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Muhsen Bilal
محسن بلال
Muhsen Bilal (5317191226) (cropped).jpg
Bilal in 2009.
Minister of Information
In office
21 February 2006 – 29 March 2011
Preceded by Mahdi Dakhlallah
Succeeded by Adnan Mahmoud
Personal details
Born 1944 (age 72–73)
Burghalieh, Syria
Nationality Syrian
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Alma mater University of Padua
University of Pennsylvania

Muhsen Bilal (Arabic: محسن بلال‎‎) (born 1944) is a Syrian surgeon, ambassador and Ba'athist politician.

Early life and education[edit]

Bilal was born into a prominent Alawite family in Burghalieh, Tartus Governorate, in 1944.[1][2] He studied medicine at the University of Padua, graduating in 1970.[2] In 1976, he specialized in surgery in Italy.[2] Then he received his PhD in medicine and surgery from the University of Pennsylvania with the specialization in liver transplantation.[2] He was initially engaged to be married to Bushra al-Assad but she later annulled the engagement in order to marry Assef Shawkat, a comparative outsider in the regime in a match unpopular with the regime. Bilal eventually married Dr. Faten Rustum, a prominent fellow doctor

Career[edit]

After graduation, Bilal became the head of surgery at the Al Assad University Hospital.[3] He then served as a professor of surgery at the faculty of medicine at Damascus University from 1977 to 2001.[4]

His political career started in 1977 when he was elected to the Peoples Assembly. In 1981, he was named the chairman of the Arab and foreign affairs committee,[5] and served in this position until 1985. He led the Syrian delegation at the 1982 World Peace Conference in Prague. In 2001, he became Syria's ambassador to Spain, and he held this post until he was appointed minister of information to the cabinet headed by then prime minister Mohammad Naji Otari in February 2006.[5][6] He replaced Mahdi Dakhlallah as information minister.[1] When Bilal was in office, he acted as chief spokesperson for the Syrian government during the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006.[7] Bilal's term ended in April 2011 when he was succeeded by Adnan Mahmoud.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Bilal speaks English, Spanish, and Italian.[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Moubayed, Sami (16–22 February 2002). "Strengthening the line". Al Ahram Weekly. 782. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Biographical Data On Syria's New Ministers". Wikileaks. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Landis, Joshua. "The New Syrian Cabinet". Joshua Landis. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "Mohsen Bilal: A guiding light for progress". China Daily. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Major cabinet reshuffle". Wikileaks. 13 February 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Syrian Cabinet Reshuffle". Sada. 19 February 2006. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Andrew Tabler (1 September 2011). In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria. Chicago Review Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-56976-936-2. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Assad keeps Moualem as foreign minister in new govt". Reuters. Amman. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2013.