Omar Karami

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Omar Karami
عمر كرامي
Prime Minister of Lebanon
In office
26 October 2004 – 19 April 2005
PresidentEmile Lahoud
DeputyIssam Fares
Preceded byRafik Hariri
Succeeded byNajib Mikati
In office
24 December 1990 – 13 May 1992
PresidentElias Hrawi
DeputyMichel Murr
Preceded bySelim al-Hoss
Succeeded byRashid el-Solh
Personal details
Born(1934-09-07)7 September 1934
An Nouri, French Mandate of Lebanon
Died1 January 2015(2015-01-01) (aged 80)
Beirut, Lebanon
Political partyArab Liberation Party

Omar Abdul Hamid Karami (last name also spelled Karamé and Karameh)[1] (Arabic: عمر عبد الحميد كرامي; 7 September 1934 – 1 January 2015) was the 29th prime minister of Lebanon, who served two separate terms. He was Prime Minister for the first time from 24 December 1990, when Selim al-Hoss gave up power, until May 1992, when he resigned due to economic instability. He was again Prime Minister from October 2004 to April 2005.

Early life[edit]

Karami was born Omar Abdul Hamid Karami in the northern Lebanese town of An Nouri, near Tripoli in 1934 to a Sunni Muslim family. He was the son of former prime minister and independence hero Abdul Hamid Karami.[2] He was the brother of Arab nationalist the eight-time prime minister and major Lebanese statesman, Rashid Karami, who was assassinated in 1987.[3] Omar Karami held a degree in law, which he received from Cairo University in 1956.[4]


Karami worked as both lawyer and businessman.[5] In 1989, he was appointed education minister and on 24 December 1990, prime minister.[4][6] He was in office until May 1992 when he resigned due to the collapse of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar which provoked street riots.[4][5] Karami was elected as Parliamentary representative of Tripoli in 1991, following his brother's assassination. In late October 2004, he formed a cabinet after the resignation of Rafik Hariri.[7][8]

Due to the assassination of ex-prime minister Hariri on 14 February 2005, members of the opposition blamed Syria for the assassination, and demanded Syria withdraw its troops and intelligence personnel from Lebanon. Protests grew in Beirut despite an official ban on public protests, and the opposition planned to call for a no confidence vote. Amid the growing pressure, Karami announced on 28 February 2005 that his government would resign,[9] although it remained temporarily in a caretaker role.[2]

Ten days after the resignation, following protests in Beirut that were supportive of president Karami, President Émile Lahoud re-appointed Karami as prime minister on 10 March and asked him to form a new government.[10] With the backing of a majority of deputies, Karami called on all parties to join a government of national unity.[11]

On 13 April, after failing to create a new government, Karami resigned again.[4][12][13] He was replaced by Najib Mikati in the post.[13] This resignation added to the turmoil already prevalent in Lebanon since Hariri's assassination as now there was no government to call the elections which were due that upcoming May.[14] Karami did not run for office in the 2005 general elections.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Karami was the father of Faisal Karami.[17]


On the morning of 1 January 2015, Karami died following a long period of illness at the age of 80.[18][19]


  1. ^ Lebanon's Jumblatt backs Hezbollah, Al Jazeera English.
  2. ^ a b Fattah, Hassan M. (1 March 2005). "Lebanon's Pro-Syria Government Quits After Protests". The New York Times. Bairut. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  3. ^ Derhally, Massoud A. (17 January 2011). "Hezbollah Backs Karami for Premier as Lebanon Political Deadlock Deepens". Bloomberg. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Rola el Husseini (15 October 2012). Pax Syriana: Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon. Syracuse University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8156-3304-4. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Karami back to lead Lebanese Government". China Daily. Beirut. 12 March 2005. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  6. ^ Salem, Paul E. (22 September 1994). "The wounded republic: Lebanon's struggle for recovery". Arab Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  7. ^ Nada Raad; Nafez Kawas (27 October 2004). "Karami unveils final Cabinet lineup". The Daily Star. Bairut. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Hezbollah ignored as Lebanon's top three leaders get major government shares". Lebanon Wire. 27 October 2004. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  9. ^ "February 2005". Rulers. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  10. ^ O'Loughlin, Ed (11 March 2005). "Beirut spring falters as Syria revives a PM". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Comeback for pro-Syria Lebanon PM". BBC. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  12. ^ Dabashi, Hamid (7–13 September 2006). "Lessons from Lebanon: Rethinking national liberation movements". Al Ahram Weekly. 811. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  13. ^ a b "April 2005". Rulers. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Lebanese cabinet talks collapse". BBC. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  15. ^ Moubayed, Sami (8 July 2005). "The new face of Lebanon". Asia Times Online. Archived from the original on 12 December 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  16. ^ "Hariri"s son set to win Beirut poll". Asharq Alawsat. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  17. ^ Nadine Elali (8 November 2013). "Political dynasties". Now Lebanon. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  18. ^ Former Prime Minister Omar Karami dies at age of 80 The Daily Star. 1 January 2015.
  19. ^ Lawrence Joffe (1 January 2015). "Omar Karami obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by