Zuhair Masharqa

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Zuhair Masharqa
زهير مشارقة
Vice President of Syria
In office
11 March 1984 – 21 February 2006
Serving with Rifaat al-Assad and Abdul Halim Khaddam
President Hafez Assad (until 2000)
Bashar Assad
Preceded by Rifaat al-Assad
Succeeded by Farouk Sharaa
Assistant Regional Secretary
of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
7 January 1980 – 20 January 1985
Regional Secretary Hafez al-Assad
Preceded by Mohamad Jaber Bajbouj
Succeeded by Sulayman Qaddah
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
15 April 1975 – 9 June 2005
Personal details
Born 1938
Aleppo, Syria
Died 23 April 2007(2007-04-23) (aged 68–69)
Damascus, Syria
Resting place Aleppo
Political party Syria Regional Branch of the Ba'ath Party
Religion Islam

Muhammad Zuhair Masharqa (1938 – 23 April 2007) (Arabic: زهير مشارقة‎‎) was a Syrian politician who served as Vice President of Syria from 1984 to 2006.

Early life and education[edit]

Masharqa came from a Sunni family.[1] He received a bachelor's degree in education from Damascus University in 1961.[2] He also obtained a degree in law from Aleppo University in 1968.[2]


His first public post was governor of Hama to which he was appointed in 1973.[3] Masharqa became a member of the Baath Party in 1975.[3] Later he became deputy director of the party.[4] Masharqa was appointed to the cabinet in 1978 as Minister of Education and became Vice President for Domestic Affairs on 11 March 1984.[4][5] He was the country's longest serving vice president, in office from 1984 to 2006, and was particularly noted for his loyalty to President Hafez Assad. After the death of Assad in 2000, a 9-member committee was formed to oversee the transition period, and Masharqa was among its members.[6]

President Bashar Assad chose to retain him as a vice president up to his retirement in 2006.[7] He was replaced by Farouk Sharaa as vice president.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Masharqa was married and had five children.[3]

Death and burial[edit]

Masharqa died due to a massive heart attack in Damascus on 23 April 2007.[3] His body was buried in Aleppo.[8]


  1. ^ Robert G. Rabil (2006). Syria, The United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-275-99015-2. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Former Syrian vice president Masharqa dead". M & C. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Syria's former vice president Zuhair Masharqa dies". Pravda. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Syria Primer" (PDF). Virtual Information Center. 24 April 2003. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Zisser, Eyal (May 1998). "Appearance and Reality: Syria's Decisionmaking Structure". MERIA Journal. 2 (2). Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bashar Aims to Consolidate Power in the Short-Term and to Open up Gradually". APS Diplomat News Service. 19 June 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Alan George (6 September 2003). Syria: Neither Bread nor Freedom. Zed Books. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-84277-213-3. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Syria mourns". KUNA. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2013.