Hashim al-Atassi

Hashim al-Atassi
هاشم الأتاسي
Hashim Al Atassi.jpg
4th President of Syria
In office
21 December 1936 – 7 July 1939
Preceded byMuhammad 'Ali Bay al-'Abid
Succeeded byBahij al-Khatib
In office
December 1949 – 24 December 1951
Preceded byHusni al-Za'im (Military Rule)
Succeeded byFawzi Selu (Military Rule)
In office
1 March 1954 – 6 September 1955
Preceded byAdib Shishakli (Military Rule)
Succeeded byShukri al-Quwatli
2nd Prime Minister of Syria
In office
17 August 1949 – 24 December 1949
Preceded byMuhsin al-Barazi
Succeeded byNazim al-Kudsi
President of the Syrian General Government
In office
3 May 1920 – 28 July 1920
MonarchFaisal I
Preceded byRida Pasha al-Rikabi
Succeeded byAlaa al-Din al-Durubi Basha
President of the Constituent Assembly
In office
11 August 1928 – 6 September 1928
Preceded byBadi' Muwayyad
Succeeded byFaris al-Khoury
Speaker of the Syrian National Congress
In office
11 December 1919 – 17 July 1920
Preceded byoffice established
Succeeded byBadi' Muwayyad
Personal details
Born(1875-01-11)11 January 1875
Homs, Ottoman Syria, Ottoman Empire
Died5 December 1960(1960-12-05) (aged 85)
Homs, Syria, United Arab Republic
Political partyNational Bloc
(1928–1947)
People's Party
(1948–1960)

Hashim Khalid al-Atassi (11 January 1875 – 5 December 1960) (Arabic: هاشم الأتاسي‎, Turkish: Haşim el Atasi) was a Syrian nationalist and statesman and its President from 1936 to 1939, 1949 to 1951 and 1954 to 1955.

Background and early career

He was born in Homs in 1875[1] to the large, landowning and politically active Atassi family. He studied public administration at the Mekteb-i Mülkiye in Istanbul, and graduated in 1895. He began his political career in 1888 in the Ottoman province of Beirut, and through the years up to 1918 served as Governor of Homs, Hama, Baalbek, Anatolia, and Jaffa, which included the then-small suburb of Tel Aviv. In 1920, after the World War I defeat of the Turks, he was elected chairman of the Syrian National Congress, the equivalent of a modern parliament.[2] On 8 March 1920 that body declared independence as a constitutional monarchy, under Faisal I. He became prime minister during this short-lived period, for French occupation soon followed under the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and a League of Nations Mandate (Also see: San Remo conference). During his tenure, Atassi appointed the veteran independence activist and statesman Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar, one of the leaders of the Syrian nationalist movement against the Ottoman Empire during World War I, as Foreign Minister. He delegated Shahbandar to formulate alliances between Syria and Europe, in a vain attempt to prevent the implementation of a French Mandate. France moved quickly to reverse Syrian independence. The French High Commissioner Henri Gouraud presented Faisal with an ultimatum, demanding the surrender of Aleppo to the French Army, the dismantling of the Syrian Army, the adaptation of the French franc in Syria, and the dissolution of the Atassi Government. Shahbandar's efforts to compromise with Gouraud proved futile, and Atassi's cabinet was dissolved on 24 July 1920, when the French defeated the Syrian Army at the Battle of Maysalun and imposed their mandate over Syria.