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Kamal Jumblat
Arabic: kamāl junblāt



Kamal Jumblat.
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Kamal Jumblat.

(1917-1977) Lebanese politician. Jumblat was the strongest Druze leader in Lebanon for years, and he also had many supporters among the Sunni Muslims. He was also known as one of few politicians that opposed the Syrian influence over Lebanon, something that can have costed him his life in 1977.
His orientation was socialist, pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian.

Biography

1917 December 6: Born in the village Mukhara into a notable Druze family.
1937: Reveives a philosophy diploma from the Lazarus Fathers institute in Ain Toura. He goes to Paris to study psychology and sociology at Sorbonne University.
1939: Returns to Lebanon following the outbreak of World War 2, and continues his studies at St. Joseph University in Beirut.
1943 September: Is elected deputy to the parliament for Mount Lebanon.
1945: Achieves a law degree.
1946: He is appointed Minister of Economy, Agriculture and Social Affairs.
1947: He resigns from the government in protest of what he considered to be fixing of the results in the general elections.
1948: Marries May, daughter of prince Shakib Arslan, the leader of a rival clan. As Kamal becomes head of his clan, he is able to soften the traditional rivalry between the two clans.
1949 March 17: Founds the Progressive Socialst Party, which becomes predominantly Druze, but has also members from the other relgious groups of Lebanon. The PSP advocated the abolition of the confessionalist system of Lebanon.
August 7: His son Walid is born.
1952: Jumblat had been a supporter of president Bishara Khouri, but when this is accused of corruption he turns against him, and makes an alliance with Camille Chamoun.
1953: Founds the Popular Socialist Front in opposition to Chamoun, his former ally and now president and his politics that opposed the pan-Arab ideology of Egypt's president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1956: Fails to be elected to parliament, and blaims this on falsification of the election results.
1958 May: Leads the uprising against president Chamoun in the short Civil War. The settlement makes Fuad Chehab new president.
1960: Forms the National Struggle Front.
— Jumblat is reelected for parliament, and his National Struggle Front wins 11 seats.
— Is appointed Minister of National Education in Saeb Salam's government.
1961: Becomes Minister of Internal Affairs in Rashid Karami's government.
1964: As Karami's government steps down, Jumblat ends his term as minister.
1966: With Karami's new government, Jumblat is appointed Minister of Public Work.
1968: As this government of Karami also steps down, Jumblat ends his term as minister.
1969: Karami forms his 6th government, with Jumblat as Minister of Internal Affairs.
— Forms the National and Progressive Front.
1970: Ends his term as minister, together with the rest of Karami's government.
1973: Is elected Secretary General of the Arab Front, which was important in helping PLO and the Palestinian cause.
1975 April: The Lebanese Civil War breaks out with Jumblat and his movement, now known sa Lebanese National Movement (LNM) as one of the main groups, and opposing the Marontie Christians. He forms an alliance with PLO, which becomes one of the most effective forces in the war.
1976: Jumblat's movement and PLO takes control over 2/3 of Lebanon.
June: Syria invades Lebanon and fights LNM and PLO in fear that if this group takes control over all of Lebanon, Israel would invade.
September: Jumblat gives his support to new president Elias Sarkis.
1977: Jumblat opposes the strong presence of Syria in Lebanon, and attacks Syrian troops.
March 16: Is assassinated.




By Tore Kjeilen