The graduation class of the Military Academy - 1948

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The graduating class was named in honor of Maamoun al-Bitar, a Syrian officer killed in Palestine in 1948. The men in uniform were graduated before their due date, due to outbreak of the war of 1948 and trained need for officers in combat. Seated in the front row, seventh from left, is commander of the academy General Fawzi Selu, who becmae president of Syria in 1951-1953. Seated next to him is Adnan al-Malki, who became the deputy chief-of-staff in 1954. Standing behind the man in civilian clothes is Yassin al-Ferjani (eight from right) one of the cadets who later co-created union with Egypt in 1958 and became governor of Hama. Among the officers who graduated from this class in 1948: Mohammad al-Soufi (Defnese Minister after the Baath coup in March 1963), Awwad Bagh (future Deputy Defense Minister), Mustapha Hamdun (architect of the 1954 coup against Adib al-Shishakli), Abdul Ghani Qannut (who later joined Syrian Intelligence and then founded a political party; the Movement of Arab Socialists), Jassem Alwan (architect of the failed coup of July 1963 against the Baathists), Shishakli’s two right-hand-men Hussein Hiddeh and Abdulhaq Shehadeh, Mustapha Ram Hamadani (governor of Homs during the union years), Nourallah Al-Hajj Ibrahim (one of the creators of the United Arab Republic and air force commander in the 1960s), Rashid al-Qutayni (the future director of Military Intelligence), Mohammad al-Nisr (co-creator of union), Adnan Loustan, Suleiman Hudayfi, Mohammad Mansour, Zuhair Akeel, Zuhair Ghazal (secretary-general of the presidency under Hafez al-Assasd), Subhi al-Shorbaji, Abdul Ghani Dahman (one of the leaders of the anti-union coup of 1961), Adnan al-Dakr, Suhair al-Dreii, Nour al-Din al-Kinj, Bader al-Din Ramadan, Adel al-Sheikh Amin, Aref Qannu, Jamal al-Soufi (co-creator of union and Minister of Supply in 1958-1961), Louai al-Atasi and Amin al-Hafez, the first and second presidents of the Baath Party regime in 1963 Source: Yassin al-Ferjani Archive