The Damascus MP and Justice Minister Sami Kabbara in 1956

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Image Source: Souraya Kabbara Library

Sami Kabbara (1903-1967) was born and raised in Damascus. He studied political science at Montpellier University and returned to Syria in 1932 to serve as secretary-general of parliament.

In the mid-1930s, Kabbara founded the al-Nidal newspaper, a political daily that became famous for spearheading opposition to the regime of President Shukri al-Quwatli from 1943 to 1949. In 1947, Kabbara was voted into parliament on an independent ticket. His election was repeated in 1949 and 1954. In December 1949, he served on the Constitutional Assembly charged with laying out a new constitution for Syria. When Quwatli was overthrown by a military coup in 1949 Kabbara supported the change in leadership but refused to work with the military regime of General Husni al-Za'im. He criticized Za'im's dictatorship, leading to the closure of his newspaper. In August 1949, Kabbara backed the coup that brought down the Zaim regime. He became minister of justice and health in the cabinet of Prime Minister Hashem al-Atasi from August to December 1949. He then became minister of interior under Prime Minister Khaled al-Azm, holding office until June 1950. Azm then appointed Kabbara minister of interior for a second time from March to August 1951.