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Michel Aflaq
Arabic: mishal 'aflāq

Michel Aflaq

Michel Aflaq.

(1910-1989) Syrian socialist politician and thinker.
Aflaq was a fairly moderate politician, who to a great degree had to accept that much of his grand ideology , like freedom of speech and Arab unity, was never realized.
From the early stages of his political activities through his latter days, many comprimises had to result from impact with real-life situations.

1910: Born in Damascus into a Greek Orthodox family.
Early 1930s: Is educated at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France.
1934: Returns to Damascus, and starts to teach at a secondary school.
1940: Establishes a study circle together with Salah al-Din Bitar which they call Movement of Arab Renaissance, in Arabic Ba'th.
1942: Aflaq starts to devote himself full-time to politics.
1947 April: Aflaq is elected senior member of the executive committee of the newly established Arab Ba'th Party.
1949 August: Aflaq is appointed minister of education.
— After he fails to win a seat in the general elections, Aflaq resigns.
1952: Flees to Lebanon in order to avoid arrest from Syria's new regime.
1954: Aflaq returns to Syria, leads the merger with the Arab Socialist Party, and becomes secretary-general of the new party.
1966 February: Following a conflict within the Ba'th Party, Aflaq finds himself on the weaker side, and leaves for Lebanon.
1967: Moves to Brazil.
1968: Aflaq is invited to Iraq, following the Ba'th coup there. He then resumes his leadership over the Ba'th Party.
1970: As a protest against the lack of support from the Ba'th regime of Baghdad for the Palestinians in their fight against the Jordanian military, Aflaq once again leaves for Lebanon.
1974: Returns to Baghdad, in order to assume national leadership of the party. He was officially highly respected, but soon had to realize that he had minimal impact on Iraqi politics.
1989: Aflaq dies in Baghdad, and Iraqi media claims that he had converted to Islam shortly before his death.

By Tore Kjeilen