'Aflaq, Michel

'Aflaq, Michel

biographical name

(born 1910, Damascus, Syria—died June 23, 1989, Paris, France) Syrian social and political leader. While studying at the University of Paris (1929–34), he came to believe that the Arab nationalist struggle had to oppose both the native aristocracy and foreign rulers. Hoping to unite all the Arab states into a single socialist nation through nonviolence, he helped establish the Ba'th Party in 1946 and served as its teacher, theorist, and organizer. He persuaded the Syrian government to form the United Arab Republic with Egypt in 1958, but Syria withdrew from it in 1961. His career in Syrian politics ended in 1966 when he moved to Lebanon. See also Pan-Arabism.

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