D I S T I N G U I S H E D   D R U Z E
Kamal Jumblat
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Profiled in
Al Fajr - The Dawn Druze
International Magazine
ABU SALEH, Dr. Abbas
Issue 18
AL ATRASH,  Sultan Pasha
Issue 1
Issue 14
Issue 35
ARSLAN, Prince Shakib
Issue 11
Issue 50
ASSAF, Toufic
Issue 30
Issue 25
Issue 40
Issue 2
KASEM, Casey
Issue 55
NAJJAR, Dr. Abdallah
Issue 5, 12
NAJJAR, Anissa Rawda
Issue 9
NAJJAR, Dr. Samir
Issue 15
OBEID, Dr. Anis
Issue 1, 45
SAAB, Afifi & her sisters
Fatina Saab & Zhebad Saab
Issue 4
SALMAN, Dr. Nour
Issue 7
TAKEDINE,  Judge Halim
Issue 8
Issue 6
Issue 11
TALEEH, Rashid
Issue 19

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Kamal Jumblat - December 6, 1917 – March 16, 1977, was an important
Lebanese politician. He was the main leader of the anti-government
forces in the early years of the Lebanese Civil War.  He is the father of
the present Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblat.

Family & Education
Kamal Jumblat was born in 1917 in Mukhtara, in the Chouf area of
Lebanon, into the prestigious Jumblat family, who were traditional leaders
of the Lebanese Druze community.  His father, Fouad Jumblat, director of
the Chouf District, was assassinated on August 6, 1931.  After his father’s
death, Kamal Jumblat’s mother Nazira played a significant political role for
over a quarter of a century.

He achieved his high school diploma, having studied French, Arabic,
science and literature, in 1936, and a philosophy diploma in 1937.  
Jumblat then pursued higher studies in France, where he joined the
Faculty of Arts at the Sorbonne University and achieved a degree in
Psychology & Civil Education, and another one in Sociology.  Returning to
Lebanon in 1939, he continued his studies at St Joseph University where
he obtained a law degree in 1945.  On May 1, 1948, he married May
Arslan, daughter of Prince Shakib Arslan (the Arslans being the other
prominent Lebanese Druze family).  Their only son, Walid Jumblat, was
born on August 7, 1949.
Early political career
Kamal Jumblat practiced law in Lebanon from 1941 to 1942 and was designated the Official State Lawyer for the Lebanese
Government.  In 1943, he appeared on the political scene after the death of his relative Hikmat Jumblat.  In September, 1943,
Kamal Jumblat was elected to the National Assembly for the first time, as a deputy of Mount Lebanon.  He joined the opposition of
the ruling Constitutional Bloc Party, headed by the then-President, Bechara El Khoury.  In 1946, he was appointed Minister for the
first time, for the portfolio of Economy, Agriculture & Social Affairs.
In 1947, in spite of his own election for the second time as deputy, he resigned from the government, protesting voter fraud in the
parliamentary elections.  Likewise, he protested against what he termed the oppression and corruption of Bechara El Khoury, and
was a main founder of the National Socialist Front, a movement which succeeded one year later in bringing down Bechara El
On March 17, 1949, Kamal Jumblat officially founded the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and declared its constitution on May 1,
1949. The PSP was a socialist party espousing secularism and officially opposed to the sectarian character of Lebanese politics.
In practice, it has been led and largely supported since its foundation by members of the Druze community in general, and the
Jumblat clan in particular. In the name of the PSP, Jumblat called the first convention of the Arab Socialist Parties, which was held
in Beirut in May 1951. The same year, he was reelected for the third time as Deputy of Mount Lebanon.
In 1952, he represented Lebanon at the Cultural Freedom Conference that was held in Switzerland. In August 1952, he organized
a National Conference at Deir El Kamar, in the name of the National Socialist Front, calling for the resignation of President
Bechara El Khoury. Due mainly to these pressures, the President resigned the same year.
The 1958 revolt
In 1953, Jumblat was re-elected Deputy for the fourth time. He founded the Popular Socialist Front the same year and led the
opposition against the new President, Camille Chamoun.  During his presidency, the pro-Western President Chamoun tied
Lebanon to the policies of the United States of America and the United Kingdom, who were at that time involved in the creation of
the Baghdad Pact, comprised of Hashemite Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan. This was seen by pan-Arabists as an imperialist coalition,
and it was strongly opposed by the influential Nasserite movement. Jumblat supported Egypt against an attack by Israel, France,
and the United Kingdom in the Suez War of 1956, while Chamoun and parts of the Maronite Christian elite in Lebanon tacitly
supported the invasion. The sectarian tensions of Lebanon greatly increased in this period, and both sides began to brace for
violent conflict.
In 1956, Jumblat failed for the first time in the parliamentary elections, complaining of electoral gerrymandering and election fraud
by the authorities. Two years later, he was one of the main leaders of a major political uprising against Camille Chamouns
Maronite-dominated government, which soon escalated into street fights and guerilla attacks.  While the revolt reflected a number
of political and sectarian conflicts, it had a pan-Arabist ideology, and was heavily supported through Syria by the newly formed
United Arab Republic.  The uprising ended after the United States intervened on the side of the Chamoun government and sent
the U.S. Marine Corps to occupy Beirut.  A political settlement followed by which Fuad Chehab was appointed new President of
the Republic.
Uniting the opposition
Jumblat chaired the Afro-Asian People’s Conference in 1960 and founded the same year, the National Struggle Front (NSF), a
movement which gathered a large number of nationalist deputies. That same year, he was reelected Deputy for the fifth time and
the NSF won 11 seats within the Lebanese Parliament. From 1960 to 1961 he was Minister for the second time, for the National
Education portfolio and then in 1961 he was appointed Minister of Public Work & Planning. From 1961 to 1964 he was Interior
On May 8, 1964, he won at the parliamentary elections for the sixth time. In 1965, he began joining together Arab nationalist and
progressivist politicians into a Nationalist Personalities Front. In 1966 he was appointed Minister of Public Work and Minister of
PTT. He also represented Lebanon at the Congress of Afro-Asian Solidarity, and presided over the parliamentary and popular
delegation to the People’s Republic of China in 1966.
Build-up to Civil War
On May 9, 1968 he was reelected Deputy for the seventh time. In 1970, he was once again appointed Minister of the Interior, a
reward for his last-minute switch of allegiance in the presidential election that year, which resulted in Suleiman Franjieh's victory
by one vote over Elias Sarkis, who was considered the odds-on favorite. As Interior Minister, he legalized the Communist Party
(LCP) and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). In 1972, Kamal Jumblat was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet
Union. The same year, he was reelected Deputy for the eighth time. The following year, he was unanimously elected Secretary
General of the Arab Front, a movement supportive of the Palestinian revolution.
The Lebanese Civil War
In August 1975, Jumblat declared a program for reform of the Lebanese political system, and the LNM openly challenged the
government's legitimacy. In October a new round of fighting broke out, and quickly spread throughout the country: the Lebanese
Civil War had begun.
During the period of 1975-1976 Jumblat acted as the main leader of the Lebanese opposition in the war, and with the aid of the
PLO the LNM rapidly gained control over nearly 70% of Lebanon. This prompted Syrian intervention, since the Assad regime
feared a collapse of the Christian-dominated order. Some 40,000 Syrian soldiers invaded Lebanon in 1976 and quickly smashed
the LNM's favorable position; a truce was declared and the fighting subsided. The conflict remained unsolved, however, and
during 1977, violence again began to increase.
Death and legacy
On March 16, 1977, Kamal Jumblat was assassinated.  In 2005, his son Walid Jumblat, who immediately succeeded him as the
main Druze leader of Lebanon and as head of the PSP.
Extremely literate and considered by friend and foe alike to be a talented writer, Kamal Jumblat wrote more than 1,200 editorials in
both Arabic and French. He left hundreds of publications, held hundreds of press conferences and delivered hundreds of political
speeches during international, regional and local conferences as well as within the Lebanese Parliament.
His political, philosophical and literary works contributed to the enrichment of Arab and worldwide libraries.  So far, only twenty-five
of his books and manuscripts have been published.  Many books were also published about his life and genius.