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The Arab Ba'th Party

The Arab Ba'th Party

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by Kamel S. Abu Jaber

Foreword by Philip Hitti

New Preface by Professor Tareq Tell

The Ba'th party was established in Syria in 1943 by a group of young intellectuals inspired largely by their desire to foster improved conditions in the Arab world. The founders included Michel Aflaq, who is often credited with being the philosopher of the party and was recently replaced as secretary general after over two decades in that post; Salah al-Din al-Bitar, its tactician; and Munif al-Razzaz, the present secretary general. Seeking greater strength, in 1954 the Ba'th party merged with the Arab Socialist party, founded in 1950 by Akram Hourani.

The motto of the party- Unity, Liberty, Social-ism-states its goals. Its main concern is Arab unity, through which Arab civilization may be restored to former greatness. More than any other political party or group in Syria, it promoted the merger with Egypt in 1958. Three years later, largely because of Nasser's suppression of all opposition parties, the Ba'th joined other disaffected Syrian parties to organize secession from the U.A.R. Intensely nationalistic and determined to divorce itself from foreign influence, the party stands for neutrality in international affairs. Aligning with either the Soviet or Anglo-American bloc, Aflaq once wrote, "will do nothing but harm to the Arabs."

The research for this book is impressive. The author interviewed people in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan and used Arabic books and newspapers extensively. Born in Jordan and educated in the United States, he was able to bring a dual perspective to his subject.

Publication date:  01/01/2024

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