[QODLink]
Middle East

Profile: George Sabra

Syria opposition interim chief is a leftist, secular opposition figure, who has been jailed many times for dissent.

Last Modified: 22 Apr 2013 18:04
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Sabra will be the Coalition's caretaker leader until May 10, when leadership elections is expected [EPA]

The Syrian National Coalition has named veteran dissident George Sabra as caretaker leader of the main opposition grouping, following the resignation of Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib.

Sabra "was assigned today to carry out the functions of the head of the Coalition until elections for a new president," one of the Coalition's main constituent groups, the Syrian National Council, said in a statement on Monday.

The announcement came a day after the widely respected Khatib submitted his resignation for a second time, officially in protest over the failure of the international community to stop the conflict in Syria, which has killed at least 70,000 people.

Sabra, who until now led the Syrian National Council, will be the Coalition's caretaker leader until at least May 10, when the Coalition is scheduled to meet for leadership elections.

Sabra is a respected veteran dissident, who was jailed for eight years under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad's father and predecessor Hafez, and detained twice -- for a month and then two months -- after the uprising erupted against Bashar in March 2011.

Sabra was freed in September 2011, and immediately went into hiding before secretly leaving Syria in early 2012.

In November 2012, shortly before the Coalition was formed, he was named president of the Syrian National Council -- a key member of the Syrian opposition.

A Christian and long-time communist, his prominence within the opposition is seen as a strong message to the international community of pluralism on the rebel side.

He was born in Qatana near Damascus in 1947 and studied geography, going on to teach in the United States.

267

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list