The enduring legacy of the Jumblatt family: A century of leadership in Lebanon's mountains

News Bulletin Reports
2023-06-26 | 11:00
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The enduring legacy of the Jumblatt family: A century of leadership in Lebanon's mountains
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3min
The enduring legacy of the Jumblatt family: A century of leadership in Lebanon's mountains

For decades, the name Jumblatt has been synonymous with leadership in the mountainous regions of Lebanon, starting from the days of Fouad Jumblatt, the father of the founder of the Progressive Socialist Party, Kamal Jumblatt, and continuing with the reign of his son.

Fouad Jumblatt's name emerged during his time as the Qaimmaqam (governor) of the Chouf region under the Ottoman mandate and at the beginning of the French Mandate in Lebanon. 

However, in August 1921, he was assassinated in Wadi Ainbal by a supporter of the revolution against France while his son Kamal was merely four years old. This led his widow, Nazira, to take over leadership until Kamal grew up.

Nazira was distinguished by her wise leadership and proved herself during a critical period when men dominated the political scene. Thus, she established an Arab feminist era and became the first Druze woman to engage in political activity in Lebanon.

As a mother, Nazira attempted to keep her son away from politics, fearing his father's fate. Instead, she directed him toward academia. However, fate had a different plan.

After the death of Hekmat Jumblatt, a parliament member and Kamal Jumblatt's cousin and brother-in-law, the Druze community decided that Kamal would take leadership in 1943, even though he was only twenty-five years old.

In 1949, Kamal Jumblatt, known as "the Teacher," founded the Progressive Socialist Party. In the summer of 1976, his sister, Linda Jumblatt al-Atarsh, was killed in her home in Badaro.

Ten months later, in March 1977, what Nazira had feared became a reality. Kamal Jumblatt, along with his companions, was assassinated on the Deir Dourit-Baakline road in a hail of gunfire. 

The Druze community quickly rallied and pledged their allegiance to Walid Jumblatt, who coined the phrase "Bury your dead and rise." He understood the weight of the bloodline's legacy.

However, Walid Jumblatt succeeded in restoring the mountain to its glorious past, characterized by partnership, diversity, and reconciliation. He narrowly escaped the same fate as his ancestors when an assassination attempt targeting him occurred in December 1982. A remotely detonated car bomb exploded as his vehicle passed in Sanayeh.

After one hundred and two years of assassinations, the Jumblatt family turned a new page in the political transition. This time, they handed the reign to Walid's son, Taymour, in politics.

Lebanon News

News Bulletin Reports

Enduring

Legacy

Jumblatt

Family

Century

Leadership

Lebanon

Mountains

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