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President of Lebanon, 1982-1988
Leader of Kataeb Party
TIME: 6.30 – 7.30pm, Monday 23rd March 2015
VENUE: Committee Room 11, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
To attend please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Few countries in the Middle East demonstrate the challenges of governance in an unstable region as clearly as Lebanon. A proxy battleground for many of its neighbours, the country has seen more than its fair share of civil strife, sectarian conflict, and terrorism in the years since independence. With the intensification of the conflict in Syria, political and religious tensions within Lebanon have grown stronger too, and have led to outbreaks of heavy street fighting between militias supporting both the rebel factions and the government of Bashar Al-Assad.
Throughout this history, Lebanon has been a microcosm of the wider region, reflecting the Middle East’s broader conflicts, sectarian divisions, and shifting alliances. The same is true of its governance, and at times certain areas of the country have reflected the failed states and authoritarian regimes existing in the Middle East more widely, whilst other areas within Lebanon, such as those controlled by the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah or Salafist militias of Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, have been guided by ideas of religious governance.
By kind invitation of Michael McCann MP, The Centre for the New Middle East at The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a private discussion with Amine Gemayel, President of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988 and leader of Kataeb Party. Former President Gemayel will discuss the challenges faced by Arab leaders in the Middle East, and will highlight the different models of governance which have arisen as a result – addressing both the fruits of success and the consequences of failure.
Amine Pierre Gemayel was President of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988 and is the leader of Kataeb Party. Gemayel was elected to the presidency by the National Assembly on 21 September 1982, in place of his brother Bachir Gemayel who had been elected the previous month but had been assassinated before taking office.
Gemayel descends from a Maronite Christian family, originally from the northern region of Mount Lebanon, and is the eldest son of Pierre Gemayel, founder of the Kataeb Party.
Amine Gemayel began his career practicing as an attorney in 1965. He then concentrated on building up his family’s newspaper business. In a 1969 by-election, he was elected to succeed his deceased uncle, Maurice Gemayel, as a member of the National Assembly.
Gemayel’s younger brother Bashir was elected President in August 1982, but was assassinated less than a month later, at which point Amine Gemayel was elected the President of the republic. Gemayel’s term in office ended in September 1988. He then joined the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University as fellow and lecturer, and later lectured at the University of Maryland, College Park. From 1990 to 30 July 2000, he resided in Paris as an exiled leader of the opposition, and lectured extensively on Lebanon and the Middle East in various countries worldwide.
In 2000 he returned to Lebanon, where he began to organise the opposition to the government of President Émile Lahoud. In February 2008, Gemayel was appointed the president of the Phalange or Kataeb Party.
Gemayel is a member of the Club de Madrid, an independent non-profit organisation, composed of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, which works to promote democratic governance and leadership.