Who’s who: The Interim Government Ministers – By The Syrian Observer
Below are the quick bios of the National Coalition’s interim government
Ahmad Tomeh: Prime Minister of the Syrian interim government
Tomeh is an Islamist and a dentist who first engaged in political work in the early nineties when he established an approach of non-violence and peaceful resistance and rejected secret organizations in politics. He did not join any of the Muslim Brotherhood groups, remaining closer to being a peaceful mystic (Sufi). Tomeh was born in the city of Deir Ez Zor, and was among the signatories of Damascus Declaration, a statement that led to the imprisonment of many dissidents during the rule of Bashar Al-Assad.
In line with his specialty as a physician, Prime Minister Ahmad Tomeh was assigned to the health ministry as well, after the nominated minister failed to get enough votes.
Iyad Qudsi: Vice Prime Minister of the new government.
A Damascene-American expert in information technology and project management, Qudsi holds thirty years of experience in his field, spent in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. His best-known work is with the Saudi oil company, “Aramco,” in which he excelled, eventually establishing a new department responsible for providing communication engineering and information technology. He previously handled the management of projects worth millions of dollars. Qudsi owns the “Minascope” consulting firm, which has branches in various countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The firm specializes in consulting as well as developing human resources, employment, support and training in the fields of information technology and project management. Qudsi is among the most knowledgeable in the Syrian opposition in the field of human resources and project management.
Qudsi studied at Houston University in Texas, and wasn’t known for any political opposition activity before the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. In the last two years he was one of the founders of the “Syrian Democratic Coalition” which supports the Syrian Revolution. He is also a member of the “Union of Syrian Democrats” with Michel Kilo.
Ibrahim Miro: Minister of Finance
Miro, a thirty-five year-old economist, comes from the Syrian National Council as a member of its General Secretariat. He was an economic adviser at the Central Bank of Holland and one of the members of the Syrian-Emirates Economic Task Force. Miro is Kurdish and comes from the suburbs of Al-Hassakeh. Currently living in the Netherlands, Miro obtained a Master’s degree in Macro-, Micro- and Social Economics from Amsterdam University in 2006.
Assad Mustapha: Defense and Interior Minister
Assad Mustapha is the eldest minister in the interim government. He was a minister during the reign of Hafez Al-Assad and has emphasized the distinction between the regime’s men and those in the government.
Mustapha comes from tribal origins from the fringes of Hamah. He was one of the ministers in Hafez al-Assad’s longest serving cabinet, which was rumored to have been forgotten by Assad, and left for Mahmoud Al Zou’bi to attend to, due to the various foreign developments Assad’s was engaged in at the time. Mustapha also served as the Minister of Agriculture in the eighties and as the mayor of Hamah for several years
Mustapha later left Syria for Kuwait, leaving behind his position in the regime, dedicating himself to working as an expert in international organizations.
Mustapha is confronted with major challenges, including dealing with the diversity of the funding sources sought out by the armed forces to oust the regime, being commander-in-chief and head of the armed brigades, and not tolerating the acts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria against the Syrian people.
Mustafa was assigned the portfolio of the Interior after the previously suggested figure for the post, Ammar Al-Qurabi, was not approved in the election process. The position’s responsibilities include imposing security, preventing thefts, controlling the country’s borders, and maintaining individual and public properties. But the first task of the defense minister will be reestablishing both the national police department and a capable criminal justice system that is able to control the armed chaos during the transitional period, as well as the prevailing theft, kidnapping, and looting gangs.
Walid Al-Zoubi: Minister of Infrastructure and Agriculture
Walid Al-Zoubi is an important investor working in real estate and construction in the Arabian Gulf.
Born in Daraa in 1964, he is a member of the Syrian National Council. Zoubi studied civil engineering at Damascus University and moved to the UAE in the late eighties. He is known for his moderate liberal views. He owns the Tiger Contracting Company, which specializes in industrial and real estate construction.
In the spring of 2012 in the midst of the uprising, Zoubi and other Syrian businessmen established the “Syrian Businessmen Council for Relief and Development” which has been providing aid, relief, medical and food supplies to displaced Syrians in camps inside and outside Syria.
For more than twenty years, Zoubi worked with charity organizations in the Emirates, Palestine and Syria. Zoubi also established many non-profit community projects in Syria and provided support to many Syrian organizations, including the “Levant Scholars” and “Syrian Writers” associations, as well as “The Damascus Journal” “Papers Magazine” and “Al-Badeel Newspaper.”
Al-Zoubi sponsored several Syrian conferences and supported the formation of the “Syrian Human Rights Committee in Liberated Syria. » He worked on issues related to civil peace between people of Sweida and Daraa. In addition, he is the author of two books, “A Vision for the Future” from 2012 and “Work Values,” published in 2013.
Elias Wardeh: Minister of Energy and Mineral Wealth
Wardeh chose exile in Paris over living, neglected, in Syria, and he stresses the need to avoid categorization and partisanship in the work of the Syrian opposition.
Wardeh, who is originally from Sqeilbyeh (a Christian area in Hama), is a professor of nuclear physicists in Parisian Universities. He lived in exile out of Syria for many years, though he always dreamt of returning, wanting to make use of his knowledge in peaceful nuclear applications. His dream of establishing a Syrian nuclear project was shattered when he was put at the disposal of Damascus University, to become a lecturer under poor work conditions. Thus he decided to return to France, isolated himself in his lab, and maintained his estrangement from the Syrian regime under both Assads, until the Syrian uprising. Wardeh also handles the Ministry of Livestock.
Taghrid Al-Hajali: Minister of Culture and Family
Al-Hajali is a member of the Syrian National Council and the director of its Women’s Bureau. She wasn’t known for any cultural activities prior to her assignment to the duties of the Minister of Culture in Ahmad Tomeh’s Cabinet. Al-Hajali presently lives in London and comes from a large religious family that belongs to the Druze community.
Al-Hajali replaced Zeyad Abou Hamdan, and was added later to the government along with other voices that called for women’s representation.
Al-Hajali is also assigned to the duties of the Ministry of Family.
Mohammad Yassin Najjar: Minister of Industry
Born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 1967, Najjar’s father is Ghassan Najjar, a Syrian opposition member and secretary of the Syrian Engineers Union in 1980, who was detained for many years. He studied in Aleppo and obtained his Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering in 1990.
Najjar was elected to represent Aleppo in the General Conference of the Syrian Engineers Union from 2009-2014 and left Syria after the start of the revolution.
Najjar participated in the “Save Syria” conference as the head of the political committee in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2011. Later, upon leaving Syria, he joined the “National Work for Syria Group.” Najjar became the head of its bureau of National and Foreign Relations. Najjar was both a founding member of the Syrian National Council and of the external relations council bureau.
Othman Bedeiwi: Minister of Local Administration
Bedeiwi is a pharmacist originally from Idlib. Born in Ma’aret Al-No’man city, Bedeiwi refused to leave Syria despite what the Syrian regime shabiha have done to him, including burning his pharmacy and repeatedly detaining him. Bedeiwi has continued to work in the revolution and became the chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Idlib.
Fayez al-Zaher: Minister of Justice
Al-Zaher, born in 1970, will have in his new position to confront the uncontrollable authorities that are being exercised by either the regime forces or the armed rebels, and restore the lost rights of the weakest group in the crisis: the all too often silent families of victims.
Al-Zaher, who is originally a civil judge and previously held the position of general prosecutor, is expected to resume consideration of the civil justice system, after a recent increase in the number of judicial bodies that rely on religious experience instead of legitimate legal competencies. Al-Zaher is also a member of the “Free Independent Syrian Judicial Council” that comprises dissident judges and lawyers from the Syrian judiciary institution, which has long been deprived of independent decision-making.
date : 03/12/2013