Mahdi Dakhlallah

Mahdi Dakhlallah (Arabic: مهدي دخل الله‎) (born 1947) is a Syrian Ba'ath party politician and diplomat. He served at different positions, including editor-in-chief, information minister and ambassador.

Mahdi Dakhlallah
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch of the Baath Party
Assumed office
22 April 2017
Minister of Information
In office
4 October 2004 – February 2006
PresidentBashar Assad
Prime MinisterMohammad Naji Al Otari
Preceded byAhmad Hassan
Succeeded byMohsen Bilal
Personal details
Born1947 (age 73–74)
Political partySyrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Alma materZagreb University

Early life and educationEdit

Dakhlallah was born into a Sunni family born in the Daraa Governorate in 1947.[1] He studied politics at Zagreb University in former Yugoslavia and received a bachelor's degree.[1] He also holds a PhD in development, which he obtained from the same university.[1]


Dakhlallah is a member of the Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and is known for his reformist and liberal views.[2][3]

He served in various governmental positions. He worked in the research section at the National Leadership Council (Qiyada Qawmya in Arabic) from 1983 to 2001.[1] Then he was charged with the writing the speeches for Abdullah Al Ahmar, who was then assistant secretary-general of the party.[1] Next he served as the editor-in-chief of Al Baath, official daily of the party, from 2002 to 2004.[4][5] He published two editorials entitled "Reform: Political or Economic?" and "Developing the Social Foundation: Much Work Awaits", in the daily in 2003 and 2004, arguing that both the role and influence of the Ba'ath party should have been reduced.[6][7] He also called for significant democratic reforms in his editorials.[8]

Dakhlallah was named as the information minister on 4 October 2004, replacing Ahmad Hassan in the post.[9][10] Dakhlallah was in office until February 2006 when he was replaced by Mohsen Bilal in a cabinet reshuffle.[11] During his term, Dakhlallah urged the Syrian journalists to adopt a bolder approach.[4] In addition, media outlets ended the use of the word rafiq that means Comrade in English while referring to the Ba'ath leaders except for the party's official daily Al Baath during his term.[10] In 2005, Dakhlallah publicly said "Syrian newspapers were unreadable." and he forced Syria's chief censor to resign.[12] Dakhlallah also stated that Syrian media were in a transition period from "dirigiste media" to "media with a purpose", and [12] that constitutions should not be regarded as holy entities and therefore, were subject to modification.[13]

Then Dakhlallah headed the Strategic Studies Center at Regional Leadership until 2009.[14][15] In October 2009, he was appointed Syrian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d e Joshua Landis (8 October 2004). "Asad's Alawi dilemma". Syria Comment. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. ^ Sami Moubayed (26 May – 1 June 2005). "The faint smell of jasmine". Al Ahram Weekly. 744. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013.
  3. ^ Raymond Hinnebusch (2011). "The Ba'th Party in Post-Ba'thist Syria: President, Party and the Struggle for 'Reform'". Middle East Critique. 20 (2): 109–125. doi:10.1080/19436149.2011.572408. S2CID 144573563.
  4. ^ a b Nicholas Blanford (28 November 2004). "Censors ease up on Syrian press". The Christian Science Monitor. Damascus. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  5. ^ Albert Aji (5 October 2004). "Syria ousts 8 Cabinet ministers in shakeup". The Boston Globe. Damascus. AP. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  6. ^ Flynt Lawrence Leverett (1 January 2005). Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire. Brookings Institution Press. pp. 97. ISBN 978-0-8157-5206-6.
  7. ^ "Editor-in-Chief of Syrian Ba'ath Daily in Favor of Political Reform". MEMRI. 549. 7 August 2003.
  8. ^ Ammar Abdulhamid (December 2004). "Media Reform in Syria: A Door Ajar?" (PDF). Arab Reform Bulletin. 2 (11): 14–15.
  9. ^ Joshua Landis (5 October 2004). "What Does the New Syrian Cabinet Portend?". Syria Comment. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b Eyāl Zîser (2007). Commanding Syria: Bashar Al-Asad and the First Years in Power. I.B.Tauris. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-84511-153-3.
  11. ^ "Assad reshuffles Syrian government". UPI. Damascus. 11 February 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  12. ^ a b Marwan M. Kraidy (May 2006). "Syria: Media Reform and Its Limitations". Arab Reform Bulletin. 4 (4).
  13. ^ Sami Moubayed (7–13 April 2005). "What Syria wants". Al Ahram Weekly. 737. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Dr.Mahdi Dakhlallah is Syria's ambassador to Saudi". SNS. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  15. ^ "Syrian president appoints ambassador to Saudi Arabia". BBC Monitoring International Reports. Al Quds Al Arabi. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Syria nominates Mahdi Dakhlallah as new ambassador to Saudi Arabia". Now Lebanon. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  17. ^ "Syrian Ambassador to Kuwait sworn in before President Al Assad". KUNA. Damascus. 25 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2013.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Information
2004 – 2006
Succeeded by