Rashad Barmada

Rashad Barmada (Arabic: رشاد برمدا ; 1913– August 16, 1988) was a Syrian politician between the 1940s and early 1960s. Barmada served as a deputy prime minister, minister of defense for three terms, minister of interior for two terms, and minister of education for three terms, and was elected as a member (MP) of the Syrian Parliament for three terms (1947, 1954 and 1961) and was the former President of the Aleppo Lawyers Syndicate in 1949.

Rashad Barmada
رشاد برمدا
Rashad Barmada.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Syria
In office
16 April 1962 – 14 September 1962
PresidentNazim al-Kudsi
Prime MinisterBashir al-Azma
Succeeded byBashir al-Azma
Minister of Defense
In office
29 October 1954 – 13 February 1955
PresidentHashim al-Atassi
Prime MinisterFares al-Khoury
Succeeded byKhalid al-Azm
In office
13 September 1955 – 14 June 1956
PresidentShukri al-Quwatli
Prime MinisterSaid al-Ghazzi
In office
22 December 1961 – 27 March 1962
PresidentNazim al-Kudsi
Prime MinisterMaarouf al-Dawalibi
Minister of Interior
In office
4 June 1950 – 27 March 1951
PresidentHashim al-Atassi
Prime MinisterNazim al-Kudsi
In office
9 August 1951 – 28 November 1951
PresidentHashim al-Atassi
Prime MinisterHassan al-Hakim
Minister of Education
In office
22 December 1961 – 8 March 1963
PresidentNazim al-Kudsi
Personal details
Aleppo, Syria
DiedAugust 16, 1988(1988-08-16) (aged 74–75)
Damascus, Syria
Political partyPeople's Party
Spouse(s)Fatima Barmada
ChildrenWarka, Hassan, Jihad, Hala , Nour and Asaad
RelativesMustafa Bey Barmada (cousin)
Riad Barmada (nephew)
Alma materDamascus University
OccupationPolitician, lawyer

Early life and educationEdit

Rashad Barmada was born in 1913 and grew up in Aleppo. He was born to a notable Syrian family and the landlords of Harem. He studied law at Damascus University graduated in 1937 and established al legal practice in Aleppo.


In 1947, he co-founded the People's Party, a political party that was created to counter and oppose the centralized regime of President Shukri al- Quawatli.

The People's Party accused Quwatli of nepotism, centralized administration, and favoritism toward the people of Damascus. The party was funded and supported by the commercial class in Aleppo and administered by Rushdi al-Kikhya and Nazim al-Qudsi. Its main objective was to create a healthy democracy in Syria and merge Syria and neighboring Iraq into one state.[1]

In 1947, Barmada became a deputy for Aleppo in the Syrian Parliament. In 1949, became the President of the Aleppo Lawyers Syndicate for less than one year; and in June 1950, Qudsi became prime minister and appointed him minister of interior.[2] Barmada voiced his opposition to having a military officer serving in cabinet and called for the resignation of General Fawzi Selu, the minister of defense. He constantly clashed with General Fawzi Selu the Minister of Defense and tried to prevent him from controlling the gendarmerie, claiming that if he lost, the civilian government would lose all ability to enforce its will throughout the country. When Selu got his way and assumed control of the armed units, Barmada resigned from office in protest.[1][2] He spoke out against the military regime of President Adib al Shishakli, who came to power in November 1951, and was rewarded by incarceration at the notorious Mezzah prison in Damascus.  Shishakli ruled Syria with an iron fist, outlawing all political parties and tolerating no opinion other than his own. He ordered Barmada's arrest and closed the People's Party. When Shishakli was overthrown by a military coup in February 1954, Rashad Barmada was released from jail and appointed minister of defense in the cabinet of Prime minister Said Al- Ghazzi.[1][2]

In the second half of the 1950s, Rashad Bamada established as a vehement opponent to the socialist policies of President Gamal Abdel al Nasser of Egypt and his meddling in the domestic affairs of Syria. In 1955, Shukri al- Quawatli was reelected president and transformed Syria into an Egyptian satellite, he made friends with Nasser's allies in Eastern Europe and appointed socialist leader in prominent positions in government. Barmada worked against him and called for a break from Egyptian influence.

In 1958, Syria and Egypt merged to form the United Arab Republic (UAR) and Barmada voiced his opposition to the new regime. Barmada was sidelined during the UAR era and supported the coup d'état that toppled it in September 1961. He joined a group of disgruntled politicians and drafted the ‘secession’ manifesto, declaring Syria's permanent break from the UAR and accusing Nasser of having established a dictatorship in Syria , but he refused to form the first post-UAR government. He then allied himself with the post-union administration of his long-time friend and party comrade, Nazim al-Qudsi.

In December 1961, Barmada became minister of defense in the cabinet of Prime Minister Maarouf al-Dawalibi,[3] and in March 1962, he became deputy to prime minister Bashir al- Azma.[2][4] He also served as minister of education in the independent cabinet of Khalid al-Azm.[2] From 1961 to 1963, Barmada served as a deputy for Aleppo in parliament.

In March 1963, Barmada's civil rights were terminated. Thus, Rashad Barmada retired from political life and worked at his legal practice in Damascus.[1]

In 1976, Barmada co-founded the human rights association in Syria. In 1980, he was arrested for 45 days by the Syrian authorities .[5]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Fatima Barmada and had six children: Warka, Hassan, Jihad, Hala, Nour, and Assad


He died on 16 August 1988 in Damascus, Syria.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Moubayed, Sami M. (2006). Steel & Silk: Men and Women who Shaped Syria 1900–2000. Cune Press. ISBN 978-1-885942-40-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e Al-Hourani, Akram (2000). Akram Al-Hourani Memoirs. Madbouly Bookshop. pp. 1186, 1412, 2241, 3712, 3817.
  3. ^ "CHRONOLOGY". Middle East Institute. 16: 208–210. 1962. JSTOR 4323471.
  4. ^ Agency, United States Central Intelligence (1962). Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts.
  5. ^ www.hrw.org. "SYRIA HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS ON TRIAL" (PDF). https://www.hrw.org/reports//pdfs/s/syria/syria923.pdf. 4: 2. External link in |journal= (help)