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His father, Fouad Joumblatt , who was the director of the Chouf Area, was assassinated on August 6, 1931. After his father’s death, Kamal Jumblatt’s mother Nazira played a significant political role for over a quarter of a century. In 1926, Kamal Jumblatt joined the Lazarus Fathers Institute in Aintoura , where he completed his elementary studies (1928) and achieved his high school diploma, Lebanese and French, scientific and literary at the same time in 1936 and his philosophy diploma in 1937. He chose to pursue his higher studies in France, where he joined the faculty of Arts at the Sorbonne University and achieved consequently a degree in Psychology & Civil Education, and another one in Sociology. He returned to Lebanon in 1939, after the outbreak of World War II and continued his studies at St Joseph University where he obtained a law degree in 1945.
Kamal Jumblatt practiced law during a year, from 1941 to 1942 and was designated accordingly as the Official State Lawyer for the Lebanese Government. In 1943, he appeared on the political scene after the death of his relative Hikmat Joumblatt . On May 1, 1948, he married May Arslan , daughter of Prince Shakib Arslan. Their only son, Walid Jumblatt, was born on August 7, 1949.
In September, 1943, Kamal Jumblatt was elected to the National Assembly for the first time as deputy for Mount Lebanon. At that time, he was politically an opponent to the ruling Constitutional Bloc Party , headed by the then-President, Bechara El Khoury . In 1946, he was appointed Minister for the first time, for the portfolio of Economy, Agriculture & Social Affairs. He played also a major role in the creation of the Lebanese Social Movement .
In 1947, and in spite of his own election for the second time as deputy, he resigned from the government protesting against the fraudulence of the parliamentary elections. Likewise, he protested against the oppression and corruption of Bechara El Khoury’s mandate and was the most outstanding leader among those founding the “National Socialist Front ”, a movement which succeeded one year later in bringing down Bechara El Khoury. Kamal Joumblatt was seen as a perpetual defender of intellectual and political freedom.
On March 17, 1949, Kamal Jumblatt officially founded the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and declared its constitution on May 1, 1949. In the name of the Social Progressive Party , he called for the first convention of the Arab Socialist Parties that was held in Beirut in May 1951. The same year, he was reelected for the third time as Deputy of Mount Lebanon.
In 1952, he represented Lebanon at the Cultural Freedom Conference that was held in Switzerland. In August 1952, he organized a National Conference at Deir El Kamar , in the name of the National Socialist Front, calling for the resignation of President Bechara El-Khoury . He then led a democratic fight that resulted in Bechara El Khoury’s resignation the same year.
In 1953, he was reelected Deputy for the fourth time. He founded the Popular Socialist Front the same year and led the democratic opposition against Camille Shamoun . Shamoun had tied Lebanon to the policies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Monarchist Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan, seen by pan-Arabists as consisting of imperialist coalitions oriented against the "Arab Liberation" trend headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser. He also participated in the conference of the Arab opposition parties that was held in Beirut in 1954. Kamal Jumblatt supported the Egyptian struggle against Israel, France, and the United Kingdom in 1956 and was one of Nasser’s permanent allies.
In 1956, he failed for the first time in the parliamentary elections, apparently due to electoral gerrymandering and suspected falsification of his results by the authorities. He led then the political and military uprising of 1958 against the regime of Camille Chamoun, who had tied Lebanon politically and diplomatically to the western world. The uprising ended with a settlement by which Fuad Chehab was appointed new President of the Republic.
He chaired the “Afro-Asian People’s Conference ” in 1960 and founded the same year, the “National Struggle Front ”, a movement which gathered a large number of nationalist democratic deputies. That same year, he was reelected Deputy for the fifth time and the “National Struggle Front” won 11 seats within the Lebanese parliament . From 1960 to 1961 he was Minister for the second time, for the National Education portfolio and then in 1961 he was appointed Minister of Public Work & Planning. From 1961 to 1964 he was the Interior.
On May 8, 1964, he won at the parliamentary elections for the sixth time. In 1965, he largely placed the foundations of the progressive parties and forces toward the "Nationalist Personalities Front ".
In 1966 he was appointed Minister of Public Work and Minister of PTT. He also represented Lebanon at the Congress of Afro-Asian Solidarity , and presided the parliamentary and popular delegation to the People’s Republic of China in 1966. He supported the National Palestinian cause and backed its struggle, considering this cause as the main national issue.
On May 9, 1968 he was reelected Deputy for the seventh time. In 1970, he was once again appointed Minister of the Interior, a reward for his last-minute switch of allegiance in the presidential election that year, which resulted in Suleiman Frangieh's victory by one vote over Elias Sarkis, who was considered the odds-on favourite. As Interior Minister, he legalized the Communist Party and the National Syrian Socialist Party .
In 1972, Kamal Jumblatt was awarded the “Lenin Peace Prize”. The same year, he was reelected Deputy for the eighth time. Kamal Jumblatt was also the chairman of the “Arab Commission for Nasser’s Commemoration ” in 1973. The same year, he was unanimously elected as Secretary General of the Arab Front , a movement which was contributing to the Palestinian revolution. During the period of 1975-1976 was a leader of Lebanese opposition to Israel and its policies. He led, till the day of his own assassination, the “Lebanese Nationalist Movement ”. Finally, in August 1975, he declared his program for the democratic reform of the Lebanese political system.
Extremely literate and considered by friend and foe alike to be a talented writer, Kamal Jumblatt wrote more than 1200 editorials in both Arabic and French. He left hundreds of publications, held hundreds of press conferences and delivered hundreds of political speeches during international, regional and local conferences as well as within the Lebanese Parliament.
His political, philosophical and literary works contributed to the enrichment of Arab and worldwide libraries. So far, only twenty-five of his books and manuscripts have been published. Many books were also published about his life and genius.
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