|President Bashar Assad|
Alma mater Zagreb University
Party Ba'ath Party
Succeeded by Mohsen Bilal
Education University of Zagreb
|Preceded by Ahmad Hassan|
Name Mahdi Dakhlallah
|Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party|
Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Al Otari
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.
Early life and education
Dakhlallah was born into a Sunni family born in the Daraa Governorate in 1947. He studied politics at Zagreb University in former Yugoslavia and received a bachelor's degree. He also holds a PhD in development, which he obtained from the same university.
Dakhlallah is a member of the Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, who is known for his reformist and liberal views. He served in varied positions. He worked in the research section at the National Leadership Council (Qiyada Qawmya in Arabic) from 1983 to 2001. Then he was charged with the writing the speeches for Abdullah Al Ahmar, who was then assistant secretary-general of the party. Next he served as the editor-in-chief of Al Baath, official daily of the party, from 2002 to 2004. He published two editorials, for instance 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. He also called for significant democratic reforms in his editorials.
He was also named as the information minister on 4 October 2004, replacing Ahmad Hassan. Dakhlallah was in office until February 2006, and was replaced by Mohsen Bilal in a cabinet reshuffle. During his term, Dakhlallah urged the Syrian journalists to adopt a bolder approach. 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. In 2005, Dakhlallah publicly said "Syrian newspapers were unreadable." and he forced Syria's chief censor to resign. Dakhlallah also stated that Syrian media were in a transition period from "dirigiste media" to "media with a purpose", and that constitutions should not be regarded as holy entities and therefore, were subject to modification.
In a cabinet reshuffle in February 2006, Dakhlallah was succeeded by Mohsen Bilal as information minister. Then Daklallah headed the Strategic Studies Center at Regional Leadership until 2009. In October 2009, he was appointed Syrian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.