Ahmad Daouk

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Ahmad Daouk
أحمد الداعوق
Prime Minister Ahmad Daouk.jpg
12th Prime Minister of Lebanon
Prime Minister
In office
May 15, 1960 July 3, 1960
Nominated by Fuad Chehab
Appointed by President of Lebanon
President Fuad Chehab
Preceded by Rashid Karami
Succeeded by Saeb Salam
In office
December 1, 1941 July 26, 1942
Nominated by Alfred Georges Naccache
Appointed by President of the French Mandate of Lebanon
President Alfred Georges Naccache
Preceded by Alfred Georges Naccache
Succeeded by Sami Solh
Personal details
Ras Beirut, Beirut, Beirut Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died24 August 1979 (87 years old)
Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Political party Independent
Residence Grand Serail, Beirut
Alma mater l'Ecole Nationale d'Aix-en-Provence

Ahmad Bey Daouk (in Arabic أحمد بيك الداعوق) was a Lebanese politician who on two occasions became Prime Minister of Lebanon. [1] He was born in 1892 to the Daouk Family. He was the younger brother of Omar Bey Daouk, the Head of Beirut Vilayet that time (pre-Greater Lebanon) before the French Mandate of Lebanon. Daouk was known for being one of few men to ever serve as prime minister of Lebanon in the French Mandate of Lebanon and the First Republic of Lebanon (1943-1991). Sami Solh also served within these two periods.

Lebanon Country in Western Asia

Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.

The Daouk Family

The Daouk Family, originally Moroccan ,[1] also transliterated as is a prominent Beiruti family that stemmed in Ras Beirut, Lebanon during the 15th century; after fleeing Marrakesh, Morocco. This was due to the heavy influx of Arab refugees coming from the Iberian Peninsula to the Maghreb and the Levant following the fall of Al-Andalus to the Catholic Monarchs.

Beirut Vilayet Ottoman province

The Vilayet of Beirut was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire. It was established from the coastal areas of the Syria Vilayet in 1888 as a recognition of the new-found importance of its then-booming capital, Beirut, which had experienced remarkable growth in the previous years — by 1907, Beirut handled 11 percent of the Ottoman Empire's international trade. It stretched from just north of Jaffa to the port city of Latakia. It was bounded by the Syria Vilayet to the east, the Aleppo Vilayet to the north, the autonomous Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem to the south and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.


Early life and education

Daouk was born in Ras Beirut in 1892. [2] After completing his secondary studies in a French school in Beirut in 1910, Daouk went to France to continue his studies where he obtained a diploma in engineering from the National School of Arts and Crafts of Aix-en-Provence in 1914. [2]

Ras Beirut quarter of Beirut

Ras Beirut is an upscale residential neighborhood of Beirut. It has a mixed population of Christians, Muslims, Druze, and secular individuals. Ras Beirut is home to some of Beirut's historically prominent families, such as the Rebeiz family, the Daouk family, the Itani family, the Sinno family,the Sidani family, the Beyhum family and others. Included in the area are a number of international schools and universities, including the American University of Beirut (AUB) and International College Beirut (IC).

Early career

Daouk's notable career began in 1915 where he worked as an engineer at the Société Générale des Sucreries within the refinery industry of Egypt. In 1919 he was assigned personally by His Majesty King Hussein I of Hejaz, as his technical adviser and he was put in charge of the mining industry in Hejaz. [2] Upon returning from Hejaz to Lebanon, Daouk was appointed by His Excellency Charles Debbas as both the Mayor of Beirut and Aley. [2]

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca King of Hejaz

Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, King of the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924. At the end of his reign he also briefly laid claim to the office of Caliph. He was said to be a 37th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.

Hejaz Place

The Hejaz, is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. The region is so called as it separates the land of the Najd in the east from the land of Tihamah in the west. It is also known as the "Western Province". It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by the Najd, and on the south by 'Asir Region. Its largest city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. As the site of the two holiest sites in Islam, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape.

This was of course just 8 years after Omar Bey Daouk was the Mayor of Beirut and the head of Beirut Vilayet in 1918 before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. [3] Daouk was Mayor until 1941 until he was appointed as Prime Minister of Lebanon. In 1927 Daouk became an influential philanthropist in Beirut. Throughout this period Daouk was influential along other political figures in visioning Lebanon's independence carving the path towards it.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

First Mandate

Daouk's first mandate was during the French Mandate when, after having served as Secretary of State for Public Works and Post Telephone and Telegraph earlier in 1941, he was appointed Prime Minister 1941 to 1942 during the rule of President Alfred Naqqache by the President of Lebanon. His first mandate was renowned for helping pave the way for Lebanon's independence, after he had stepped down from his role in 1942 increasing the pressure asserted on France's actions by the United Kingdom and the western powers.

Alfred Naqqache Lebanese politician

Alfred Georges Naccache was a Lebanese Maronite statesman, Prime Minister and head of state during the French Mandate of Lebanon. He was serving as Prime Minister when he was appointed President by the French authorities after the resignation of Emile Edde. Pierre-Georges Arlabosse served as acting President for 6 days before Naccache assumed office. From 1953 to 1955 he served as Foreign Minister. The National Museum of Beirut was opened by him in May 27, 1942.

President of Lebanon

The President of the Lebanese Republic is the head of state of Lebanon. The president is elected by the parliament for a term of six years, which is not immediately renewable. By convention, the president is always a Maronite Christian.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Although he had very close ties with France on the political sphere, Daouk was known for fully supporting the idea of a free and independent Lebanese republic. Upon resignation, as Sunni Muslim judge from Sidon known as Sami Solh was appointed as Daouk's successor

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Sunni Islam denomination of Islam

Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by nearly 90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions.

Sidon City in South Governorate, Lebanon

Sidon, known locally as Sayda, is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate, of which it is the capital, on the Mediterranean coast. Tyre to the south and Lebanese capital Beirut to the north are both about 40 kilometres away. Sidon has a population of about 80,000 within city limits, while its metropolitan area has more than a quarter-million inhabitants.

Diplomatic career

In 1943, Daouk became the President of the National Congress of Lebanon right after he completed his term as Prime Minister, or what was called the President of Councils before 1943. [4] In 1944 Daouk was chosen as the consul of Lebanon to France he would become an ambassador in 1953 and remain at that position within his diplomatic mission for another five years until his return in 1958. [4] His diplomatic mission was widely supported by the Lebanese as he severely re-strengthened Lebanon's ties with France, while Camile Chamoun was shifting Lebanon's ties towards the United States. In 1958 Daouk was appointed ambassador to Spain [4] where he strengthened the ties between Lebanon and Spain and promoted economic and political cooperation in various projects within Lebanon. A program was also launched to attract and re-invite the Lebanese diaspora that had left Lebanon earlier to Latin America. Daouk has also been a delegate of Lebanon in many conferences within the United Nations, Arab League and UNESCO. After his second mandate, Daouk became a director of the OGERO group, Lebanon's telecommunications company, he also had an intuitive role in real estate.

Second Mandate

Upon the election of Fuad Chehab as President of Lebanon, he dissolved the Lebanese parliament on the 5th of May 1960. This forced Prime Minister Karami to resign later on the 14th of May 1960. [5] On the 15th of May 1960, Daouk took initiative and formed an interim government while heading it as Prime Minister to hold back the increasing tensions in Lebanon during the political vacuum of the early 60s. [5] The Lebanese Parliamentary elections were held and finalized by the 3rd of July 1960. Daouk's interim government granted 11 seats to Karami's party in the Chamber of Deputies whereas the independent politicians (of whom Daouk was one) were granted 41 out of 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. This paved the way for Saeb Salam's election later that year. In addition, Daouk was also Minister of National Defense and Minister of Finance during the initial 1960's. His policies were credible as they contributed to Lebanon's booming economy in the 1960s where the Lebanese were among the wealthiest 30 nations in the world.

Diplomatic career

In 1944 Daouk was chosen as the consul of Lebanon to France he would become an ambassador in 1953 and remain at that position within his diplomatic mission for another five years until his return in 1958. [4] In 1958 Daouk was appointed ambassador to Spain [4] where he strengthened the ties between Lebanon and Spain and promoted economic and political cooperation in various projects within Lebanon. A program was also launched to attract and re-invite the Lebanese diaspora that had left Lebanon earlier to Latin America. Daouk has also been a delegate of Lebanon in many conferences within the United Nations, Arab League and UNESCO. After his second mandate, Daouk became a director of the OGERO group, Lebanon's telecommunications company, he also had an intuitive role in real estate.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Outside Parliament, Daouk was noted by others to be very similar to his iconic brother Omar. Omar Bey Daouk was quoted by Michel Chiha's personal observations:

“…My recently departed friend had all the characteristics of a sage. Both in private and in public, he was an upstanding citizen. We were both members of the first committee that saw to the birth of our nation’s Constitution. He was known for his quiet discernment, his respect for the rights of others, for his perfect understanding of the country’s multiplicity, his sense of harmony and his recognition of the political and social benefits that Greater Lebanon offered all its citizens. He saw in it the possibilities of a multi-communal society. More at home behind the scenes, his advice was often called upon in matters of state or business. The nation will always remember what he stood for and will always be grateful for the public contributions of this exemplary man…”

‘Omar Bey Daouk’, M.C., Le Jour, November 1949. [6]


- Honorary Colonel of the Army of (Hejaz)

- Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor (France)

- Medal of Vermeil of the City of Paris (France)

- Grand Cross of the Order of Christ (Portugal)

- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Spain)

- Grand Officer of the Order of St. Charles (Monaco)

- Grand Officer of the Order of Nahda (Hejaz)

- Grand Officer of the Umayyad Order (Syria)

- Grand Officer of the Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)

- Medal of Queen Elizabeth (England)

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  1. "دولة الرئيس أحمد الداعوق". www.pcm.gov.lb. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Ahmad Muhammad Bek Daouk| Daouk Archive Index ("DAX")". Archive Lebanon. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  3. "The Syrian Protestant College and the Great War (1914-18) > 1915 > Into war". www.aub.edu.lb. Archived from the original on 27 Jan 2015. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 entrevue. "LES AMBASSADEURS DU LIBAN EN FRANCE DE 1944 À NOS JOURS". www.rdl.com.lb. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  5. 1 2 "21. Lebanon (1943-present)". uca.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  6. "MICHEL CHIHA | POLITICAL CAREER". michelchiha.org. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
Political offices
Preceded by
Alfred Georges Naccache
Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Sami Solh
Preceded by
Rachid Karami
Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Saeb Salam