Omar Karami

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Omar Karami
عمر كرامي
Omar Karami.jpg
Omar Karami
In office
26 October 2004 19 April 2005
President Emile Lahoud
Preceded by Rafik Hariri
Succeeded by Najib Mikati
29th Prime Minister of Lebanon
In office
24 December 1990 13 May 1992
President Elias Hrawi
Preceded by Selim al-Hoss
Succeeded by Rashid el-Solh
Personal details
Born(1934-09-07)7 September 1934
An Nouri, French Mandate of Lebanon
Died1 January 2015(2015-01-01) (aged 80)
Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
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Omar Abdul Hamid Karami (last name also spelled Karamé and Karameh) [1] (Arabic : عمر عبد الحميد كرامي; 7 September 1934 – 1 January 2015) was the 29th Prime Minister of Lebanon, who served two separate terms. He was Prime Minister for the first time from 24 December 1990, when Selim al-Hoss gave up power, until May 1992, when he resigned due to economic instability. He was again Prime Minister from October 2004 to April 2005.

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.


Early life

Karami was born Omar Abdul Hamid Karami in the northern Lebanese town of An Nouri, near Tripoli in 1934 to a Sunni Muslim family. He was the son of former Prime Minister and independence hero Abdul Hamid Karami. [2] He was the brother of Arab nationalist the eight-time Prime Minister and major Lebanese statesman, Rashid Karami, who was assassinated in 1987. [3] Omar Karami held a degree in law, which he received from Cairo University in 1956. [4]

Tripoli, Lebanon City

Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon. It holds a string of four small islands offshore, and they are also the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles, rare monk seals and migratory birds.

Abdul Hamid Karami Lebanese politician

Abdul Hamid Karami was a Lebanese political and religious leader, who had nationalistic Arab inclinations.

Rashid Karami Lebanese politician

Rashid Abdul Hamid Karami was a Lebanese statesman. He is considered one of the most important political figures in Lebanon for more than 30 years, including during much of Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), and he served as prime minister ten times, making him the most democratically elected prime minister in history according to the Guinness Book of World Records 2005


Karami worked as both lawyer and businessman. [5] In 1989, he was appointed education minister and on 24 December 1990, prime minister. [4] [6] He was in office until May 1992 when he resigned due to the collapse of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar which provoked street riots. [4] [5] Karami was elected as Parliamentary representative of Tripoli in 1991, following his brother's assassination. In late October 2004, he formed a cabinet after the resignation of Rafik Hariri. [7] [8]

Due to the assassination of ex-prime minister Hariri on 14 February 2005, members of the opposition blamed Syria for the assassination, and demanded Syria withdraw its troops and intelligence personnel from Lebanon. Protests grew in Beirut despite an official ban on public protests, and the opposition planned to call for a no confidence vote. Amid the growing pressure, Karami announced on 28 February 2005 that his government would resign, [9] although it remained temporarily in a caretaker role. [2]

Assassination of Rafic Hariri assassination

On 14 February 2005 Rafic Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, was killed along with 21 others in an explosion in Beirut. Explosives equivalent to around 1,000 kilograms of TNT were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel. Among the dead were several of Hariri's bodyguards and his friend, and former Minister of the Economy, Bassel Fleihan. Hariri was buried, along with the bodyguards who died in the bombing, in a location near Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque. According to CBC News and The Wall Street Journal, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, along with an independent investigation carried out by brigadier general Wissam Al-Hassan the head of intelligence-oriented information branch of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces had found compelling evidence for the responsibility of Lebanese group Hezbollah in the assassination. In quick succession to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon contacting brigadier general Al-Hassan, in order to aid its investigation. On the 19th of October 2012 brigadier general Al-Hassan was assassinated in a car explosion in the Achrafieh district of Beirut. The latter had been the heart of Lebanon's security and stability, and was regarded as a key figure in keeping the investigation ongoing.

Beirut City in Lebanon

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport.

A caretaker government is a temporary government that rules a country for a short time until a regular government is elected.

Ten days after the resignation, following protests in Beirut that were supportive of president Karami, President Émile Lahoud re-appointed Karami as prime minister on 10 March and asked him to form a new government. [10] With the backing of a majority of deputies, Karami called on all parties to join a government of national unity. [11]

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.

Émile Lahoud Lebanese President

Émile Jamil Lahoud is a Lebanese politician who was President of Lebanon from 1998 to 2007.

On 13 April, after failing to create a new government, Karami resigned again. [4] [12] [13] He was replaced by Najib Mikati in the post. [13] This resignation added to the turmoil already prevalent in Lebanon since Hariri's assassination as now there was no government to call the elections which were due that upcoming May. [14] Karami did not run for office in the 2005 general elections. [15] [16]

Najib Mikati Lebanese businessman and politician

Najib Azmi Mikati is a Lebanese politician who served twice as the Prime Minister of Lebanon. From April 2005 to July 2005 he was Prime Minister of Lebanon in a caretaker government. On 25 January 2011, he was nominated to serve as Prime Minister by a majority of the votes in the parliamentary consultations following the 12 January fall of the Lebanese government of November 2009. The government was formed on 13 June 2011, after many delays. On 22 March 2013, Mikati submitted his resignation from office, which Lebanese president Michel Suleiman accepted on 23 March 2013.

2005 Lebanese general election election

The 2005 Lebanese General Elections were the second elections in thirty years without a Syrian military or intelligence presence in Lebanon. These elections were the first in Lebanese history to be won outright by a single electoral block and were also the first to be monitored by the United Nations.

Personal life

Karami was the father of Faisal Karami. [17]


On the morning of 1 January 2015, Karmai died following a long period of illness at the age of 80. [18] [19]

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  1. Lebanon's Jumblatt backs Hezbollah, Al Jazeera English.
  2. 1 2 Fattah, Hassan M. (1 March 2005). "Lebanon's Pro-Syria Government Quits After Protests". The New York Times. Bairut. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  3. Derhally, Massoud A. (17 January 2011). "Hezbollah Backs Karami for Premier as Lebanon Political Deadlock Deepens". Bloomberg. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Rola el Husseini (15 October 2012). Pax Syriana: Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon. Syracuse University Press. p. 98. ISBN   978-0-8156-3304-4 . Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Karami back to lead Lebanese Government". China Daily. Beirut. 12 March 2005. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  6. Salem, Paul E. (22 September 1994). "The wounded republic: Lebanon's struggle for recovery". Arab Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  7. Nada Raad; Nafez Kawas (27 October 2004). "Karami unveils final Cabinet lineup". The Daily Star. Bairut. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  8. "Hezbollah ignored as Lebanon's top three leaders get major government shares". Lebanon Wire. 27 October 2004. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  9. "February 2005". Rulers. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  10. O'Loughlin, Ed (11 March 2005). "Beirut spring falters as Syria revives a PM". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. "Comeback for pro-Syria Lebanon PM". BBC. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  12. Dabashi, Hamid (7–13 September 2006). "Lessons from Lebanon: Rethinking national liberation movements". Al Ahram Weekly. 811. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  13. 1 2 "April 2005". Rulers. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  14. "Lebanese cabinet talks collapse". BBC. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  15. Moubayed, Sami (8 July 2005). "The new face of Lebanon". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  16. "Hariri"s son set to win Beirut poll". Asharq Alawsat. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  17. Nadine Elali (8 November 2013). "Political dynasties". Now Lebanon. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  18. Former Prime Minister Omar Karami dies at age of 80 The Daily Star. 1 January 2015.
  19. Lawrence Joffe (1 January 2015). "Omar Karami obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Selim al-Hoss
Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Rashid el-Solh
Preceded by
Rafik Hariri
Prime Minister of Lebanon
Succeeded by
Najib Mikati