Sulayman al-Nabulsi
Sulayman al-Nabulsi (1908–1976) was a Palestinian
Palestinian may refer to:* Something of, from, or related to Palestine, the Palestinian territories or the State of Palestine*A member of the Palestinian people, also rendered as Palestinian Arabs**Demographics of Palestine...

 political figure who served as Prime Minister of Jordan in 1956–57.

Early life

Al-Nabulsi was born into a Palestinian fmily of notables in as-Salt, Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1908. He graduated from the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 with a degree in law and social studies in the early 1930s. Afterward, he briefly served as a teacher in al-Karak where he generated a "feeling of Arab brotherhood," leading the first demonstration in the city condemning the Balfour Declaration. As a result, the British authorities in the country immediately transferred him to a secondary school in his hometown of as-Salt. He moved to Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 in 1932. He later joined the civil service and eventually became the director of the state-owned Agricultural Bank, a post he held until 1946. In 1945, British authorities accused him of agitating in Jerusalem against a concession to a Jewish company. Upon his return to Jordan, he was arrested at the Allenby Bridge
Allenby Bridge
The Allenby Bridge , also known as the King Hussein Bridge , is a bridge that crosses the Jordan River, and connects Jericho in the West Bank to the country of Jordan...

, then forcibly moved to Shobak in southern Jordan.

Political career

From 1947 to 1949, al-Nabulsi served as Minister of Finance and Economy, then again from 1950 to 1951. He was jailed for nine months in the Amman Prison for writing an article condemning the 1948 Anglo-Jordanian treaty. However, like most politicians of the time, his opposition activities did not hinder his political career. When he entered into the government as finance minister in 1950, King Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

 bestowed him on the title of "Pasha." In 1953, he was appointed Jordan's ambassador to Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 until 1954 when he returned to Amman from London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. His experience there turned him into a staunch Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist. His nationalism had alienated him from King Hussein who had him exiled from the capital Amman to a provincial town. At this time, he founded the National Socialist Party (NSP) and was elected its leader. He soon became known by many of his supporters as Za'im al-Watani ("The Nationalist Leader"). In July 1956, al-Nabulsi gave a speech commending Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 for nationalizing the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and stressing the importance of Nasser's leadership of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...


Al-Nabulsi entered his party into an electoral alliance with the Ba'ath and Jordanian Communist Party
Jordanian Communist Party
The Jordanian Communist Party is a communist political party in Jordan, founded in 1948. Its current general secretary is Dr. Munir Hamarana...

 (CFJ) to form the National Front (NF) which called for freeing Jordan of foreign influence, political, economic, and military cooperation with Arab nationalist states, and aiding other Arab states with their fight against imperialism. They failed in their attempt to gain a majority in the 40-member Jordanian parliament, allegedly due to poll rigging by King Hussein's allies. However, they did win twelve seats, making it the largest bloc, and as leader of the NF, al-Nabulsi managed to prevent Jordan from entering the Baghdad Pact alliance in 1955, then succeeded in getting Hussein to dissolve the parliament.

Prime Minister of Jordan

In the October 1956 parliamentary elections, the NF won 16 seats and al-Nabulsi was asked by Hussein to form a government. Thus, he became prime minister and as one of his first measures, he merged the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

 with the Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

-dominated National Guard, creating a 35,000-strong Jordanian Army. Two days after his ascension to government, Egypt was invaded by a tripartite alliance consisting of Britain, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. While an enraged King Hussein favored militarily assisting Egypt, al-Nabulsi called for a delay to wait for the results of the invasion. Eventually, Hussein agreed not to help militarily.

Al-Nabulsi also decided to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and allowed the CFJ to publish a weekly newspaper. However, on February 2, 1957, the king warned against this in a speech directed to al-Nabulsi, saying "We want this country to be inaccessible to Communist propaganda and Bolshevik theories." Heeding to Hussein's request, al-Nabulsi ordered the CFJ's paper to be banned. Al-Nabulsi was known to be an admirer of Nasser, and so called for Jordan to join an Arab federation with Egypt and Syria thereby reducing King Hussein to a figurehead.

Relations between the cabinet and the king were further strained when Hussein dispatched personal envoys to Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, and Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

 in March 1957 with messages not vetted by the government. In response, al-Nabulsi presented the king with formal requests to retire senior public servants, threatening his cabinet would resign and take to the streets if the requests were refused. Hussein initially appealed, but after al-Nabulsi prepared a new list, Hussein sent him a letter warning him that he would be dismissed. Backed by popular sympathy and support from the Ba'athists and Nasser's Egypt, al-Nabulsi's cabinet resigned and protested against King Hussein. On April 15, a new cabinet was formed by Fakhri al-Khalidi and al-Nabulsi agreed to the post of foreign minister, despite dissuasion from the king. On April 22, the new cabinet resigned prompting protests throughout the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Amman. After an unsuccessful coup against the king by military officers close to al-Nabulsi, Hussein declared martial law, banned all political parties, and sentenced al-Nabulsi to house imprisonment until 1961–62 without being charged.

In 1968, the National Gathering party was formed in Jordan with al-Nabulsi as its leader. It included the members of banned political parties.


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