20 Facts About Bashir Gemayel


Bashir Gemayel was elected president on 23 August 1982, but he was assassinated before taking office on 14 September, via a bomb explosion by Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.


Bachir Bashir Gemayel was born in the Achrafieh neighborhood of Beirut on 10 November 1947, the youngest of six children.


Bashir Gemayel's father was Pierre Gemayel, who founded the Phalange party in 1936 as a youth movement.


In 1971, Bashir Gemayel studied at The Center for American and International Law near Dallas, Texas in the United States.


Bashir Gemayel realized the dangers that surrounded Lebanon in 1958, and spent a lot of time with the organized political wing of the Kataeb Party.


Bashir Gemayel attended the meetings organized by the Kataeb Student Section, and was the president of the Kataeb Circle in St Joseph University between 1965 and 1971.


In 1969, Bashir Gemayel was briefly kidnapped by Palestinian militants in Lebanon and taken to the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp, where he was beaten.


Bashir Gemayel became close with Jean Nader, the leader of Achrafieh at that time, and became the vice president of that Lebanese Capital district, a position that he held from 1971 until 1975.


Bashir Gemayel submitted his resignation from the party in 1976, but it was rejected.


In 1975, Bashir Gemayel was accused by the Lebanese National Movement of being responsible for the Black Saturday massacre of Palestinians and Lebanese Muslims.


On January 18,1976, Bashir Gemayel led the invasion of the heavily fortified Karantina camp that was located near the strategic Beirut Harbor: About 1,000 PLO fighters and civilians were killed.


In 1976, with the death of William Hawi, killed by a sniper during the battle of Tall Al-Zaatar, Bashir Gemayel became head of the Kataeb Regulatory Forces militia.


Bashir Gemayel led his troops in the infamous 'Hundred Days' War' in Lebanon in 1978, in which the Lebanese Forces successfully resisted the Syrian shelling and attacking of Eastern Beirut for about three months before an Arab-brokered agreement forced the Syrians to end the siege.


On 13 June 1978, Bashir Gemayel sent a squadron of his men led by Samir Geagea and Elie Hobeika to Ehden; what Bashir Gemayel did not know was that Tony Frangieh hadn't left Ehden, as his car wasn't running.


However, Bashir Gemayel wanted to be the only Christian option for Israel, while the tension escalated again by the end of June 1980.


On 23 August 1982, being the only one to declare candidacy, Bashir Gemayel was elected president, as he prevailed over the National Movement.


On 1 September 1982, two weeks before his assassination and only one week after his election, Bashir Gemayel met the Israeli Prime minister Menachem Begin in Nahariya.


On 14 September 1982, Bashir Gemayel was addressing fellow Phalangists at their headquarters in Achrafieh for the last time as their leader and for the last time as commander of the Lebanese Forces.


Bashir Gemayel's second daughter, Youmna, born in 1980, received her degree in political science in Paris.


Bashir Gemayel's son, Nadim, who was born a few months before Bashir Gemayel's assassination, was a law student and political activist, and was elected as a member of the Lebanese Parliament in 2009.