Monday, February 6, 2012

Jalal Talabani

Jalal Talabani (Kurdish: جەلال تاڵەبانی Celal Tallebanî, Arabic: جلال طالباني‎ Jalāl ālabānī; born November 12, 1933) is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was of partial Kurdish heritage.

Talabani is the founder and secretary general of one of the main Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He was a prominent member of the Interim Iraq Governing Council, which was established following the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Talabani has been an advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy in Iraq for more than 50 years.

Early Life
Talabani was born in 1933 in Talaban Village and descends from the Talabani tribe that has produced many leading social figures[citation needed]. He received his elementary and intermediate school education in Koya (Koysanjak) and his high school education in Erbil and Kirkuk. In the late 1950s Mustafa Barzani sent him to Syria to study law. He is fluent in Kurdish and Arabic and has working knowledge in Persian with Kurdish accent and English. In 1946, at the age of 13 he formed a secret Kurdish student association. His youngest son, Qubad, is the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in the United States.

Talabani was elected President of Iraq on April 6, 2005 by the Iraqi National Assembly and sworn in to office the following day. On April 22, 2006, Talabani began his second term as President of Iraq, becoming the first President elected under the country's new Constitution. Currently, his office is part of the Presidency Council of Iraq. Nawshirwan Mustafa was Talabani's deputy until Mustafa resigned in 2006 and formed a media company called Wusha. Talabani visited the Cambridge Union Society UK, on 11 May 2007. The visit itself was organized by the then President of Cambridge Union Society, Ali Al-Ansari. In an interview, during the visit, Jalal Talabani described Tony Blair as a 'hero' for helping secure Iraq's freedom. He was reelected by the Parliament for a new term on 11 November 2010.
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