Sabah Qabbani

Sabah Qabbani

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Sabah Qabbani

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Sabah Qabbani () (born June 5, 1928) was appointed by President Hafez Al-Asad as the first ambassador of Syria to the United States after diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in June 1967. He presented his credentials to President Richard Nixon in 1974. Qabbani was the founder of the Syrian TV and its first director. Prior to his posting in Washington he was Syria’s envoy to Indonesia.

Early life

Qabbani was born in the Syrian capital of Damascus to the prestigious Syrian family of Kabbani. He was raised in Mi'thnah Al-Shahm, one of the neighborhoods of Old Damascus. He had four siblings; three brothers and one sister, Mu'taz, Rashid, Nizar, and Haifa and is the brother of the famous Arab poet Nizar Qabbani.

Sabah Qabbani's father, Tawfiq Qabbani, was Syrian while his mother was of Turkish descent. His father had a chocolate factory; he also helped support fighters resisting the French mandate of Syria and was imprisoned many times for his views, greatly affecting the upbringing of Sabah into a revolutionary in his own right. Sabah's great uncle, Abu Khalil Qabbani, was one of the leading innovators in Arab dramatic literature.


  • Seale, Patrick; Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East; University of California Press: 1990, p. 240

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