Society

The assassination of a Syrian dictator … in the Brazilian countryside

Former Syrian dictator
Former Syrian dictator Adib al-Shishkakli (right) and Nawaf Ghazaleh, who killed him. Photo montage: André Chiavassa/TBR

The particularities of Syrian politics are so removed from everyday life in Brazil, that the Middle Eastern republic may as well be in another galaxy. But in 1964, a sleepy farming town in the Center-West of Brazil became the focal point of Syria’s sectarian struggles when former dictator Adib Bin Hassan Al-Shishakli — exiled in South America — was shot dead in broad daylight.

The perpetrator of the attack was Nawaf Ghazaleh, a Syrian-born member of the Abrahamic Druze faith — a sect that was violently persecuted during Mr. Shishakli’s rule. The assassination of the former leader is remembered today...

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