Afif el-Solh

1890 – 1976



Afif was born in 1890, Tripoli, Libya

with his sister Afifeh. He was one of 6 children, also including Aziza, Yesr, Mounif and Mounifeh

Afif with his father Kamel and sister Afifeh. His father Kamel was a high judge in the Ottoman Imperial Court and the family travelled widely with him including to Croatia, Greece, Libya, Istanbul, Izmir, Beirut, finally settling in Damascus.


Afif studied in Istanbul at the Imperial military academy. He was awarded a Doctorate in law.
He was appointed as the head of the Advanced College of Technology in Beirut, Sanaya, a position, which he held for eight years


He moved to Damascus, joining King Faisal I of Greater Syria and in 1920 was elected as a member of the Arab Congress to represent Tyre in Lebanon. The purpose of the Congress was to secure the independence and unity of the Arab world. His uncle Rida el Solh (Riad’s father) represented Beirut and his cousin Riad represented Sidon and was Home Secretary.


The Sykes-Picot Agreement, signed in 1916 and implemented a few years later to partition the crumbling Ottoman Empire in the Arab Orient and Anatolia between the British, French and Russians. Faisal withdrew to Iraq where he became King. Rida and Riad returned to Lebanon, leaving Afif in Syria to continue the fight for independence.

Map of Sykes-Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria and Western Persia, and areas of control and influence agreed between the British and the French. Royal Geographic Society map, 1910-15. Signed by Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, 8 May 1916. (Signatures appear on the bottom right hand corner of the map)


Members of the al-Fatat group meeting in Dummar near Damascus

Front row, left to right: Prince Fayez al-Shihabi, Palestinian nationalist Rafiq al-Tamimi, Palestinian nationalist Awni Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Qadri, Muin al-Madi, Tawfiq Yazagi, Suheil Talab. Middle row: Wasfi al-Atasi, Ahmad Murayed, Shukri al-Quwatli (future president of Syria), Prince Bahjat al-Shihabi, Salim al-Attar, Zaki al-Tamimi, Husni al-Barazi (future Prime Minister of Syria). Back row: Adel al-Azma, Riad el-Solh (future Prime Minister of Lebanon), Saadallah al-Jabiri (future Prime Minister of Syria), Afif el-Solh, Palestinian nationalist Izzat Darwaza.


He came to Beirut and stayed at the pink house


The National Bloc 1932

Front row (from left to right) : Rafiq Hussami, Sheikh Abdul Qader Sarmini, Ibrahim Hananu (co founder), Bloc President Hashem Al-Atasi, Fares al-Khury (co-founder and dean of Bloc), Tawfiq al-Shishkli, Jamil Mardam Bey (future prime minister). Back row: Riad el-Solh (future prime minister of Lebanon), Najib Baqi, Aref al-Nakadi, Mazhar pasha raslan (ex-prime minister of Jordan), Afif el-Solh, Naim Antaki, Fakhri al-Barudi, Nasib al-Bakri,s Najib al-Rayye (publisher of al-Qabas daily), and Saadallah al-Jabiri (future prime minister) Image source:


Members of the National Bloc 1932

Front row (left to right) : Shukri al-Quwatli, Mazhar Pasha Raslan, Ibrahim Hananu, Hashem al-Atasi, Fares al-Khury, Najib al-Barazi, Mohammad al-Nahhas. Back row : Ihsan al-Sharif, Tawfiq al-Shishakli, Fayez al-Khury, Saadallah al-Jabiri, Said al-Ghazzi, Afif el-Solh Image source:


At the residence of Fakhri al-Barudi in Damascus on October 1

Front row (left to right): Unknown, Afif el-Solh, Mohammad Nahhas, Fakhri al-Barudi, Riad el-Solh, Lutfi al-Haffar, Ihsan al-Sharif, Yusuf Issa, Nasuh Babil, publisher of al-Ayyam. The last three men seated from the right are unidentified. Image source:

Afif was chosen as the Secretary General of the Syrian National Bloc, which negotiated the treaty with the French


He was re-elected as a Member of Parliament representing Damascus


He was sent to Iraq as Ambassador for Syria


The cabinet of Prime Minister Sabri al-Asali taking a souvenir picture with president Hashem al-Atasi on 1 March 1954. Afif el-Solh 3rd person from the end on the right.
Afif was appointed Deputy Chairman of the National Party in Syria and a minister in the government. He resigned his ministerial post to be replaced by a member of the Baath Party in order to create balance between the Baath Party and the National Party