Zu?bi, Mahmud Al- (Zo?bi; 1938–2000)
ZUEBI, MAHMUD AL- (Zoʿbi; 1938–2000)
Syrian political figure; born at Khirbat al-Ghazalah, Syria, to a wealthy Sunni family of Khirbat Ghazal. Mahmud al-Zuʿbi obtained a degree in agronomical engineering in 1963 from the University of Cairo and was named director of the Syrian agricultural center of Ghab a few months later. He was in charge of agrarian reform in the Ghab valley from 1964 to 1968 during which time he joined the Baʿth Party and became a member of the council of agronomical engineers. In 1971 he was elected to the Syrian peoples council (Parliament), and occupied the posts of regional secretary of the Baʿth party and assistant secretary general of the national bureau of agriculture from 1971 to 1973. From 1973 to 1976 he directed the Society for Investment in the Euphrates, responsible for the agricultural development of a large part of Syria. He was elected acting member of the regional command of the Baʿth Party in March 1975, and four years later become a full member in charge of the peasant office. In 1981 Zuʿbi was elected president of the Syrian peoples council, serving until October 1987 when President Hafiz al-Asad named him prime minister in place of Abdul Rawuf al-Kasem.
On 29 June 1992 Zuʿbi was asked by the Syrian president to form a new government. During his first term the Syrian economy revived, and Syrian isolation among Arab nations and within the world ended. While Zuʿbi was serving his second term, President Hafiz al-Asad and his designated successor, Asad's son Bashar, launched a campaign against corruption that touched many Syrian leaders. Himself accused of corruption, Zuʿbi resigned from his post of prime minister on 7 March 2000; he was expelled from the Baʿth Party on the following 13 May and committed suicide eight days later.