Barham Salih

Barham Salih

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Barham Ahmad Salih is an Iraqi Kurdish politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

. He is currently the prime minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

. He is married and has a daughter who attended Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 and a son who graduated from King's Academy
King's Academy
King’s Academy is a co-educational private boarding school that opened in August 2007 in Madaba-Manja, Jordan. It is named in honour of Abdullah II of Jordan...

 in Madaba
Madaba
Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and currently attends Columbia.

Early life


Dr. Barham Salih was born in 1960 in the city of Sulaymaniyah
Sulaymaniyah
Sulaymaniyah is a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq. It is the capital of Sulaymaniyah Governorate. Sulaymaniyah is surrounded by the Azmar Range, Goizja Range and the Qaiwan Range in the north east, Baranan Mountain in the south and the Tasluje Hills in the west. The city has a semi-arid climate with...

 in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

. He was arrested in 1979 by the Baathist regime twice on charges of involvement in the Kurdish national movement and spent 43 days in detention in a Special Investigation Commission prison in Kirkuk where he was tortured. His release is a source of speculation since politically active Kurds were particularly targeted for summary execution. Once release he finished high school honors and was ranked the first in Kurdistan and the third in Iraq with a grade of 96.5%. He left Iraq for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 because of continuous persecution.

Career at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan


Salih joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is a Kurdish political party in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan was founded on June 1, 1975, by coordinations between Jalal Talabani and Nawshirwan Mustafa...

 (PUK) in late 1976 where he became a member of the PUK department of Europe, and was in charge of PUK foreign relations in London. In addition to the political struggle, he finished his university studies and received a Bachelor
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

s degree in Civil Engineering and Construction from the Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

 in 1983. He continued to study and obtained a Doctorate degree in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering from the University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...

 in 1987.

He was elected a member of the PUK leadership at the first party conference when Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

 was liberated from the Ba'ath Party following the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. He was assigned the task of heading the PUK Office in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

After the fall of the Baathist regime, he became Deputy Prime Minister in the Interim Iraqi Government (in mid-2004), Minister of Planning in the Transitional Government (in 2005), and Deputy Prime Minister in the elected Iraqi Government (Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki , also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa, is the Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Al-Maliki and his government succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently in his second term as Prime Minister...

’s Cabinet) in charge of the economic portfolio and Head of the Economic Committee. Representing the Iraqi Government, he launched the International Compact with Iraq – an initiative of mutual commitment between Iraq and the international community to help Iraq in meeting its obligations of “building a prosperous, democratic and federal country, in peace with itself and with the region and the world”.

In the Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009
Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009
The Iraqi Kurdistan legislative elections of 2009 took place on 25 July 2009. A total of 2.5 million citizens of Iraqi Kurdistan were eligible to vote for the parliamentary and presidential elections. People currently living outside Iraqi Kurdistan were not allowed to vote. The elections followed...

 he headed the Kurdistani List which won 59 of 111 seats. He succeeded Nechervan Idris Barzani
Nechervan Idris Barzani
Nechirvan Idris Barzani , or ) is a Kurdish politician in Iraqi Kurdistan. He served as the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government from March 2006 to August 2009...

 as the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government
Kurdistan Regional Government
The Kurdistan Regional Government , , is the official ruling body of the predominantly Kurds-populated Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq...

.

Salih appeared on The Colbert Report on June 10, 2009, broadcast from Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, and was interviewed by the host. He praised the U.S. military for freeing Iraq, and acknowledged that many Kurds desire independence.

Political career

  • Prime Minister of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
    The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is a Kurdish political party in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan was founded on June 1, 1975, by coordinations between Jalal Talabani and Nawshirwan Mustafa...

     region of Iraqi Kurdistan
    Iraqi Kurdistan
    Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

     (January 21, 2001 - July 4, 2004)
  • Deputy Prime Minister of the Iraqi Interim Government
    Iraqi Interim Government
    The Iraqi Interim Government was created by the United States and its coalition allies as a caretaker government to govern Iraq until the Iraqi Transitional Government was installed following the Iraqi National Assembly election conducted on January 30, 2005...

  • Minister for Planning and Coordination in the Iraqi Transitional Government
    Iraqi Transitional Government
    The Iraqi Transitional Government was the government of Iraq from May 3rd, 2005, when it replaced the Iraqi Interim Government, until May 20th, 2006, when it was replaced by the first permanent government....

  • Deputy Prime Minister in the Iraqi government
    Government of Iraq from 2006
    The current government of Iraq took office on May 20, 2006 following approval by the members of the Iraqi National Assembly. This followed the general election in December 2005...

     of Nouri al-Maliki
    Nouri al-Maliki
    Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki , also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa, is the Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Al-Maliki and his government succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently in his second term as Prime Minister...

     from 2006 until 2009
  • Leader of Kurdistan List
    Kurdistan List
    The Kurdistan List , also known as the Kurdistan Alliance or the Brotherhood List, is the name of the electoral coalition that ran in the Kurdistan Regional Government parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009...

     in 2009 Kurdistan regional election
    Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009
    The Iraqi Kurdistan legislative elections of 2009 took place on 25 July 2009. A total of 2.5 million citizens of Iraqi Kurdistan were eligible to vote for the parliamentary and presidential elections. People currently living outside Iraqi Kurdistan were not allowed to vote. The elections followed...

  • Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Government of Iraq
    Iraqi Kurdistan
    Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

     (2009–present)

External links