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Middle East politician, diplomat, prime minister of Iraq. Born June 20, 1950, in small town of Hindiya, Iraq. Prime Minister of Iraq since May 20, 2006, and secretary general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Married to Fareeha Khalil, has four daughters and one son. Started out as a dissident against Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1970s. Rose to prominence after he fled a death sentence and went into exile. During time abroad he became senior leader of Dawa Party, coordinated anti-Saddam activities and guerillas, and built relationships with Iranian and Syrian officials whose help he sought to overthrow Hussein.
Born Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki on June 20, 1950, in Hindiya, Iraq, to a middle class family, in a small town 75 miles south of Baghdad. His grandfather was Hasan Abdul Muhassin, a religious cleric, poet, and politician who had been a member of the anti-British revolt in 1920. Al-Maliki attended school in Hindiya and received his bachelor's degree at Usul al-Din College in Baghdad. He later earned a master's in Arabic literature from Baghdad University.
In the late 1960s, he joined the Islamic Dawa Party, an armed, political underground resistance movement, associated with the Shia sect of Islam. During the late 1960s and 1970s, al-Maliki worked to resist the influence of Saddam Hussein's Baathist leadership. After college, al-Maliki lived in Al Hillah and worked in the education department. It was during this time that he became active in the Dawa party operations and rose quickly within the ranks of the party.
In 1979, al-Maliki fled Iraq after learning the Hussein government was planning to execute him, along with many other Dawa party members, for their subversive activities. The Iraqi government sentenced him to death in absentia in 1980. Al-Maliki left Iraq via Jordan and moved to Syria, assuming the pseudonym Jawad Maliki. In 1982, he left Syria for Tehran, Iran, where he lived until 1990. Later, he moved back to Syria where he directed guerilla forces against Saddam Hussein's regime until the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, former opposition groups began returning to Baghdad. A scramble for power began among the different political factions under the umbrella of American occupation. With the Baathists defeated, two Shia political groups emerged: the Al Dawa party and Muqtada al Sadr's militia group, the Mahdi Army. Al-Maliki was appointed as vice president for de-Baathification of former Iraqi government and military personnel. He was then appointed vice president of the provisional parliament and helped draft the country's constitution.
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