, also spelled Atassi
: Atasi/ Atasizade
) is the name of a prominent family in Homs
, of a noble and ancient lineage, dating back to the 15th century AD. More recently, members of the family lead the national movement against the French mandate. The power and prestige of the family reached an apex at the formation of the modern Republic of Syria in 1936, when its second head of state
, Hashim al-Atassi
was elected president. Two out of the seven members of the constitutional assembly who drafted the first constitution of Syria
in 1919 were prominent Atassis: Wasfi al-Atassi
and Hashim al-Atassi
. Two more scions, Lu'ay al-Atassi
and Nureddin al-Atassi
, were in turn installed as heads of state in the 1960s. Family members included magistrates, governors, ambassadors, heads of political parties, military officers and other public officials throughout Ottoman and modern times.
Residence of Khaled Efendi al-Atassi, the Head of The Atassi House, built in 1893
Tomb of Sayed Ali Bin Khalil Al-Atassi, who died in 1508, located in the Atassi Mosque, Homs
Tomb Stone of Sayed Saleh Al-Sayed Suleiman Al-Atassi, who died in 1782, located in the Atassi Mosque, Homs
Many leading family members assumed prominent religious and political positions in Ottoman
, French, and Independent Syria
The oldest mention of the family to date was in a religious manuscript dated in 1450, copied in service to one the family ancestors, Sheikh Ibrahim bin Ahmad Al-Atassi, who was named Imam of Prince Toghan bin Seqlesiz, Prince of the Turkman
. The family appeared in Hims around the end of the 15th Century. Its ancestor, Ali Bin Khalil Atassi, was buried in 1508 in a tomb in his mosque, later known as the Atassi Mosque. The tomb exists until today.
The name al-Atassi evolved from the word "العطاسي
" (from "العطاس
," meaning "the sneezer" in Arabic) which later changed to "الأطاسي
" then to "الأتاسي
" or Atassi.
in origin,
and its members were recognized as "Ashraf", that is descendants of prophet Muhammad
, inheriting the formal address of this class in legal court documents. The ancestors of the family moved between Yemen
before eventually establishing their presence in Homs sometime in the 16th century CE.
Their religious authority as muftis
, along with large land holdings in Homs, formed the basis of the family's wealth and influence.
The Atassi House of Homs has been divided into fifteen branches, most of which still use the name Atassi as the sole surname; however, there are two main exceptions. Al-Sayed Suleiman
and Majaj are two cadet branches that are recognized as Atassi, although they have alternative surnames.
Atassi muftis of Homs and Tripoli
The office of Mufti of the town of Homs, the highest religious jurisdiction in the city, was hereditary in the Atassi family for over four centuries. At least eighteen Atassi scholars held this position. In addition, two Atassis are known to have been Muftis of the city of Tripoli
as well. The Sibaie
House of Homs was another scholarly family who were often in competition with the Atassi House for the seat of the mufti, and the Sibaie were able to secure it at least four times in the town history.
The following are members of the family who attained the position of mufti:
(Dates represent period served in that position)
- Al-Shihab Ahmad Sham al-Deen ibn Khalil al-Atassi, The first. 1533-1596.
- Mahmood ibn Ahmad al-Atassi. Held position starting in 1596.
- Ahmad ibn Mahmood al-Atassi, the second. Held position until death in 1653.
- Hasan ibn Mahmood al-Atassi. Held position starting in 1653.
- Mohammad ibn Ahmad al-Atassi, the first. Held position until death in 1698.
- Ali ibn Hasan al-Atassi. Held position starting in 1703.
- Abdul-Wahhab ibn Ali al-Atassi. mid-18th century, period not exactly known.
- Burhan Al-Deen Ibraheem ibn Ali al-Atassi. Late 18th century, period in Homs not known, Mufti of Homs, later of Tripoli.
- Yaseen ibn Ibraheem al-Atassi, Mufti of Tripoli.
- Abdul-Sattar ibn Ibraheem al-Atassi. 1805-1829.
- Saeed ibn Abdul-Sattar al-Atassi. 1830-1854.
- Mohammad Abu-Al-Fath ibn Abdul-Sattar al-Atassi, the second. 1852-1882.
- Mohammad Khaled ibn Mohammad al-Atassi. 1885-1894.
- Abdul-Lateef ibn Mohammad Al-Atassi. 1894-1914
- Mohammad Taher ibn M. Khaled al-Atassi. 1914-1940.
- Mohammad Tawfeeq ibn Abdul-Lateef al-Atassi. 1940-1965.
- Badr Al-Deen ibn Mahmood al-Atassi. 1965-1966.
- Mohammad Tayyeb ibn Abdul-Fattah al-Atassi. 1966-1984.
- Zuhair bin Abdul-Rahman Mumtaz Al-Atassi. 2017-current
Other members served as religious scholars in other capacities such as judges, chief clerks, and imams
. One mufti, Sayed Ibraheem Efendi al-Atassi, also served as Mufti of Tripoli
in the late 18th century. Taher al-Atassi
served as the supreme judge of Basra
, and Nablus
in the late Ottoman period.
Although members of the Atassi family were naturally involved in the politics of the city of Homs by virtue of holding the mufti position and by belonging to the wealthy class and being Ashraf, it was not until the late 19th century that they started holding non-religious governmental offices. Two scholars who held the position of mufti also held political offices: Khaled al-Atassi
(1837–1908), and his son, Taher al-Atassi (1860–1940). In 1876, Sayed Khaled Efendi Al-Atassi was elected to the first parliament of the Ottoman Empire
as the deputy from Homs and Hama
. In 1922, Sayed Taher Efendi was elected to membership of the Council of the Syrian Union as the representative of Homs in the state of Damascus
. Other Atassis have since held legislative positions.
The family achieved further influence through education with a tradition of sending the young men of the family to be educated at the Imperial capital of Istanbul during the Ottoman administration, and then to the Sorbonne
and other European centers of learning during the French Mandate.
Atassi heads of state
- Hashim al-Atassi, President of Syria: 1936-1939, December, 1949-September, 1950, September, 1950-December, 1951, February, 1954-September, 1955
- Lu'ay al-Atassi, President of the Revolutionary Council, vested with presidential powers, 1963
- Nureddin al-Atassi, President of Syria, 1966–1970
Atassi members elected to the parliament and ruling councils
(dates represent year elected)
- Khaled al-Atassi, elected to the Ottoman parliament, 1876.
- Hashem al-Atassi, 1918, 1928, 1932, 1936.
- Wasfi Beik al-Atassi, Ottoman Parliament (1914), Syrian Congress (1918)
- Taher Efendi al-Atassi, 1922, member of the 15-membered Ruling Council of the Tri-State Union.
- Feidy Beik al-Atassi, 1923 (State of Damascus Assembly), 1947, 1949, 1954, 1961.
- Mukarram Al-Atassi, 1936, 1946.
- Adnan al-Atassi, 1943, 1947, 1954.
- Hilmi al-atassi, 1943.
- Dr. Shawqi al-Atassi, elected to the parliament of the United Arab Republic, 1960.
- Nureddin al-Atassi, 1965 (National Council)
- Ibtisam al-Sayed Suleiman al-Atassi, 2003.
- Suheir Atassi
- Mansour Al-Atassi
Atassi ministers in various cabinets
- Adnan bin Hashem Beik al-Atassi, Paris (1945)
- Abdel-Kareem al-Atassi,
- Jawdat bin Abdel Jawad al-Atassi
- Abdul Mou'men al-Atassi
- Abdel-Wadood al-Atassi
Atassi mayors of Homs
- Hasan al-Atassi, late 19th century.
- Najeeb Atassi, 1879.
- Omar Beik Al-Atassi, 1912.
- Mohammad Al-Atassi, 1920-1930.
Ranking officers in the Syrian Military
In order of highest rank:
- General Louay ibn Ahmad Sami al-Atassi, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Armed Forces, president of the Revolutionary council, 1963, former head of the School of Infantry.
- Major General Dr. Sabah al-Deen bin Husam al-Deel al-Atassi, former High Commissioner of the Syrian Army
- Major General Dr. Ziad bin Abu al-Sood al-Sayed Suleiman al-Atassi
- Major General Iklil bin Fahmi al-Atassi
- Major General Tamer bin Haqqi al-Atassi.
- Brigadier General Salem bin Suliman al-Atassi.
- Brigadier General Dr. Abdel-Zaher bin Abdel Majeed al-Sayed Suleiman al-Atassi
- Colonel Pilot Ramez bin Rateb Al-Sayed Suleiman Al-Atassi
- Colonel Ziad bin Khalil al-Atassi, former Secretary General of the Syrian Veteran Society, first head of the School of Armor Division.
- Colonel Faisal bin Mazhar al-Atassi, leader of the 1954 coup.
- Colonel Mohammad bin Ibrahim al-Atassi, former Commissioner of the Syrian Army, former head of the Allepo Military Police.
- Colonel Jawdat bin Abdel Jawad al-Atassi, former director of the Syrian Military Academy, Homs, former Syrian Ambassador to Italy, Argentina, and USSR.
- Colonel Shahood bin Rafeeq al-Atassi, former head of the Syrian Desert Forces.
- Colonel Mazyad bin Tawfeeq al-Atassi, former head of the Civilian Police in Homs, former Director General of the Prisons of Aleppo.
- Colonel Ramez bin Rateb Sayed Suliman al-Atassi.
- Lieutenant Colonel Tarek bin Shaker Imad Al-Deen al-Atassi, Director of the Military Museum, Damascus.
- Lieutenant Colonel Maher bin Jum'a al-Atassi ( Syrian air forces).
- Atassi, B.H. "Bughyat Al-Nasi" the History of the Atassi Family-Bassel Atasi.
- Islamic Court Registers of city of Homs.
- al-Muradi, Khalil. Silk Al-Durar fi 'ayan al-Qarn al-thani sshar.
- al-Bitar, Abdul-Razzaq. Hilyat al-bashar fi tarikh al-qarn al-thalith 'ashar.
- As'ad (1985) Tarikh Homs, 2 volumes, Tripoli, تاريخ حمص تأليف خوري أسعد, in Arabic
- Moubayed, Sami M., Steel and Silk: man and Men Who Shaped Syria 1900-2000. Cune Press, 2006.
- Atassi Family Website
Last edited on 14 April 2021, at 12:45
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