Al-Yawer, Ghazi (Iraq)
Appointed interim president of the Iraqi transitional government on 2 June 2004, Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer has been portrayed as a liberal leader who can unite the country as it edges towards national elections and full independence. A Sunni Arab and a member of one of the country’s largest and most respected tribes, which comprises both Sunni and Shia Muslims, he enjoys good relations with Iraq’s Kurds. Al-Yawer’s business acumen and strong links with neighbouring countries are thought to make up for his lack of political experience.
Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer was born in Mosul, northern Iraq in 1958. A Sunni Muslim, his grandfather was chief of the powerful and influential al-Shamma tribe. Al-Yawer attended primary school in Mosul and secondary school in Baghdad, before returning to his tribal homelands near the Syrian border. In the late 1970s, as Iraq lurched towards war with Iran under Saddam Hussein, al-Yawer moved with his family to Saudi Arabia and studied...