Model Role Details

Sami Mustaklem

Sector : Public Figures , Public Figures

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Age : 0
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On July 22, 1946, Sami Mustaklem was car shopping with his wife in Jerusalem. The manager of Bartlett’s Bank had a honey of a vehicle for sale and was just quoting Sami Mustaklem’s Memories the then-town magistrate a price when they heard a loud explosion, and debris rainedof Civil Defense under down. The hapless couple raced inside the Old City walls, where they heard that the King David Hotel had been bombed; later it was learned that explosion set by the Jewish Irgun had killed 91. The next day, when Mustaklem returned to work at the town planning building just down the road, he saw bodies being lifted out of the rubble. He didn’t buy that car.

But the day was marked in Mustaklem’s mind as a seminal moment in the passing of the British Mandate and the beginning of his long career as the head of Jerusalem’s fire department under Jordanian and then Israeli control. There weren’t so many blazes in this city of stone, but the fire brigade formed one of the hubs of civil defense through conflict and wars.

First, however, there were months of uncertainty. The departure of the British Authorities meant instability and few jobs. Mustaklem’s luck was to find work abroad with Aramco; he flew to the Gulf from Qalandia airport on Lebanon’s Middle East Air. After four years he returned with joy to his family to work as an inspector of public works under the Jordanians. Then, in 1957, fire chief Mahmoud Shuabi passed away and Mustaklem was hired to take his place after an arduous application process and meetings with mayor Ruhi al-Khatib. He was trained in Zarka at a military school in fire safety, firefighting, the deployment of ropes as rescue lifts, and the use and care of ambulances and fire engines. The Jordanians, like governments before them, saw the civil defense brigades as a bridge to the local population.



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