Jalal Talabani (Kurdish: جەلال تاڵەبانی Celal Tallebanî, Arabic: جلال طالباني Jalāl Tālabānī; born November 12, 1933) is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was half Kurdish.
Talabani is the founder and secretary general of one of the main Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He was a prominent member of the Interim Iraq Governing Council, which was established following the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Talabani has been an advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy in Iraq for more than 50 years.
Talabani was born in 1933 in Talaban Village and descends from the Talabani tribe that has produced many leading social figures. He received his elementary and intermediate school education in Koya (Koysanjak) and his high school education in Erbil and Kirkuk. In the late 1950s Mustafa Barzani sent him to Syria to study law. He is fluent in Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and English. Talabani has a record of lifelong activism and leadership in the Kurdish and Iraqi causes. In 1946, at the age of 13 he formed a secret Kurdish student association. His youngest son, Qubad, is the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in the United States.