Hello Syria: Obamas Offered Road to Damascus

 Syria's First Lady has exclusively told Sky News she would welcome the Obamas to Damascus.

 President Obama has offered the Muslim world the chance of a 'new beginning'

Asma al Assad's comments are the latest in a series of signs US Syrian relations are improving after years of tension.

 "The fact is President Obama is young," she said, "and President Assad is also very young as well, so maybe it is time for these young leaders to make a difference in the world".

 And she gladly envisioned welcoming Michelle Obama and her husband in a presidential palace in Damascus in the near future.

 "I can see myself hosting them in Damascus in the old town, meeting with people, getting a sense of how we live, who we are and what Syria's about," she said.


 The comments follow news America is to send an ambassador to Syria for the first time in four years. It follows President Obama's offer of a "new beginning" in relations between the US and the Muslim world in general.

 Asma al Assad was born and raised in London and only moved here after marrying Syrian President Bashar al Assad nine years ago.

 This week she is launching the latest phase in a youth movement called MASSAR, which is one of her great passions.

“MASSAR is about inventing the future… Young people will be able to contribute and determine the future direction of the country,” H. E. Mrs. Al-Assad said

  She told Sky News Syria needs to make more progress to benefit all its people.

 "What we are trying to do is make sure the progress we are making across the country is inclusive to everybody or as many people as possible, whether it's economic, political or social."

 UK, Thursday July 02, 2009

Dominic Waghorn, Middle East correspondent

“I hope you do not think that people here are not critical, and are not complaining about the services, complaining about the government, complaining about economic crisis. People here complain as much as they do anywhere in the world.” said Her Excellency the First Lady.

“We are trying to ensure that they are not just complaining; but they are part of the solution; they are engaged in the solution; they are contributing to the solution; rather than sitting back as spectators!” added Her Excellency the First Lady.

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