According to Scott C. Davis, a US Writer& Journalist in May, 2007,  “Syrians spoke most fervently on Bashar al-Assad’s respect for law. '' The president came to Aleppo,” one woman told me. He was driving his car, and the light turned red, and he stopped!” In Aleppo, as any observer knows, Bashar al-Assad was probably the only driver on the road who obeyed the traffic laws'' this is but an example cited by an American. Actually there are hundreds of examples by Syrians, who are indeed touched deeply by the rare and unique morality, modesty and humanity of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

In his recent inauguration historic speech, H.E. gave the nation a moral ethical code of honor and morals. President Al-Assad outlined that:

    Moving forward towards the future cannot happen if we do not deal in all truthfulness and transparency with the root causes of the present situation.

 In as much as we have proudly witnessed a patriotic people.

     it has been equally painful and disgraceful that there are parts of our population -albeit a small portion -that were the foundation upon which this war was based, who made it possible for foreign terrorists to enter the country and who facilitated foreign economic, political and military intervention in Syria thus impinging on our sovereignty.

 

 The external factors are easy to recognize in what the aggressors say and in the instruments they use.

 The internal factors must remain the focus of every assessment or decision we make, not only to deal with the challenges today but also to protect ourselves for the future.

    There is a near consensus among Syrians that the main reason for those who immersed themselves in the destruction of the country – directly or indirectly – is ignorance.

     The bigger danger, which provided the foundation for the crisis and its different aspects, was the lack of morals by distorting religions, undermining honour, and selling out the homeland.

    The lack of morals is the greatest obstacle to the development of societies; development is not only dependent on laws and regulations, important as they are, but rather it is dependent on a culture based on morals.

    There can be no development without morals; they are inseparable. Good morals may ensure better enforcement of the law; good laws can help develop good morals but they cannot sow their seeds.

    Without morals, there will be no patriotic feeling in our consciousness and public service loses its meaning.

    Without morals, we become a society of selfish individuals each working for their own interests at the expense of others; and we saw this happening on a large scale during this crisis.

    There are many in this crisis that did not carry arms but they nonetheless damaged people’s livelihoods and manipulated their future; they stole, blackmailed, ransacked and were as dangerous as the terrorists themselves.

    Without morals we are wasting our time trying to reach objectives we do not have the necessary tools to achieve.

    Talking about morals, in this speech, is not an alternative to developing laws and regulations nor is it an excuse for exonerating the state of its responsibility.

    If our morals and culture provide the foundation, state administration and institutions constitute the building; and any building without a solid foundation will always remain fragile.

    We also need to address corruption, which is the greatest challenge for any society or state.

    Financial and administrative corruption is based on moral corruption, both of which produce a more dangerous form: national corruption that creates people who sell their homeland and the blood of its children to the highest bidder.

    Fighting corruption requires action on a number of parallel tracks. Punishment comes at the top of the corruption fighting strategy.

    Striking with an iron fist every proven and convicted corrupt person is the most important element; however, when you punish a corrupt individual, society might produce tens of other corrupt and more devious individuals skilled at evading the law in a manner that cannot be detected or punished. In this case, time will play in favour of corruption and the corrupt.

 Accountability is at the top of the corruption fighting strategy.

 In the middle comes administrative reform of state institutions, a process that has been on-going for a number of years.

    We need to focus on developing educational curricula in a manner that goes beyond education per se to include instilling moral values and appropriate conduct.

    The role of society and the family in particular. In order to produce an uncorrupt society, we all need to, as mothers and fathers, provide our children with a good upbringing.

    A sound upbringing which produced honest and patriotic citizens.

    This upbringing creates the difference between a citizen supporting his family and community in times of crisis rather than exploiting them and it prevents citizens becoming mercenaries to be used against their nation by conspirators or foreigners.

    Let us make fighting corruption our priority in the next period, in state institutions and across society as a whole;

    let’s make it a priority not only for state officials, but also for every individual.

    Let every one of us move from talking about corruption fighting to actively working to confront it, to strike at its roots instead of wasting time pruning its branches.

 Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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