Excerpts from Her Excellency Interview with the Spanish News Agency EFE , February 1st 2008:

" Once we talk about Syria, we do talk about history itself. Damascus is perhaps the only City in world in which the history of all nations came together, where many of our history start; Damascus, therefore, is a unique palace. The history of Damascus, past and present, teaches us that varied cultures and religions could coexist and prosper, exchange richness, enabling societies themselves to be richer, rather than to exchange threats. This is the message of Damascus for the year 2008- as the capital for Arab Culture- " 

" During the 8th Century , scientists and researchers from all of Europe flocked to Andalusia, interacted with Islam, which provided them with a new vision, rich prospects for the future; henceforth, science, arts, culture and agriculture flourished. This is a unique message. For Syria and Spain, we have the same ancestors , which makes us members in the one family. I think that Syria and Spain could play a pivotal role on the international arena, especially amid the ongoing talks about the so-called clash among civilizations. Spain has played a leading role in ‘ Civilizations Alliance’ sponsored by the UN; Syria strongly supports this. Our history and modern experience continue to demonstrate different realities of tolerance and coexistence, which should be disseminated to the world. Dialogue should not only aim at convincing others with certain viewpoints, but should, further, aim to cooperate with them as to create new visions." 

"I share Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain the same desire for peace and stability prevailing all over the world. For me, the search for peace and stability can not be separated from hope, opportunity as other synonyms for education and prosperity." 

" Many promising opportunities do exist in Syria. This motivates me every day. This is perhaps more clear when it comes to the Syrian Youth, where 60 percent of the Syrians are under 25 years old. They do not only have the key for our prosperity, but, are indeed an active part in our present."

 "For change and development to be a success , they should be carried out by and for the Syrians, rather than by or through others. Syria witnesses an accelerated social political and economic development expanding the horizons of business, handling of new challenges, developing new industries. At the political level, for example, Syria is the only Arab country where the woman holds the position of the Vice-President." 

"For development process to be successful and sustainable, the direct beneficiaries should be part an parcel of this process participating actively in it. Syria carries out a new form of change based on the linkage between what results from our self circumstances and others’ experience, as to get interacted making use of both success and failure points of such experience." 

" I have been grown up in two civilizations, which makes me having my own special vision in being able to see the two sides of the coin, enabling me to play my role as a mother and as a public figure." 

" We have to encourage our children to think beyond closed borders, supporting them as to discover their capabilities and learn by their experience. We do not have even to fear as not to teach our children to carry out calculated risks, even playing with fire; what matters is their ability to evade getting burnt ." 

" We lead a normal life like every Syrian family. Of my top priorities is to spend time with my husband, children, the big family- the Syrian Citizens- and friends. We enjoy spending some time outside the house. We are fortunate to have diverse climate in Syria enabling us to practice much of sport and activity outside the house. We are a family fond of bicycle riding ; even my three-year-old son rides a bicycle. We enjoy visiting archeology place in Syria, which has more than three thousand archaeological posts. It is so important for me spending rich time with my family providing my children the love and support which they need." 

Edited and Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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