Assad in Person: Confident, Friendly, No Regrets

By ANNE BARNARD NOV. 1, 4,  2016

 DAMASCUS, Syria — The guns were silent atop Mount Qasioun and the lights on its slopes twinkled over Damascus as President Bashar al-Assad of Syria welcomed a group of Western visitors into his French-Ottoman palace on Monday night, presenting himself as a man firmly in control of his country.

He radiated confidence and friendliness as he ushered a group of British and American journalists and policy analysts into an elegant wood-paneled sitting room where he claimed that the social fabric of Syria was stitched together “much better than before” a chaotic civil war began more than five years ago. It was as if half his citizens had not been driven from their homes and nearly half a million had not been killed in the bloody fighting for which he rejected any personal responsibility, blaming instead- as a matter of fact- the United States and Islamist militants.

“I’m just a headline — the bad president, the bad guy, who is killing the good guys,” Mr. Assad said. “You know this narrative. The real reason is toppling the government. This government doesn’t fit the criteria of the United States.”

It was a surreal meeting for me after years of writing about a devastating and intractable war that has reduced several of Syria’s grand city centers to rubble and prompted accusations of war crimes. While hundreds of thousands of Syrians are besieged and hungry, here was Mr. Assad, secure in his palace because he has ''outsourced much of the war to Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah forces''…

He was on a mission to convince the West that their governments had made a mistake in backing his opponents and that he was secure in his position as the custodian of Syrian sovereignty.

Waxing philosophical, he spoke of every Syrian’s right to be “a full citizen, in every meaning of this word,” and likened intolerant versions of religion to a computer operating system that needed to be updated. He promised that a new era of openness and dialogue was underway in Syria and said that he was thinking ahead about how to modernize Syrians’ mentality after a war that he believed his forces were assured of winning.

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DAMASCUS, (ST)_ The Syrian People are fully enthusiastic to participate in the ongoing Parliamentarian voting as the early hours of the voting indicated, outlined H.E. President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad.

Casting his vote along with the First Lady of Syria, Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, here Wednesday, President Al-Assad added in a statement that the participation in the elections included all components of the Syrian Society, on top are the families who lost sons at the hands of terrorism, the family members of the Martyred and wounded, who sacrificed their souls or bodies in defense of the homeland.

'The homeland is the territories, People and institutions and all that unites these factors is the Constitution. Accordingly, the President and his wife vote today, as Syrian citizens in defense of the constitutional duty," added H.E. President Assad.

"The Syrians have been waging for 5 years a war against terrorism, which though shed the innocents blood and destroys more of the infrastructure, but indeed failed to destroy the Syrians' national social identity," reiterated President Al-Assad.

"The Syrian People have been aware about the operators and masters of terrorists bids as to strike the Syrians' national identity and social structure; accordingly the landslide immense enthusiasm to participate in all of the previous constitutional duties, presidential and legislative, and in today's elections, which witnessed unprecedented huge numbers of candidature nominations compared to previous parliamentarian elections," added H.E. President Al-Assad.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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DAMASCUS, (ST)_ The safety of Syria is the only objective which equals your sacrifices in soul, body or health, H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad told some of the martyred or wounded of the Syrian Arab Army and some of their mothers.

In celebration of the Mother's Day anniversary, H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad along with the First Lady, Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, hold a reception ceremony honoring some mothers for the martyred Army personnel and for some wounded Army personnel and their mothers.

"Once Syria is back to safety, I think everyone among you would but say that his hand, leg, eye and health had been restored back to perfection. The same, I believe, is for every Martyrs' family  who would feel as if their martyred had been reborn once the homeland is back to safety," said H.E. President Al-Assad.

President Al-Assad pointed out that the terrorist war against Syria changed even the Mother's Day celebrations from a family climate into feasts of heroism, bravery and sacrifices, and asserted that behind this heroism and these heroes, there are the families which have brought them up.

Mothers are the main source of heroism, added H.E. President Al-Assad, asserting that the factory of the heroes are the mothers how to bring children up.

You are Live examples for future generations as leading the example to learn from and by you, added President Al-Assad, pointing out that ''we love the homeland and those who defend the homeland'', citing the States activities and those by charity figures as to initiate and establish Projects for the martyrs and wounded and for employment opportunities.

''We are to care on a daily basis to improve the living conditions and the health conditions of the wounded, and Your sacrifices are priceless." Concluded H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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The late Mrs. Anisa Makhlof Al-Assad, the widow of President Hafez Al-Assad, had ever  been standing with and by him as his soul mate in thinking, dedication, values, honesty. In fact her role was even greater than what might be seen, as she did not like to be in the limelight and dedicated her life to work in silence, but with the highest level of efficiency and sincerity.

In  a commiseration  article in  Wattani press Website, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, the Political and Media Advisor at the Presidential Palace, added that the late First Lady of Syria, Mrs. Anisa Makhlof Al-Assad, was in a room beside the Late President's room when she heard that the phone handset  dropped on the floor and hurried up to find the handset on the ground! She always used to remember him out of respect as the president, whom she had tried in vain to convince as to go to Lattakia only for short days as take some rest; the late President always used to respond that he had no time to take rest!

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DAMASCUS, (ST)_ The Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic announced Saturday evening the untimely demise of the mother of President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad, the beloved Anisa Makhlof

The widow of the late President was born in Lattakia Governorate in the year 1930.

In 1957, she was married to the Late President, who was by then First Lieutenant, and since then she completed her life with him till the untimely demise of the Late President on June 10, 2000.

The untimely demise of President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad's mother crowned a long journey of dedication, humanitarian and charity works and sacrifices along with the late president for the welfare and well being of the Syrians.

The late President Hafez Al-Assad, the builder of modern Syria, and his wife, have a five-person family: a female Boushra, four males: Bashar, Maher and two other deceased brothers Bassel and Majd.

We pray for the rest of the souls of the deceased mother and for her rest in Paradise.

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