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Safe Future for Our Children

 The Late President Hafez Al-Assad last words on June 10, 2000 were that ‘our destiny is to build a better future for our countries, a safe future for our children. We have to give them something better than what we inherited.’ and then there was a sudden silence," according to Ex=President of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud  in a condolence letter to President Bashar Al-Assad.

Actually the care and special attention about the children of Syria and their well-being has been continued with President Bashar Al-Assad and the First Lady, Mrs. Asma Al-Assad. Thus, on World Children’s Day in June 2002, Mrs. Assad launched the first National Children’s Book Fair, which featured authors, artists and publishers from around the country. She believes learning is the product of an open and diversified society and access to knowledge, experience, and the enhancement of learning will improve the quality of life. She encourages parents to spend more time with their children, to involve them in family affairs and to always ask for and respect their opinions.

Disadvantaged children are of particular concern to Mrs. Assad. She works tirelessly to raise public awareness of children in special circumstances and draws attention to their emotional and psychological needs. In her speeches and public appearances, she stresses the importance of the family nucleus ‘a strong family is a strong society’.

The Syrians are grandsons of those who taught the Alphabet to the whole world, and who spread the arts of Commerce, Medicine and Architecture, said Mrs. Asma Al-Assad.

During her participation in ''Our roots are deep in the land'', the First Lady of Syria, Mrs. Al-Assad, appealed to the Syrians as to be attached to the Land and knowledge for the building of Syria and protection of its future.

Mrs. Al-Assad added, during the ceremony dedicated to the loving memory of the Syrian Martyrs, that we have to teach our children as to have their future: ''Our history is but part of the Syrian Identity, for which we are being the target, and as to protect and develop our country and safeguard its future, the real weapon which we can use is that of knowledge and land.''

 Planting a sapling of Olives, Mrs. Al-Assad said that the Olive Tree symbolizes life and continuity, and the Martyrs, who sacrificed themselves for the Homeland, have done so as to defend the Land and as to make us continue to live. Olive is he symbol for giving, and Syria has given us much, and we have today to return the favour and play our role for Syria in contribution to its development in the coming stage. A branch of Olives symbolizes peace, in which our people do believe in and search for.''

''There is no place most dear to us than Syria. I am a mother for three children, and my responsibility towards them is to bring them up with amity for the Homeland. I can't bring them up with amity to Syria, if they weren't to live in Syria, and learn its culture, history, civilization, and if they weren't to interact with the Syrians and eat from the Homeland food. How could I teach them to contribute to the development of the country, if they weren't to live its problems? Yesterday, today and tomorrow, God willing, and forever I remain in Syria,'' added Mrs. Al-Assad.

The following about 200 photos, as published by President Bashar Al-Assad unofficial website, depict but some of what might be the most true and genuine reflection of humanity, kind heartedness and tenderness of the President of Syria and the First Lady. I kindly invite the Syria Times Online readers to cite but another example worldwide for another Presidential, Royal, Principal or whatever couple who are such humanly involved in bringing up the children of their respective countries. 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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