Ever in Deeds and Words!

 

The late President Hafez Al-Assad  has been the ever-living legend of  immortality in Syria's modern history. Undoubtedly he was one of the region's history-makers till June 10, 2000, the day he left us, but remained in our minds. He was an  example of values ,steadfastness and courage that help us in facing the current challenges and build the future of Syria away from any external interference.

President Hafez Al- Assad was an exceptional leader who made Syria a hard and difficult number in the region and the world as a whole . Due to his shrewd political vision and wisdom , president Al-Assad had instilled in Arab peoples' minds- but not in the ewes among de fact princes, emirs and kings-   the culture of resistance and provided it with all forms of support, refused to bargain over any of Arab issues that later contributed to the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance achievements of great victories against the Zionist enemy. Those victories were manifested in Israel's defeat in South Lebanon in 2000 , the victory of July 2006 and the victory of the Palestinian resistance in 2008.

Epic of Sacrifices!

 

Father, they wanted to crush our bones and feed the terrorists the dishes of our burnt flesh! They are those who have been deceiving the entire world for decades. They waited and waited, and soon after your untimely demise, they wanted to take revenge from the Syrian rich and deep rooted history, civilization and culture.

Unable to control, nor to subdue your son, President Bashar, and for about a decade following your demise, the anti-Syrians ewes, new-colonialists, ottomans rallied and exerted every evil effort and backed every terrorists from more than a hundred country; they wanted to eat our flesh, rape our women, stead our resources, and.. and… Here is Syria, the capital of Bashar  Hafez Al-Assad, the man who has been living in the heart s and minds of the millions of Syrians, Arabs and freedom and Resistance fighters.

President Hafez Assad, the builder of Modern Syria, passed away on June 10, 2000 leaving behind unforgettable pages of glory and treasures of unshaken principles and doctrines. "There are always men who can catch history" is an important saying of the great Indian leader Gandhi. The late leader President Hafez Al-Assad did not only catch but rewrite and make history through the depth of his thoughts and wisdom.

The Untimely Passing Away!

 It is almost 16 years of our spiritual and intellectual minute by minute journey into the afterlife along with our father, the builder of our Syria. In commemoration, the Syria Times republishes a series of articles:

 The Full text of the heart-breaking-news announcement, Saturday, 10 June, 2000,

 The following is the text of the sad announcement of the death of President Hafez Al-Assad, the builder of Modern Syria

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.  Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God: Of them some have completed their vow to the extreme, and some still wait. But they have never changed their determination in the least. Death has taken away a peerless leader and an unrivalled wise man. brother citizens, Arabs everywhere: The National and Regional Commands of the Arab Socialist Baa’th Party, the Central Command of the National Progressive Front, the People's Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces, the popular organizations, the Professional Associations, the children of the great late leader: Bashar, Mahir, Majd, Bushra, and Al Al-Assad and Makhluf, announce to the Arab nation and the Syrian Arab people the death of leader Hafez Assad, Secretary general of the Arab Socialist Baa’th Party and President of the Republic.

 Today morning, 8 Rabi al-Awwal 1421 Hegira, corresponding to 10th June 2000, God has decreed the death of a great, unparalleled leader and wise man. He was a soldier, a fighter, and one who believed that life has no value without a free, dignified, and united homeland. Syrians and Arabs, the steadfast leader died in defense of the rights of the nation and the homeland. The leader, whose values, principles, policies, and approach are lofty, has died. The leader has died. He struggled for more than half a century for the sake of the Arabs' pride, unity, freedom, and for the sake of safeguarding their dignity and restoring their rights. The leader, who relentlessly resisted strong storms, has died. His courage has never been weakened, his vision has never been narrowed, and his convictions have never been shaken. He was the most courageous one in making decisions and confronting the enemies of the nation. He was the one who loved the people the most. The star, who lit the sky of Syria and the Arabs for more than three decades, has fallen. 'He was a lion'. He devoted his brain, body, and heart for the sake of hoisting the banner of the nation. He struggled, was patient, and endured for the sake of a safe, prosperous, proud, and strong homeland.

He preserved his pledge - the pledge of love for the homeland and struggle to regain the rights of the nation and raise its standing. He was a lion in facing ordeals, difficulties, and storms. He was a soldier, a fighter, and one who believed that life has no value without a free, dignified, and united homeland. He was a president who was aware of his responsibilities in building the homeland and providing its requirements and liberating its occupied land. He was a father. Yes, he was a father in his love for his citizens. He shared with them their sorrow and joy. My brothers: Today, we lost a brother, comrade, friend, father, leader, and teacher. Today is a day of sorrow and pain in every house, in every school, university, factory, farm, and shop.

Sorrow is in every heart of every man, woman, and child. The one who departed was a piece of the heart. He will remain in his legacy, accomplishments, thought, and conduct a star that shines not only for this generation, but also for future generations.

Peace be upon you, president leader. Peace be upon you, struggler comrade. Peace be upon you. You were an example of sincerity and loyalty, work and struggle.

From God we come and unto him we shall return.

To the righteous soul will be said: " thou soul in complete rest and satisfaction. Come back thou to thy lord, well pleased thyself, and well-pleasing unto him.

Some of what world press wrote:

 The Independent October 28, 1994, Friday

By ROBERT FISK IN DAMASCUS

 It was a victory for President Hafez Al-Assad, a victory of words. Mr Assad has been using since the Madrid conference three years ago. And it was Bill Clinton who was using them. It was President Clinton's replies - not Mr Assad's – which told the story. He talked about ''a just and comprehensive peace'', about UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and 425, about how peace could never be lasting unless it was just, about ''the principle of land for peace'' upon which a treaty must be based.

Mr. Assad did not talk of victory. He smothered Mr. Clinton in praise for his peace- making efforts and insisted that he wanted ''to express my readiness to work with him for making a real, comprehensive and just peace throughout the region''. ''Comprehensive'' is the code word for withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab land. Mr. Assad implied. ''Anyone who does not believe what we are saying doesn't want peace themselves,'' he said. ''Why are the other side not convinced we are serious? I've heard statements from Israeli officials that Syria is serious. ''Our views were identical on the importance of making a comprehensive peace,'' Mr. Assad said. Then came the key phrase. ''I stressed to President Clinton the readiness of Syria to commit itself to the objective requirements of peace through the establishment of peaceful, normal relations with Israel in return for Israel's full withdrawal to the line of June 4, 1967 and from the south of Lebanon.''

 World Socialist Web Site

16 June 2000

 "Assad spent his 30 years in power carrying out a tortuous balancing act. Domestically, he was compelled to maneuver between various social interests and factions Assad's legacy. He is mourned in Washington, London and Paris because his sudden departure is one more destabilizing factor in a region ."

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Washington

"There was a strong sense that (Assad) was genuinely committed to peace"

BBC News Online

"Syria's shrewd master ,the late Hafez al-Assad was a key player in Middle Eastern politics."

TIME Magazine: JUNE 19, 2000

"He never worried about the clock ticking. He was legendary for his marathon negotiating sessions and infuriating intransigence. He left--as so many negotiators have over the years--reminded that Assad's 30 years in power had made him one of the world's sharpest and most patient negotiators."

BBC

"A Syria - or a Middle East - without President Hafez al-Assad would be hard to imagine."

BBC News Online

"Mr. Assad wants to regain the Golan Heights on his own terms. In the decades since becoming president and overseeing an unprecedented era of stability in Syria,"

 The Guardian

Saturday June 10, 2000

President Hafez Assad of Syria died this morning in Damascus. In breaking the news to the Syrian public, state-run television announced: "Death has taken away from Syria a leader." The announcer's voice choked as he began to cry. Syrian television showed MPs standing, heads bowed in the chamber for a moment of silence, wiping away tears.  Assad could never be discounted in the Middle East equation. "The Lion of Damascus" - his family name means lion in Arabic -. He was credited with bringing political stability to a country of repeated coups . He worked long hours and prided himself on managing the minutest details of his administration. His discipline extended to his private life - he was a vegetarian who abstained from alcohol, Like his hero Saladin, the warrior who defeated the Crusaders in the 12th Century, Assad dreamed of becoming the unchallenged leader of the Arab world. Israel, though, was an alternative centre of power in the region and, in Assad's view intent on weakening its Arab neighbors. His attempts to rally other Arab leaders to present a unified front against Israel gained little ground.

Let's look at a few of the most common adjectives used by the Western press to describe the late Hafez Al-Assad: inexhaustible. Much of the commentary can be summed up in the way Washington Post columnist E J Dionne Jr described Assad in a piece on Tuesday. Dionne says that Assad was "crafty, perhaps even brilliant,"

On Monday, the highly popular MSNBC (Microsoft NBC) Web site led its world news section with an article entitled, "Mideast Script: Waiting for Bashar." Interestingly, the article mentions that Assad is known as "the Lion of Damascus," but doesn't bother to add that 'lion' is the meaning of the Arabic word "Assad."

Newspapers across the Middle East have added their voices to the messages of condolence pouring in from world leaders following the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad.Lebanon's As-Safir said in its front-page tribute: "The lion of steadfastness... goodbye".

Al-Anwar, alongside a picture of Assad and his son said: "From Hafez to Bashar, the march continues." Assad made Syria a bedrock of Arab determination, a crucial friend to like-minded states and a worthy foe "

The Beirut-based Daily Star said: "Few people go to their graves having left such sweeping legacies that their country's history can thereafter be divided into two unmistakably different eras - before them and after them. "Hafez al-Assad was such a man because the Syria he leaves behind bears so little resemblance to the one that he grew up in". The Daily Star said that during his three decades in power Assad made Syria "a bedrock of Arab determination, a crucial friend to like-minded states and a worthy foe for any that opposed it".

The Jordan Times paid tribute to a leader which it said had "shaped much of modern Middle Eastern history". it added that Jordan would support Syria's struggle and work with Assad's successor. He not only maintained his calm at times of crisis, but also restored calm to the entire Arab world.

The English-language Iran Daily said the Arab community had "lost one of its greatest contemporary politicians". "Assad was a no-nonsense politician and truly understood all the complications involved. He not only maintained his calm at times of crisis, but also restored calm to the entire Arab world," it said.

"Assad is no longer with us, but his brilliant track record will always remain documented as a golden page in the history of the Middle East." Israel's 'toughest enemy'

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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The Late President Hafez Al-Assad 

 

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President Bashar Assad's Speech At the People's Assembly, June 04, 2012

At the beginning of this legislative course, we remember brothers of ours who should have been with us under the roof of this parliament taking part in this great national workshop, but the bullets of treachery prevented them from doing so. They fell martyrs merely because they were determined to shoulder national responsibility by putting themselves forward as candidates for the elections of the People's Assembly; and so they haven't been able to share with us this historic day.

In respect for their souls and the souls of all innocent civilian martyrs and military martyrs who fell since the early days of these events, we stand with great veneration and send their families our love and say to them that their blood was not spilled in vain. I am not saying this to indicate seeking revenge but in terms of upholding right because a right is never forgotten unless it is forfeited by its owner.

Our only solace – and here I'm not only offering condolences to their families; I am rather talking about the larger Syrian family – is that our country will be once again sound and healthy and that the children of this homeland will enjoy security, peace and stability.

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, members of the People's Assembly,

It gives me pleasure to congratulate you on the trust the people has put in you, and to particularly congratulate the new members who have joined this national institution to provide new blood and creative ideas which renew and invigorate the homeland and which fulfill the Syrians' aspirations in a safe and prosperous future.

I highly appreciate your determination to take part in these elections under the critical circumstances which require more courage, perseverance and a high sense of responsibility. This is only evidence of your willingness to give and to sacrifice at a time where many individuals toil under national responsibilities which are only shouldered by those who believe in the sacredness of national work and those who have committed themselves to serve the people and defend it.

The People's Assembly is an Assembly for all the Syrian people. It is the Assembly of the farmer dreaming of getting better crops and a better future. It is the Assembly of the peasant sweating to feed his children and extended family. It is the Assembly of the public sector employee taking his children to school to ensure a safer and more stable and prosperous future for his children. It is the Assembly of the soldier sacrificing his life in defense of his homeland. It is the Assembly of the intellectual, the educated, the doctor, the engineer, the lawyer, the journalist, the worker. It is the Assembly of the women who have always contributed to the development and progress of Syrian society. It is the Assembly of the people from whom it takes inspiration and for whom it lives, legislates and oversees the performance of the executive authority.

 Members of the People's Assembly cannot carry out their legislative and oversight functions in an optimal manner without possessing a clear development vision. For this vision to mature, it needs two factors: the first is constructive dialogue under the roof of this Assembly and among its members; and the second is continual communication with the citizens in order to know the challenges and the difficulties which they face or to listen from them to solutions and proposals which could enrich the programs and plans of the Assembly and make them closer to reality and better adapted to citizens' concerns.

Communication between officials, whether in the legislative or executive authorities is essential for the citizens who need to express their concerns; but it is a greater need for officials because their success, whether they are part of the executive or the legislative branch, is directly linked and strongly relevant to their relationship with citizens and their ability to draw ideas, plans and visions based on the aspirations and proposals of the citizens and their need for a better life.

If the Syrian citizen is our objective, he should be our starting point. And if we are working for the Syrian citizen, and if our objective is to serve the citizen's interests, then the citizen's views should be our guiding light. Focusing on the oversight role of the Assembly shouldn't undermine its participatory role with the executive authority. Those who are charged with oversight and accountability should be able to propose solutions; and this requires this institution to be turned into a beehive for work and dialogue so that it becomes the generator and the locomotive of the development process in Syria.

The relationship between the legislative authority and the executive authority – whether it is the government or other institutions – is often described as good or bad. I believe that this description is not accurate, because this relationship is not based on paying lip service to each other nor is it based on competition. It is based on integration, and such a relationship should only be described as methodological or non-methodological. When we say that it should be methodological, this means that we need mechanisms which are the most important thing for any institution at the beginning of its work at a particular stage.

When we talk about the oversight role of the People's Assembly – which is its most important role – over the executive authority, it shouldn't start with bringing to account the executive official who failed to deliver, it should start by planning. When the executive authority starts the planning process, there should be direct dialogue with the legislative authority which discusses these plans with the relevant authorities. The process starts when the government makes its statement, and later every minister is required to present his plan and his vision for the sector he is responsible for. Then comes the role of the Assembly in terms of follow-up and oversight, and later on when there is any failure on the part of any official, it should bring them to account. And here the assembly has a responsibility in front of the electorate and the citizens to hold discussions; and members should be able to discuss and approve a plan for which they will be responsible, together with the executive authority. Of course they are not responsible for implementation. This requires that a member is not simply a channel connecting the citizens and state institutions, they should interact with the citizens and propose ideas and plans and discuss them with the executive authority to see whether such plans are feasible and implementable. Just imagine instead of having tens of ministers thinking and planning, having hundreds of members discussing, planning, thinking and implementing. The development process will certainly be more effective and will make more achievements.

President Hafez Al-Assad's Last Address to the Parliament

 

The Late President Hafez Al-Assad's Address to the Parliament on taking the Constitutional Oath for a Fifth Presidential Term on March 11,1999

 President Hafez Al-Assad, the builder of modern Syria, delivered the following speech at the People’s Assembly on the occasion of taking the constitutional oath of office for a fifth constitutional term, March 11, 1999. This speech, according to different analyses and readings, can be considered as the beginning of the Syrian March on the way of the 1970- Correction Movement, as to initiate the process of Reform and Modernization, masterfully masterminded and led now - notwithstanding the unjust pressures put on Syria by some countries-  by His Excellency, President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad:

I congratulate you on the confidence that has been entrusted in you by the people. It is precious confidence and a heavy responsibility to bear. I do not doubt that this great task of serving the people will require you all taking part in legislation and supervision. It also pleases me that your People’s Assembly (PA) will be a true representation of the various social strata in our country. Its members empathize with various social, cultural and economic groups. I, also in particular, express satisfaction regarding the increase in the number of women in this legislative session. I am hopeful that this increase will continue to grow, to allow women to seriously participate in formulating life in our country. A worthy participation. It also pleases me to meet you, after our people granted me their unanimous confidence which comes as a marvellous manifestation of our national unity and internal strength.

  “We have moved from a position of weakness into a state of power and dignity. Syria has become able to carry out her national role and preserve national independence.”

Renewing the constitutional term of office on the 10th of last February was mutual pledge between me and our people, who have entrusted in me their confidence, love and support. The past three decades have been filled with successful work and prosperous hope. We face up to difficulties and then we eliminate them. We have achieved tremendous achievements and now we are enjoying them. We have moved from a position of weakness into a state of power and dignity. Syria has become able to carry out her national role and preserve national independence.I pledge, in my capacity as leader of this country to be the keeper of this precious confidence. And to this forum, I once again extend my thanks and love to every citizen stressing determination to continue the struggle in order to meet the ambitions of our people and the continued struggle for the rights of the Arab nation.

“Syria has built a solid base which has enabled her to move towards a brighter future. Our confidence, from the very beginning, was that caring about people should be to the forefront of our priorities.”

During the last 30 years we have realized great achievements in various walks of life. In the building of a sound economy, services, education, culture, sciences and the arts. Syria has built a solid base which has enabled her to move towards a brighter future. Our confidence, from the very beginning, was that caring about people should be to the forefront of our priorities. We worked to consolidate our material structure by constructing a strong national base, despite being besieged by problems and complexities imposed by regional and international conditions. 

 “We established our democratic system based on the needs of our people, and their economic, social and cultural conditions.”

Therefore, we have chosen a people’s democracy. We established our democratic system based on the needs of our people, and their economic, social and cultural conditions. This stemmed from their belief in freedom and pride in their own dignity. Every citizen has become a partner in decision-making and in bearing responsibility. In the village, in the city, in the factory as in the farm, in various careers and at the university. All these are linked to the process of consolidating the multi-party system and establishing the Progressive National Front. Expanding the circle of decision making and freedom of discussion and participation is the guarantee to achieve the democratic process. In light of this, discussions in all establishments are but a positive and constructive phenomenon. Dialogue and discussion are the best ways to disseminate thoughts and push forward towards shouldering the responsibility; hence, I would indicate that democracy is not the citizen practicing his right in electing his representatives to the institutions. It is rather these institutions carrying out their role according to the constitution and the law. Any reluctance by any institution in carrying out its role and shouldering its responsibility and not taking relevant decisions, will weaken the country and its people’s democratic system. Cooperation between the PA, the Government, the Local Administration councils and the governmental institutions is a basic matter, but not to be at the expense of a role to be played by any of their institutions, especially the PA, which has effectively to carry out its role in supervision and following up matters. The PA’s carrying out of its role is not only an expression of a true democracy, but it is also a guarantee for the government to be well advised.