Syrian Greeting from South Africa:

Interview with Head of Syrian Expatriates League in South Africa Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel

(ST_) Syriatimes has conducted an online interview with Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel, President of the Syrian Expatriates League in South Africa, who gave us a brief overview of the League, the Board of trustee and the members. “The League was founded in April 2017 with the vigor of the Syrian community in South Africa and the encouragement and determination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Syria, along with the support and follow-up of those in charge at our embassy in Pretoria.” Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel explained. 

“I have been elected unanimously to represent the Syrian Expatriates League in South Africa. It is certainly an Honor to be first president of the League.”  Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel proudly affirmed.

Concerning the League objectives and working plans, Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel explained: “I urge Syrians here to mingle and get introduced to each other; and to communicate and get in touch with their country’s embassy.  I personally try to provide all possible services, advice and guidance to be a founding pillar of the League.”

He also pointed out that despite the League’s independent decisions and orientations; it remains cohesive in its love and support of the homeland Syria.

Regarding statistics related to the Size of the Syrian community in South Africa and their activities there; Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel provided us with the following details: “The number of Syrians in South Africa for the purpose of residence and work is approximately 500 individuals, who are engaged in various commercial activities of medium size and below. Some of them hold the South African nationality; others are still working as residents.  The community is spread over the vast area of South Africa; however the largest density is shared by Johannesburg, Pretoria and CapeTown.

Despite that, the Syrian community in South Africa is considered to be relatively small in number compared to other Arab and non-Arab communities; "However, as typical Syrians, wherever they are, they leave a distinctive mark and a good reputation." exclaimed Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel.

Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel provided a presentation of the Syrian Expatriates League, that have carried out activities to participate in Syrian National, cultural, and religious occasions as well as South African ones to introduce Syrian culture and deep civilization and to alter the incorrect concepts of what is going on in Syria. In addition, to the partaking of the League in other Arab countries occasions whether good or sad to support and help them despite modest abilities; and to alleviate the pain of alienation and longing for our beloved homeland.

Regarding the Syrian community members and their activities in South Africa, "All  struggle and contribute in supporting the South African and Syrian economy, even those who come as refugees, although they are very few, have their own work and do not receive any government or private support. All here trust the sincerity of our dealings and work “Affirmed Dr. El Adel, who confirmed the reliability and excellent reputation of Syrians in South Africa.

South Africa is a vast and beautiful country, with lovely climate, great opportunities, huge potentials (agricultural, industrial and mineral resources). The people are mostly kind and cooperative. The matter that makes "the League encourage large companies, businessmen and investors to contribute to the reconstruction of wounded Syria, particularly that South Africa is from the BRICS countries." Stated Dr. El Adel.

South Africans have always been most welcomed in Syria; which was one of the first countries that supported South Africans to obtain their rights against the apartheid regime.  The late leader Nelson Mandela paid Syria a visit to meet the late leader Hafez al-Assad. Mandela was a supporter of our case against Zionism, and our struggle to restore Syrian occupied lands. "We are looking forward to the day when Syria reestablishes security and safety, to take part in the rebuilding process, by reconstructing what was destroyed by terrorists and enemies.  “Over and over Syria and Syrians are affirming to the whole world (You can destroy stone, but not human beings!)” clearly affirmed Dr. El Adel. The Syrian people have been used to pain but that pain will end soon, “Although Syrians are gentle people in general,; they also are hard, fierce fighters  when their homeland and dignity are at stake.” Dr. El Adel exclaimed.

Finally, Dr. Mohamed Omar El Adel, Head of the Syrian Expatriates League in South Africa was keen to pay tribute to his country; “From the far end of the African continent, from South Africa, I send my sincere salutation to the martyrs, wounded, and soldiers of our heroic army and our leader.” He exclaimed. He expressed as well his gratitude towards Syriatimes for taking the time to carry the interview with him.


Interviewed by:

Editor in-chief: Reem Haddad

Lama Alhassanieh