Sam Dalla, the Rector of the Higher Institute of Business Administration (HIBA) talks to Syria Times:

  Getting Business Administration Right

Private institutes of higher education have been mushrooming  all over Syria since 2001. The first to operate was the Higher Institute of Business Administration- better known as HIBA. In a remarkably short period of time, this young institute has built a very prestigious reputation for itself all throughout Syria. This was mainly due to the  dedication of the staff and the quality, caliber and seriousness of the students. This could not have been achieved, however, if it were not HIBA 's solid curriculum, designed  in association with  several European Universities.

Sam Dalla , a dignified , proud, and wise man of letters has been a  rector of HIBA since 2009. He obtained  his doctorate at degree of  honor on “ judicial audition” from France. He served as a rector for the faculty of law at Aleppo University for four years and five years as a rector for the Institute of National Administration, INA in Damascus.

Dalla appreciated the value of education, and tries to inspire motivation among his students, telling them that dreams- no matter how seemingly difficult- are always within reach; they just need a strong will, a good education, and a high moral fiber. The following is  an exclusive interview with the Syria Times  about what HIBA has achieved  since 2001, even before he was its rector, and where it  stands today after four  years of operation since  he became HIBA 's rector in 2009.

HIBA has made a name for itself, boasting of first class graduates with a solid education a high moral fiber, along with talent and character. What about HIBA 's  "success story"

 HIBA was founded in 2001, as part of the Syria- EU Cooperation Agreement.  In Parallel, the Institute of National Administration, better known as INA  was established for qualifying  cadres  for higher positions. Our Ultimate  goal is to provide a continuous supply of qualified managerial people for both the public and private sectors.  We dealt with several prominent European Universities, among which was Dauphine  University- Paris. Moreover, HIBA has been given privileges and a special status by the Syrian government. It reports directly to the  Ministry of Higher Education with a status of University, not just an institute. It offers  programs that include  Business Administration( BA), Master in Business Administration  (MBA) and Executive Master in Business Administration, ( EMBA ).

Can HIBA compete  with the increasing number of private universities? Is HIBA able to Challenge  Damascus University?

Each of HIBA and Damascus University belong to different educational sectors. HIBA is specialized in business administration for profitable sectors. It is, therefore, a market oriented rather than academic or research oriented. This fact is reflected in its program design. We have  representatives from both the  private and public sectors on our  Board of Directors, mapping out the needs  of each sector. This means that there is no completion, rather an integration with Damascus university, since our inclination is different and the market is in continuous need  of graduates.

What about Saam Dalla nested contribution  at HIBA?

 It is mainly " skills" and the " transfer of experience" at an academic and administrative levels. HIBA played a key role in settling  experience, through project formulation and implementation. Such Experience transfer came from European Universities. The experience was " transferred" then settled in HIBA. And the idea behind  partnership with certain  European universities  was to share  common responsibility, as means for greater motivation.

We opened our doors up for  prestigious universities, including  the British Oakland Bristol  university, as one of the  best in the world  in offering Doctorate in Business Administration DBA  and for MBA's in Real Estate  Development and  Islamic Banks .

How  can HIBA deal with the current crisis in Syria ?

The solid  cooperation  HIBA had with European Universities  slowed down or even was halted  in the second year of the  crisis  during the academic year 2011-2012 , as  the Syria-EU academic cooperation was closely linked to a political  decision, especially from the French partners  who were very rigid over the arrival of  European professors , despite the Syrian side assurances  to secure their safety  and timely  payment transfer  . However, there is still an MBA  cooperation project  between HIBA and Spain ‘s  Barcelona  university.

We tried to compensate  for the income increase  in HIBA’s revenues which affects our budget capital .  An MBA for  private and public sectors directors was opened . Also opened  was another  Master in providing best management  for the telecommunication sector in collaboration with the ministry of  communications  and  large number  of cadres have been qualified as a fruit of an instant response from the side of ministry especially  from Minister Imad Sabouni.

At the  University level, number of enrolled  students  increased, despite the crisis,  and HIBA which maintains self  financial reliance  could manage to keep  quality control of its educational curricula and services .

Besides HIBA administration embarked  on exerting efforts  for having heavy presence  in the labor market  through conducting efficient courses for employees at the private sector ‘s banks, insurance  companies and tourism promotion centers ,  while  several courses were  carried out for  the General Commission for Investment, Damascus University and the Industrial Zones  personnel's.

 HIBA 's enrolment fees are  relatively high, compared  to the Syrian public sector universities , especially in MBA and EMBA fees ?

HIBA is a self-generating income  Institution, and does not receive any financial support from the  State general Budget.

Nevertheless, HIBA continues to attract , and this fact proves that  education is  particularly most honored in our  society. HIBA charges  600,000 Syrian pounds  for  the MBA and the EMBA. This sum is considered  cheap when  compared to fees paid in counterpart institutes  in Arab and European countries like Jordan, Lebanon, France or Britain . For example  HIBA 's same EMBA granted by the Saint Joseph University in Beirut .


Interviewed by:

Tomader Fateh




Late Patriarch Agnatius IV Hazim Paid Final Tribute at Mariamite Church in Damascus

 DAMASCUS, (ST) –Representatives of Syrian orthodox churches and a host of citizens on Sunday paid their final tribute to Patriarch Agnatius IV Hazim of Antioch and all East for the Greek Orthodox.

Funeral prayers were performed on the soul of the late patriarch at the Mariamite Church in Damascus, led by Archbishop Saba Esper of Houran and Jabal al-Arab.

Patriarch Hazim passed away Wednesday, December 5th, at Beirut hospital after suffering a brain stroke a day earlier. He was 92. Funeral prayers were held to him at St. Nicolas Church in Beirut.

The body of Patriarch Hazim arrived at the Syrian-Lebanese borders crossing point yesterday at 3 pm. It was accompanied by a number of Lebanese political personalities including former minister Yakoub al-Sarraf as representative of Former Lebanese President Emil Lahhoud, and Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Eli Salem.

In Damascus, the convoy of the late patriarch followed in the footsteps of St. Paul the Apostle. It crossed the straight road linking between the Bab al-Jabieh and the Bab Sharqi areas till it reached the Mariamite Cathedral at 4:30 pm.

The funeral of Patriarch Hazim is scheduled to be held today at at the Mariamite Cathedral and then the body will be laid to rest at the Patriarchs' burials.

Ignatius IV Hazim, was born in the village of Mhardeh, near Hama in Syria. He is the son of a pious Arab Orthodox family, attracted to service within the Church from a young age. While studying literature at the American University of Beirut (AUB), he entered the service of the local Orthodox diocese. In 1945, he went to Paris where he graduated from the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute.

 On his return to the Middle East, he founded the Balamand Orthodox Theological Seminary in Lebanon which he then served for many years, as dean. As dean he sought to provide the Patriarchate with responsible leaders who had received a good spiritual and intellectual training and who were witnesses to an awakened and deeply personal faith.

He was one of the founders of the Active Orthodox Youth Movement of Lebanon and Syria in 1942, through which he helped to organize and lead a renewal of Church life in the Patriarchate of Antioch. Later, in 1953, he helped to found Syndesmos, the world fellowship of Orthodox Youth and Theological Schools. He was consecrated to the episcopacy in 1961 and elected Metropolitan of Lattakia in Syria in 1970. His style as metropolitan broke with the former tradition of Episcopal grandeur and he inaugurated an authentic practice of frequent communion. In July 1979, he became the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, the third ranking hierarch of the Orthodox Church after the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria. As Patriarch, he ought to give a new dynamism to the Holy Synod to make bishops closer to the people and motivated to develop the church’s ecclesiastic spiritual life.

He believed that Eastern Christians, more than any other, have knowledge, experience and an understanding of living with Muslims, for they have been in a state of coexistence, cooperation and harmony with them from the rise of Islam in the 7th Century AD until the present.

For him, Muslims and Christians in Syria have established the best of relationships, founded on respect for  everyone’ s freedom to practice rites as he wishes and according  to his belief in the teachings of his religion and the principles of his divine law. This springs from the fact that both the essential and preeminent relationship between Christianity and Islam, and the culture of individual coexistence, have sprung from the east, from this land of sacred religions.

The late Patriarch dedicated a life span for the sake of peace for Syria and the world.  Peace, for him, is the fruit of justice. And peace cannot rest, nor be lasting under injustice and oppression. 


Purging Operations against al-Nusra Front Terrorists Continue




GOVERNORATES,(ST)_ The armed forces on Sunday continued operations against al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front  terrorists in the city of Aleppo,  and  killed or wounded scores of them.

Some 29 terrorists of al-Nusra front were exterminated in a qualitative operation against their gathering near " Chicken" restaurant in Bustan al-Bacha, whereas other 20 terrorists  who were committing  acts of murder, robbery and looting  were also  exterminated  near the fodder  establishment in Allirmoun area.

Meantime, the armed forces  cleansed  al-Bakkara area in Rural Aleppo from armed terrorist groups.

One terrorist was killed and another wounded when one Interior security forces unit, in charge of protecting the Greek hospital clashed with a terrorist group driving a Nissan car, while trying to attack the hospital.

One 7 mm caliber  pistol, a  night surveillance camera and an  HYT- type  wireless device were confiscated during the operation.

On the other hand, several terrorists were killed or wounded  during clashes between two terrorist groups in Deir Hafer area over sharing  stolen  sums  and distribution of positions.

In rural Damascus , the armed forces exterminated all members of al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front in Hujeira town. Among the killed  terrorists were  Wael al-Masri, Ezzat Ibrahim,  and Ahmad, Fouad and Imad Zarzour.

Some 70 terrorists were killed or wounded in a qualitative operation  carried out by the armed forces against a hiding  for what is called  " the military council of al-Nusra front" in al-Zeyabeh town, an official source said, adding large amounts  of weapons were destroyed , used by  the terrorists  in attacking  civilians and their property.

Most dangerous terrorists  were exterminated  in a qualitative operation carried out  by the armed forces  against terrorist hidings in al-Zeyabeh, including  Ayman al-Hammadi of the Tunisian nationality and Eyad al-Ala' of the Jordanian nationality in addition to  terrorists Fadi al-Hamdan, Farouk al-Sheikh, Muhammad al-Nader and Naseem al-Hamad,  besides a leader for one terrorist group, nicknamed as " Abu Ghadab".

In Shabaa farms, several terrorist groups leaders were killed including  Ahmad Muhammad Rajab. Others were the Iraqi terrorist, nicknamed as Abu Omar al-Fallouja, Alaa Zaher al-Khalaf, Adnan al-Awad and saleh al-Mazouri,  called Abu Hilal al-Nueimi.

In Daraya, the armed forces  continued daring operations  against al-Nusra front terrorists and  inflicted heavy material and human losses on their ranks, while heavy losses were also inflicted  on the ranks of one terrorist group while attacking an army checkpoint  on Daraa highway.

However, in the context of  targeting  key  infrastructure  projects  one terrorist group attacked " Qaboon 2"  power converter station .

In a statement to SANA, Minister of Electricity Imad Khamis said that  the attack on the station led to the burning of its transformers , therefore  electricity supplies halted  from  al-Mazraa, al-Qosour, al-Thawra street, al-Qaboon and Barzeh  areas, that are fed by the  said station.

The minister explained that electricity will be provided to the affected areas from other sources  and maintenance  process  will take one week approximately.

In Homs the armed forces destroyed  a gathering  for the terrorists of what is called  " al-Farouk Battalion"  in al-Warsha quarters and a warehouse  for their weapons  to the north of al-Zafaran mosque, according to an official source, which added  that 6 terrorists were killed and other 4 wounded near the real estate headquarters in Bab Hood area .

In al-Qseer  Countryside  the armed forces carried out a qualitative operation  resulted  in the destruction of a vehicle mounted with a rocket launcher  to the South  of  al-Haydareyah School ,  and killing or wounding several terrorists.

In another development,  four  civilians were martyred and many others  wounded and huge material losses were inflicted upon the infrastructure and water and electricity networks in the area,   when terrorists  fired rocket propelled grenades   on Sunday  against residential areas in the " Armenian quarters " in Homs

In Hama the competent authorities arrested one wanted terrorist  during breaking into one terrorist group hiding in  Zaher al-Moher quarters in Salameyah, SANA said, adding that  the terrorist weapons  were  confiscated.

The operation resulted in the release of  citizen Ismael Muhammad Ziab, who was kidnapped by one terrorist group earlier.

In Idleb the  armed forces destroyed in a qualitative operation  a car fitted with a heavy machine gun was used by terrorists to target the citizens of  Bsankol town in Arieha and exterminated  tens  of the mercenary terrorists  and wounded many others, an official source sad, adding  that several terrorists shelters  were also destroyed in  Saraqeb and in al-Yaqoubeyah town, where  the armed forces destroyed  a pickup loaded with ammunition and  weapons .

Syria Times




Follow-up committee discusses steps to launch national dialogue conference in Damascus

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ The follow-up committee, which was formed  by the National Dialogue Conference recently convened in Tehran, has agreed on practical steps to launch a comprehensive national dialogue in Damascus  to reach a solution to the crisis in Syria.

According to SANA, the committee's first meeting in which representative of political and popular parties took part accepted to form central committees and sub-ones, as a first step, to launch a comprehensive national dialogue.


These committees are going to define inside and outside Syrian parties and convince them to attend the dialogue, besides the main task related to draw up an agenda for a new national conference to be held in Damascus.

Moreover, the participants in the meeting held in Damascus on Sunday decided to call the newly formed committee "A Committee for following up a comprehensive national dialogue"

They also called for presenting a memorandum to Foreign Minister to daily broadcast two TV programs on the comprehensive national dialogue committee's works, and Syrian opposition.

In addition, the participants reviewed means of communication with all political parties inside and outside Syria, launching a national dialogue based on agreed principles, and following up the implementation of results of the National Dialogue Conference held in Tehran.

The other important points discussed in the meeting are related to launching a Syrian national initiative for reconciliation far away from foreign intervention, and reaching foundations to halt all forms of violence.

The meeting is described by the MP, Khaled al-Abboud, as a platform for an open dialogue among all political parties to solve the crisis in Syria.

Speaking in the meeting,the MP, Fasial Azzouz, hoped that the conference to be held in Damascus would complete what the Syrian national parties have started in Tehran according to the principle of not excluding any political party rejecting violence.


For his part, Chairman of the National Initiative for Syrian Kurds, Omar Ossi, suggested to set up a politburo and secretary for the committee that  include all the participating popular and political spectrums to help follow up the committee's work.

Other suggestion was made by Head of the National Youth for Justice and Development Party, Barwin Ibrahim, who called for combatting corruption and find solution to the crisis.

He added that the Syrian media should be transparent in dealing with the events and give chance to all parties to express their viewpoints.

In this regard, Head of the Great Syria's People Bloc, Sana'a Nasser, talked about youth commissions' role in communication with several Arab countries to explain the reality of what is going on in Syria.

Representative of the opposition Third Bloc, Mazen Mughrabiyeh, considered that the current problem facing Syria is a political one that should be solved through holding a serious national dialogue conference in Syria,

A serious national dialogue conference means, as the Head of the Peaceful Change Path Bloc, Fatih Jamous, said: "the participation of decision-making parties in dialogue to reach a solution to the crisis."

On the other hand, Chairman of the Secular Social Democratic Bloc, Nabil Fayad, asserted the necessity of addressing decision-making centers abroad and the public opinion to clarify what is going on in Syria and the crimes committed by the armed groups.

"Documents on the armed groups' crimes against the Syrian people have been submitted to some U.S. Congress members," said Fayad, noting positive step recently adopted through adding the so-called "Jabhet al-Nosra" that affiliates to al-Qaeeda to terrorist groups' list.

He also sees that it is necessary to form a civil party representing all Syrian society spectrums that opposes imposing hegemony over the Syrian people in the name of religion.

Another significant proposal to launch an economic project coinciding with political solution was presented by, Maher, Merhej, Secretary-General of the Syrian National Youth Party.

He cited efforts exerted by the party to communicate with armed opposition groups, stressing that 175 armed groups have expressed readiness to reject the Doha Coalition.

It is worthy to note that the National Dialogue Conference held in Tehran on November 20-21 agreed on forming the follow-up committee to prepare for holding a comprehensive national dialogue in Damascus.


Terrorists Explosives Target Civilians

DAMASCUS,(ST)- One citizen was seriously wounded  when terrorists on Sunday detonated  an explosive device placed in his car in al-Fahameh area in Damascus .

The terrorist explosion resulted in huge material losses in the car and an adjoining  trade center, SANA reported.

Syria, Cuba Discuss Establishing Medical Partnership

 HAVAN, (ST)- Establishing a medical partnership between Syria and Cuba in addition to ways of transferring Cuban medical technology to Syria were the focus of Health Minister Sa'd al-Nayef's meeting on Saturday with the Cuban First Deputy minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment Orlando Hernandez.

The two officials, who stressed strategic relations between the two countries, said that more agreements will hopefully be signed to serve mutual interest.

In a statement to SANA correspondent in Havana, al-Nayef said his visit to Cuba marked the beginning of a medical partnership between Syria and Cuba. It aimed at benefitting from the Cuban expertise, particularly in the domain of manufacturing qualitative medicines, the minister added.

He highly appreciated Cuba's development in the domain of medicine and health despite the unjust siege imposed by the United States on this country.

During his stay in Cuba, Al-Nayef's toured a number of public and private hospitals and medical centers of different key specializations in the capital, with the purpose of benefitting from the Cuban expertise in providing qualitative health care and medical services to citizens.

Earlier, al-Nayef discussed with his Cuban counterpart ways of enhancing health cooperation, particularly in the field of ensuring vaccines, cancer medicine to meet the Syrian citizens' health needs.

H. Moustafa

Scores of non Syrian Nationality al-Nusra Front Terrorists Purged




GOVERNORATES,(ST)- Army units on  Saturday continued qualitative operations  in  chasing al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front terrorists and exterminated dozens of them, most of non Syrian nationalities and destroyed  their weapons and shelters in several areas.

In  rural Damascus  one army unit  killed several terrorists from al-Nusra front who were committing acts of murder and sabotage against the civilians  and their property in Husseneya, Hujeira and Aqraba farms, according to an official source one car fitted with  a heavy machine gun and  other 3 cars  used to transport terrorists and their weapons between al-Huseneyeh and al-Zeyabeh were destroyed.

The source  added that  the armed forces restored security and stability to farms surrounding  Aqraba town following heavy losses inflicted on terrorists  ranks.

One army unit exterminated a terrorist group assaulting  public and private properties in Madeira, Mesraba and Erbeen towns in eastern Ghouta. Among those  most dangerous terrorists were  Ahmad al-Khaled ,nicknamed as " Gazelle", Issam al-Jazaerli, known as Abu al-Khudr, Ahmad Oyoun , Hassan Bader, Abdullah Zaghlouland Sameh al-Reihan. All of them were members of al-Nusra group or the so called  "the banner of Islam".

Another army unit clashed with al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front terrorists  who were committing acts of murder and robbery in Daraya and destroyed their  machine guns and ammunition . Among the killed terrorists were  Ghaith Canaan and Ziad  al-Sayed Ahmed.

More terrorists were killed in al-Cornich area in Daraya  and their two motorcycles  were destroyed .

In Madaya , the armed forces, in a qualitative operation exterminated one terrorist group  which was  committing acts of murder, vandalism, burglary and robbery in the town, an official source said, adding that among the killed terrorists were Ahmad  al-Libi , of a Libyan nationality, Jumaa al-Ali and Muhammad Zugheib.

Many other terrorists were killed or wounded while preparing for  attacks against citizens  and security forces in the area extended  between Joubar and Zamalka. The operation also resulted  in confiscating  machine guns and ammunition used by terrorists in their criminal terrorist acts.

In al- Qaysa and Harran al-Awameed towns several al-Nusra front terrorists were killed and their  weapons  were destroyed including one  mortar and a vehicle mounted with a Dushka  machine gun .

Five terrorists were killed during  confrontations  with the armed forces in al-Tadamun quarters. The terrorists' weapons were confiscated.

In Aleppo, citizen Ismael al-Hamoud  was martyred  by random fire of terrorists machine guns which targeted a people 's demonstration  in Qadi Askar area  demanding the expulsion  of al-Qaeda  mercenaries and terrorists from  Aleppo city and its countryside. Other citizens were reported as wounded.

In Hanano  residential area, hundreds of residents of the area  staged the  streets  in a popular march demanding the armed terrorist groups that commit acts of robbery and looting against people to get out of the area.

In rural Hama  a number of terrorists were killed  and their weapons were confiscated including  automatic rifles, pistols and defensive grenades  during their attack against al-Zalaqeyat town in Mhardeh countryside.

In  Hama, several terrorists were killed or arrested in al-Shajara ( tree) market in the city in a breaking in operation resulted also in  confiscating 7 assault rifles 2  NATO  type  snipers, and 3 silencers ,a number of  RPG launchers and 4 fillings  for them.

Also confiscated  were two batteries to detonate explosives remotely and a large amount of acid .

In Homs,  several cars for terrorists  were destroyed in al-Sa'an village , in Talbesah.

Several terrorists of al-Nusra front were exterminated following a cleansing campaign carried out by the armed forces in several areas in  Idleb city and countryside.  Among the killed terrorists was  Kaji Fardai of the Turkish nationality who used to train  terrorists on sniping  in al-Maghara village in al-Zaweyah mountain.

Scores of terrorists were killed, including  many of non Syrian nationality  and their weapons destroyed   when their hiding  was blown off in Saraqeb city  when the terrorists were preparing  explosives to carry out  operations  against  citizens

In Daraa, a  dispute between members of the two  terrorist groups in Khirbet Ghazaleh over  sharing of funds received from outside Syria, resulted  in killing and wounding a number of terrorists from both sides, according to a source in the ministry of the Interior.

The source detailed that the  dispute took place between terrorist Ammar Abdul Rahim al-Ammour, leader of one terrorist group and his brother against other terrorists, including  Khaled Abdul Hamid Bedewe and his brothers Mahmoud, Nazeer and Ahmad, who all belong to al-Qaeda lnked al-Nusra front over sharing  sums  arrived  from abroad to terrorist Ammar but not distributed  on other terrorists .

The source added the clashes  ended  in killing  terrorist Mahmoud Ahmad Bedewe and wounding of his brother Other terrorists from the second party were also wounded.


Syria Times