Symposium highlighting Reda Sa'ed's enlightening role

Al-Assad National Library recently hosted a symposium entitled "Prominent Figures in Thought, Literature and Life".  The symposium focused on Reda Sa'ed as a pioneer of modern scientific renaissance and the first rector of Damascus University.

Dr. Sami Mobayyed highlighted the crucial role played by Sa'ed in reopening the Ottoman Medical Institute and offering free treatment for citizens along with Dr. Abdul Rahman al-Shabander and Murshed Khater.  The three succeeded in the task and re-opened the Institute that was re-named as the Arab Medical Institute which later became the Medicine Faculty at Damascus University, founded by Sa'ed himself in 1923.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Sultanate, Sa'ed faced a knotty problem represented by filling the vacancies that resulted from the departure of most of the physicians working in the institute. He toured Syria and Lebanon and managed to fill the vacant jobs successfully. As director of the Arab Medical Institute, he did not spare any effort to make it similar to famous European medical schools.

Dr. Wa'el Barakat said that from the very beginning of his career, Sa'ed realized the adverse consequences of the Ottoman oppressive policy and the weakness of the educational system prevalent at that time. He referred to the essential role played by Sa'ed in protecting Damascenes against the illnesses and epidemics that affected the city as a result of the absence of Medicare and the water pollution the city witnessed under the Ottomans. Due to his important social and educational role, he was appointed mayor of Damascus to alleviate the suffering of the Damascene people that resulted from the deteriorating situation advocated by the Ottomans.

Dr. Nabeel Tou'meh said that the salient feature that distinguished Sa'ed's career was his rejection of the Ottoman and French occupations and his strenuous efforts to achieve independence.

In his intervention, Dr. Ismael Mroweh presented a short biography of Sa'ed who was delegated to Paris to study ophthalmology. He was also appointed Minister of Education.