University students

I am very sad, I can't write, for the past four days I couldn't write, it was a big shock, not to me only, but to all the people around me, I want to ask those who killed the university students, why you did that??? their mothers were waiting for them, they were preparing lunch for them, they were very proud of them, they wished they could hold their sons or girls, they wished they could tell them how much they loved them, they wished they could understand why you killed them, they wished to say goodbye to their lovely young, yes they were very young to die, what did they do for you, why did you kill them ? I want to cry " why did you kill the students?" they have books not arms, they have future, but oh they have nothing now, God bless them.

Did you see Ahmed in the daily telegraph, the eight-year-old boy on the front line with the terrorists, It is one of the most shocking images from the war on Syria. An eight-year-old boy draws deeply on a cigarette, the small fingers of his other hand clutching a an AK-47 rifle that balances awkwardly against his chest, they want our students to be terrorists, they don't want them to learn, but to stay ignorant, murderers, and villains, who kill each other.

I wish I can see the face of the murderer, is he happy?  It is the act of senseless violence that shocked all Syrian people, and has left us with the unfathomable question :

" Why?" I would like to ask you, for hundred times why you did it, why you took the life of innocent boys and girls away?

You caused us pain, but more suffering to their parents, but I think you are emotionless to understand the feeling of people, have you a mother? Have you a son? Have you a blood in your veins? No I don't think so.

Before the global war on Syria, we were living in peace, we couldn't imagine that there are such persons on this earth, you are such a cruel man, such a bad man, you have no empathy, no emotion, you have nothing except cruelty. I feel pity for you and for your mother, I don't think she knows what you did, but God knows and will not forgive you.

These students were gifted, one day they may become architects, they may have many plans to build Syria, the buildings you have destroyed with your evil friends, who came from other countries just to destroy Syria, I know that it was a very tragic loss for all real Syrians, it is our destiny to suffer, we have to live our lives, and life goes on. We Syrians will stay together, and will take care of each other, we will move on, although your act of cruelty you brought about the premature death of bright students, who already achieved so much and had so much to look forward to in the future, they will not come back, the painful realization that their life was snuffed out for ever, but their spirit will be always around us, to encourage us, suffering cannot crush us, but make us more stronger, instead of looking at obstacles, mishaps, or bad experiences as terrible drawbacks and horrible handicaps, we can use those things to better our own lives and the lives of others.

"The beautiful colors of the rainbow can only be seen through the prism of rain".

Butheina Alnounou

Al-Shammat: Meeting Displaced Families Basic Needs, Priority


DAMASCUS, (ST) - Meeting the basic needs of terrorism-affected families in more than 700 temporary sheltering centers is a top priority of the Higher Relief Committee's policy, Minister of Social Affairs Kinda al-Shammat said on Wednesday, stressing media's important role in explaining the way the committee conveys the assistance to the displaced families in all Syrian provinces.

In a press conference, al-Shammat said that the ministry has put a framework for cooperation between the country's civil society associations and the UN relief organizations acting in Syria, so as these associations draw up a development plan to distribute humanitarian assistance in as many areas as possible based on the branch relief committees' assessment to the requirements of each area. 

She pointed out that these associations should open a bank account especially for the assistance provided by international organizations.

Regarding the financial aid provided by UN Higher Commission for Refugees to the affected families, Minister al-Shammat said the ministry specified the conditions of providing this kind of assistance so as to meet the needs of most affected families based on lists prepared by the Local Administration Ministry in coordination with the governor of each provice.

"The work of the international relief organizations acting in Syria is not up to the expectations," al-Shammat said, pointing out that the ministry plans to implement several programs aiming to provide psychological and social support for families, particularly women and children, staying at temporary shelters and that in this respect, the ministry will sign an agreement with the UNICEF on social and psychological care.

Regarding the financial support provided to civil society associations, al-Shammat said that the ministry last year transferred some (SYP) 120 million to these associations. The money are to be also transferred to branch relief committees in the Syrian provinces according to the needs of each area.

H. Mustafa         

My mother don’t cry, I’m still alive

Mother I didn’t have the time to tell you, how much I loved you, you gave me unconditional love, you gave me all the values I needed, you taught me that our country is more dear than anything in the world, for that when I went to military service, I wasn’t afraid to die, I was defending my country, I was very brave because you taught me that, you always said ( your country is more precious than your life). I’m so glad that you were my mother, that God gave me such good mother, you were always behind me in all I set out to do, teaching me all the morals you have, how to be honest, brave, and true.

Don’t cry mom, I am so happy because my beloved Syria, gave me the honor to be in it’s sanctified soil, because my blood mixed with it’s sand, and I’m asking my God to have mercy on you, and all the Syrian people, they don’t deserve what is happening to them, but God will not forget Syria, because it is an honorable land, and it’s people are very kind, I trust God to drive away these sufferings, and return Syria more better than it was.

I came to you, mom in the mother’s day, to tell you that I’m still alive, I am in heaven and my spirit will be always with you, please mom don’t cry, I want to give you thanks, because you gave me life, you tenderly cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. No one was delighted in my successes more than you, and no one comforted me in my failures, oh mom no one loved me more than you.

 I am praying for you mom, God bless you, I’m asking him to give you strength to bear my absence, and hope when you are discouraged, and love to spread to all the world.

Bless her my God with the graces she needs and you want to give her, help her to feel precious in your eyes today and every day, and to know how much I love her. My God give her strength, courage, compassion and peace.

I love you mom, God bless you.

I love you Syria, God bless you.

Butheina Alnounou

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Syria's Teachers Stress Determination to Carry on Their Message Despite Terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Teachers in Syria mark their day by stressing  stronger determination to continue their sublime education massage and play their important role in preparing generations to build better future for the homeland.

Despite all the destructive attempts by the narrow-minded terrorists to block the education process in Syria, teachers continue to confront these armed groups' criminal acts by carrying on their national duty of providing knowledge at schools , institutes and universities.

Marking Teachers Day, Education Minister Hazwan al-Waz said that this year Teachers Day has special importance as the homeland is being exposed to a war waged by killers, ignorant and narrow-minded extremists who fight knowledge and science.

"Teachers stand steadfast defending science and education and protecting their schools, students, books and desks," the minister said, pointing out that teachers have lift the banner of education and faced many difficulties even death.

According to Education Ministry statistics, 179 teachers were martyred in terrorist attacks and more than 2445 schools in different governorates were damaged, not to mention the armed groups' crimes of mutilation, kidnapping and terrorizing against more than 300 people working in the education sector with the purpose of blocking the process of science and development in Syria.

On this occasion, the executive Bureau of Teachers' Union issued a statement on Wednesday stressing that Syria's teachers will continue do their duty and convey their message whatsoever in order to prevent Syria's enemies from achieving their schemes which aim at destroying Syria and undermining her role in region.

H. Mustafa  

Cooperation with UN Humanitarian Organizations in Syria Necessary to Alleviate Crisis Repercussions

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Cooperation and Coordination with UN humanitarian organizations acting in Syria is very important, said Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji, commending the relief services provided by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)  to alleviate the suffering of terrorism-affected families.

Ghalawanji's remarks came during his meeting on Monday with Director of the UNICEF's Regional Office for the  Middle East and North Africa Maria Calivis and her accompanying delegation.

The Deputy PM said that within the coming few days, the ministry will sign an agreement with the organization on cooperation in the areas of drinking water and treatment of solid and liquid wastes in temporary housing centers, stressing that government services institutions in all targeted areas are to cooperate in this respect.

Calivic underlined the organization's readiness to provide necessary assistance in accordance with an assessment made for the needs of each area, in order to improve the quality of drinking water, rehabilitate the network and provide technical support for services institutions and administrative units in all areas.

Earlier, Health Minister Sa'd al-Nayef discussed  with Calivic the role of international organizations in helping the Health Ministry provide its services to citizens in all Syrian cities.

Al-Nayef urged international organizations and commissions to shoulder their responsibilities towards rehabilitating the damaged health facilities and ensuring necessary medicine and vaccines, particularly because the health sector was badly affected by the unjust economic sanctions and siege imposed on Syria.

"The ministry cooperates with a number of international and local parties to guarantee the arrival of the medicaments and vaccines to different Syrian areas including those witnessing  events," al-Nayef said.

He pointed out that 52 hospitals affiliated to the health ministry were damaged, 32 of them became completely out of work. He also referred to medicine factories losses and the damage caused to medicine, vaccines and medical equipment convoys.

He called for supplying the ministry with medical stuff that prevents children malnutrition and helps providing care to newly born children, stressing UNICEF's role in this regard.

For her part, Calivic said "the Syrian health sector is still in a good situation despite the critical circumstances and challenges  it is facing," affirming UNICEF's readiness to cooperate with the ministry to provide necessary assistance to Syrian citizens particularly in terrorism-affected areas.

Education Minister Hazwan al-Waz also met with Calivic for talks on cooperation.

"Current cooperation between the Ministry and the organization is very important under the exceptional circumstances Syria is passing through,"  al-Waz said, stressing the necessity of rehabilitating the damaged schools and drawing up a plan to guarantee the return of students to their schools.

He called for holding training courses for the teaching and administrative staff on providing psychological and social support to the students.

The Minister pointed out that the estimated cost of the damage caused to the education sector is more than 59 billion Syrian Pounds as a result of destroying 2445 schools in different governorates in addition to the human losses.

Calivic asserted that the organization in cooperation with the education ministry is implementing programs aiming at guaranteeing the return of students to their schools, pointing out that the organization is now focusing on opening study clubs and providing psychological support to students.  

H. Mustafa 


Generation gap is dangerous




Generation gap means different in attitude, or lack of understanding between younger and older generation. This generation gap has always been there, but these days it has reached to an explosive stage. The values and patterns of life have changed to a great extent, did you ever imagined that some children in our society changed to be terrorists? Did you ever think that we have some addict children?. Today everybody likes to live and behave in his own way. This attitude has widened the generation gap, which can never be filled except if we do something. This gap is destroying family life completely. The elders look after the children and make all sorts of sacrifices to bring them up, naturally, they feel they have a right over them. They want their children to follow their instructions as they have certain expectations from them, but the children, when they grow up, want a complete freedom in their thoughts and actions and unfortunately their thoughts and actions are just opposite to those expected by the elders, they revolt when any kind of restrictions are imposed on them consequently, the family breaks up and everything gets ruined.

Now I want to ask parents, How many times have you felt that your parents don’t understand you, that they have no respect for you as an individual ? How often do you shake your head in frustration and blame it on the ‘generation gap ? and that parents are like aliens from another planet altogether you and they are in different camps.

Many of us who’ve grown up in a tradition home can describe fathers as a strict, and serious, this is unlike modern fathers who share their children some of their activities, but with rapid changes in science and technology, the exposure which today’s teenager is getting is enormous, value systems have gradually degenerated, and the youth is assimilating a new culture, and parents are busy working, to bring them their needs, the result is confused parents who are unable to reconcile with the views of their children.

 I’ve met many parents, asked them how they thought of their parents at different ages , I had nearly the same answers ; when they were at 4 till 10, they thought their parents were very great, at 10 years they were good but short tempered, at 14 years they became fastidious, at18 years they became increasingly cranky, at 20 years, oh they became very difficult to tolerate, at 25 years, they were unbearable, objected to everything, almost a quarrel every day, after marriage and having a son or daughter, they began to understand that, bringing up a child is very difficult, and that their parents faced so many hardships to bring them up, they said;” we are unable to manage with our sons, we knew now that our parents were far sighted and planned so many things for us”. I confess, and they confessed that their parents were very great, but it took a long time to perceive that.

Don’t be angry when :Your teenager slams the door to her bedroom. Your ten year old huffs "Mom, you never understand!" Your four year old screams "I hate you, Daddy!" What's the most important thing to remember? Don’t take it personally, This isn't primarily about you, it's about them: their tangled up feelings, their difficulty controlling themselves, their immature ability to understand and express their emotions. Taking it personally wounds you, which means you do what we all do when hurt: either close off, or lash out, or both. Which just worsens a tough situation for all concerned.

Many teens will feel passionately about events and may even personalize them if someone they know has been directly affected. They'll also probably be aware that their own lives could be impacted by terrorist tactics. Try to address their concerns without dismissing or minimizing them. If you disagree with media portrayals, explain why so that your teens can separate the mediums through which they absorb news from the messages conveyed.

Generation gap is not that serious a problem, if families can learn to sit over dinner and talk, or sit in the living rooms over a cup of tea, and talk the things out, ironing the differences and sharing the experiences. When this communication barriers is transcended, and the ice broken, the problems does not remain that serious anymore, talking it out calmly and coolly, with the idea of sorting things out, changing for each other and changing for better can be the most helpful instrument in bridging the generation gap.

Family outings, vacations, tours, picnic-outings, often with the family, can be effective ways to initiate intimacy between parents and children, watching movies on tv. And discussing  them, playing computer games, putting forth the different view points, can be beginning to inculcate the habit of healthy dialogue between members of the family. Such small things and steps can do wonders, and reducing friction between two generations, that are right in their own respects, their only fault is that, they are viewing the same object from opposite directions, age, time, and experience, or lack of it, forces to do so.

At last, I say to our posterity : Seize the opportunity, if your parents are still alive, to learn from them, because no one in world wish you better than him except your parents, and to you,  parents I say: as Califate Ali, a long time ago said “ raise your children for their time, they’ve been created for a different time than yours”.


Butheina Alnounou                                                                                                                                         

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The Insight's Eyes

The blind are guided by God's light, a light that grants them spiritual insight to compensate them for the loss of the gift of eye sight. It is the light that distinguishes the blind and makes them smarter than others, as many talented blind people gave the world  the sweetest  poetry and the most beautiful melodies, in addition to unforgettable literary and artistic masterpieces

People with sight disability needed others to read or write for them and waited a long time for Louise Braille, the world inventor,  to produce a tool that helps them write and read. This great invention enabled many of them to break the darkness around their hearts and minds, so they don’t need others anymore. 

Among most renowned blind Arab personalities, who challenged their blindness and left remarkable imprints in ancient and contemporary history, were great poet Bashar bin Burd, Abbasid-era philosopher poet  Abu al-Alaa al- Ma'arri, novelist Taha Hussein and musicians Sayed Makkawi and Ammar al-Share'i.

Highlighting the situation of the blind in Syria, Syria Times visited the headquarters of the Blind Association in Lattakia and met its Chairman, Mr. Rami Qudsi who talked about the association’s activities which aim to make the lives of the blind easier.
Qudsi said that the association was established in 1995 as a branch of the Blind Welfare Society in Damascus. The then twelve- member association was declared in 2009 as an independent body."

Since then, Qudsi added, the association has striven to achieve its main objective which is to enhance the educational, social and mobility skills of those with visual vulnerability.

“The association carries out several activities in the service of its members who are currently 160. Such activities include holding training courses on computer skills, on playing various musical instruments, on singing and on writing and reading in Braille way,” Qudsi stressed, pointing out that the association has a huge audio library containing 175 thousand books.

“We also help qualified blind people have jobs in different  government institutions,” he stressed.

In addition, he said, the association holds advanced courses on walking and movement by the use of the white cane.

According to him, children are also accorded special attention, as the association had purchased a kindergarten to teach and help blind children.

Talking about the association’s main financial resources, Mr. Qudsi stressed: "The association carries out several activities to support its financial resources, including printing calendars to be sold to different government offices and holding a number of concerts.” Many almsgivers also offer generous donations to help members of the association carry out their humanitarian activities. These subsidies are distributed to poor families of the blind."

"Keeping this association a success and achieving its hoped-for goals require exerting all possible efforts and providing material and moral support by other institutions so as to serve this category of society and to help alleviate the suffering, which may be caused to the blind’s families as a result of their special need," Qudsi concluded.

Amal Farhat