Young Syrian Lady Gets Global Youth Leadership Award 2019 in Recognition of Her Efforts in Spreading Peace Culture

"I believe that peace doesn’t mean there aren’t any  wars, weapons or killings. Peace should be achieved at different levels, mainly  personally and socially. Peace is a goal in itself and a policy which we should follow to be reflected positively on the society”, Dr. Lama Drebati, a socialist activist and Head  of the” Peace Makers” civil society association in Lattakia province said in an interview with the Syriatimes e-newspaper .

Dr. Drebati has recently got the Global Youth Leadership Award (GYLA)  2019, submitted by   the Global Youth Parliament (GYP)  in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal as a global   recognition of her activity and contribution as a young Syrian lady working  in the peace domain and in serving humanity.

 The Nepal-based GYP is a youth organization, which works in 29 countries around the world to support young people. The GYLA award is given to two individuals ( one male and one female) from each country. This award from Nepal has been given to many countries so far.

The objective of the award is to inspire individuals from around the globe and recognize their contribution that had added value to creative endeavors in serving humanity.

World Street Children Day

"Sons of the Sun" in Homs

 Homs, (ST)- On the occasion of world Street Children Day, the city of Homs, like other Syrian provinces, has witnessed on July 1 a very special event that began three years ago.

The Monastery of the Savior in the city of Homs hosted the Festival,  The event is held for the third year successively to address the issue of street children. This event is considered an invitation to make this issue a priority which must be considered and propose effective solutions to end this phenomenon.

Sons of the Sun 3 was organized by Saiyar Foundation with Afkar Consulting and Marketing Services. The Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs,  Culture and Information, and under the auspices of the Syrian Commission for Family and Population Affairs have exerted efforts to make this event a success.

Activities  took place in 12 public places in 3 gardens in Damascus, in Salmiya, Musayaf, Homs, Hama, Sweida, Tartous, Lattakia, Aleppo and Jableh, in conjunction with parallel events in neighboring countries to focus on the danger of this phenomenon, which is increasing in conflict-affected and fragile countries.

Lama Al Nahhas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sayyar Foundation, said: "Through this event, we address the community to this category of children who do not enjoy family care and suffer social problems.

It is an invitation to all government and non-government parties to cooperate in dealing with this important issue so as to reintegrate them in the  educational process and provide them with proper tools to lead the lives they deserve. We also stress the necessity of establishing national and civic centers to  develop  specialized education programs and community policies that contribute to reducing this phenomenon and achieve our goal of a brighter future".

Ghaith Obaidi,  the Exhibition Coordinator, said :" Various activities are associated with the celebration, such as: art exhibitions, which last for several days, and display  hand – made products   by the children themselves and volunteers who work with them in different areas and in the halls of cultural centers spread in the Syrian  provinces. There are also awareness campaigns launched  by via Saiyar website on the  social media.

The central theme of this year's event is associated with "Liberate Your Self"  campaign that we are launching to raise awareness about the risk of drug spread among children and adolescents.

 Our event was filled with recreational activities for children, volunteers, visitors, games, various artistic shows, competitions and gifts.

It is worth noting that Saiyar is a volunteer project hosted by the Saiyar Foundation and the Syrian Commission for Family and Population Affairs. It is supported by the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs and Culture The project was founded five years ago to care about street homeless children by carrying out interactive educational and awareness activities call on all concerned parties to work for these children through drawing up  well studied policies to improve their life.

By: Amal Farhat - Homs


Head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Tourism talks about the tourism sector in Syria

Mr. Mohammad Khadour, Head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Tourism and the Regional Director of Asafir Hotels speaks to Syria Times on the Federation’s activities and the tourism sector in Syria in general and Homs in particular.

Following is the full text of the interview conducted with Mr. Khadour in the Asafir Hotel in Homs city.

Can you tell our readers about your profile?

I am Mohammad Khadour, the Head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Tourism and the Regional Director of Safir Hotels. I started my work in the tourism industry in February 1977 at Le Meridien Hotel in Damascus (Currently its name Dama Rose Damascus) when I was a student at the Damascus University’s Faculty of Geography. I was studying and working at the same time. I graduated in 1981 and kept working at Le Meridien in different positions and sections. Then, I became a manager of section in it.

In August 1982, I moved to be the Director of Safir Hotel in Homs.

In 2008, I became the Regional Director of Safir Hotels, including Safir Homs, SafirMaalula, and Safir Zainab. I became a representative for the Safir Company’s investments.

In June 2016, I was elected to be the Head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Tourism.

What is your plan to activate the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Tourism? 

I believe in public works and helping society and hope to activate and improve the Federation’s eight chambers in Syria. There are eight chambers:

1-Damascus Chamber
2- Damascus Rural Chamber
3- Lattakia Chamber
4- Tartous Chamber
5- the Eastern Chamber: Raqqa, Deir Ezzour and Hassaka
6-the Northern Chambe: Aleppo and Idlib
7- the Middle Chamber: Homs and Hama
8- the Southern Chamber: Daraa, Sweida and Queintra

I am proud of what happened in Aleppo. The owners of tourist projects in Aleppo have done a great job and have exerted efforts to rebuild their investments, hotels and restaurants.

I and other members of Federation’s Board of Council work hard to improve tourism industry in Syria and help the owners of tourist projects and hotels overcome the results of ongoing sanctions, unfair war against Syria and the embargo of flights to and from Syria.

I am very concern to help and support all Syrian tourism facilities’ owners to rebuild their demolished facilities. The Minister of Tourism Eng. Mohammad Rami Radwan Martini urged to support and help the owners of tourism facilities and enterprises to get loans from the government banks to rebuild their hotels, restaurants and establishments. The Federation and Ministry are ready to help them and I personally met with the owners of tourism facilities and enterprises to discuss how to solve their problems.

How has the terror war against Syria affected tourism industry?

The terrorist groups attacked directly the tourist and archeological sites under different fake pretexts. They were calling these places as ‘debauchery places’ to justify their attacks and threats. They were sending direct threats and warns to the owners of tourism facilities.

The terrorist groups attacked five times Safir Homs Hotel. We changed the Hotel’s glasses and windows five times because of mortars attacks and explosions. One employee of the Hotel was martyred, and other two were employees plus security man were kidnapped. I personally was shot directly two times and God saved me.

How do the Federation’s activities being held abroad represent the Syrian tourism industry?

In cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, the Federation’s head and members participated in different international tourism activities in Spain, Italy and the UAE. Recently, we participated in the ‘Arab Travel Market’ Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates held in April 2019.
These activities, conferences and exhibitions are opportunities for Syrian participants to invite and encourage businessmen, investors and economic actors to visit Syria and participate in the tourism industry and sector in Syria.

We, the Syrian delegation, could break the embargo being imposed on the Syrian tourism sector.

I visited Italy on November 15-18 ,2018 to participate in the Mediterranean Forum on Archeological cities Tourism, which was held in the Italian city of Pastum. I felt that Italians were very interested in the Syrian cultural tourism and sympathized with the Syrian delegation.

I visited Russia in November 2018 and met with Russian officials in the field of tourism to discuss the means of encouraging the Russian tourists to Syria. I made a presentation and gave the Russians ideas about the archeological, culture and religious tourist sites in Ma’arrat Saydnaya, Ma’alula and others. Russians consider Syria as a holy land and they like to visit the Orthodox old churches and sites.

What is your role as the Head of the Social Communication Committee in Homs Province?

We are about 33 social figures, religious figures, tribal leaders and chiefs represent all social fabric and sects of Homs city and province.

We started talking and meeting with social activities and figures in Homs’ districts when the events erupted in Homs in early 2011.

We met with armed groups to reach national reconciliations and settlements in different parts of Homs province.

I personally met with leaders of armed groups and could convince them to reach settlements in cooperation with the Syrian government.

Now, our Committee’s members are discussing with the Rukban Camp’s refugees how to ease their return to their hometowns safely.

I understand that many of Syrian citizens were misled and made a mistake and we should help them to return to the right path.

The people of Homs could successfully overcome- with their wisdom- the crisis in Homs city and avoid the city a civil war.

Interviewed by:
Obaida Mohammad
Inas Abdul Kareem

Women in Business Conference Provides Chance for Women to Share Experience, Boost Business Partnership

Under the Patronage of Labor and Social Affairs Minister Rima Al-Qadiri, deliberations of the Women in Business Conference( When She Leads)  kicked off yesterday at the La Mira Resort in Lattakia province in the presence of Egypt’s Ambassador in Syria Mohamed Thrawat Salim, Directors of Culture, Tourism, Labor and Social Affairs  in Lattakia, a number of local and Arab businesswomen as well as other political and economic concerned bodies.

The two- days event is organized by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) in Lattakia  in cooperation with  the Modernizing and Activating Women’s Role in Economic Development (MAWRED) society.

Women in Business Conference "When She Leads" to Open in Lattakia on June 29th

Under the patronage of  Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mrs. Rima Qadiri, the Junior Chamber  International (JCI)  in Lattakia province and the Modernizing and Activating Women’s Role in Economic Development ( MAWRED)  Society will hold the Women in Business Conference ( When She Leads) on 29th of June at the La Mira Resort in Lattakia province.

A group of Syrian women with effective economic role in the Syrian society in addition to another group of women who are hopeful to join the world of business will take part in the two-days event.

The conference will include delivering specialized lectures on ensuring Syrian women’s entry into the business world in a more professional way to invest in small, medium-sized and big projects, on creating environment for communication among women as to share experiences and information and on encouraging economic partnerships and cooperation.

Syrian Computer Society, JCI in Lattakia Hold Exhibition for Young Innovators' Projects in Alternative Energy

A wide range of innovations in alternative energy were showcased in an exhibition recently  held at the National Museum in Lattakia province by the Junior Chamber International ( JCI) in cooperation by the Lattakia’s branch of the Syrian Computer Society (SCS).

Shedding light on the exhibition, the Syriatimes e-newspaper interviewed Head of the Lattakia’s branch of the SCS, Eng. Mariam Fayoud who said “this exhibition comes within the framework of the alternative energy systems project "Switch" launched earlier  by the SCS  in cooperation by the JCI to raise awareness about the alternative energy systems different  uses especially under the current circumstances, as well as to encourage youths to innovate".

She stressed that the exhibition seeks to enhance cooperation between economic activities and young innovators with the hope of adopting pioneering projects.

Social and Medical Services Provided by Homs Chamber of Commerce

Homs, (ST)- During the past five years, Homs Chamber of Commerce has translated its practical objectives into reality through several steps, according to Dr. Abdel Nasser Sheikh Fattouh, Head of the Chamber, in terms of the social services provided to the Chamber's members through the establishment of the Medical Fund , the Pension Fund and the Donation Fund , as well as supporting the war-wounded funds and the families of the martyrs, reviving the development and training center, working on rehabilitating the commercial markets in the city center and distributing income-generating equipment.
"Concerning the Medical Fund, the Chamber has signed a protocol of medical cooperation with al- Birr Association and its affiliated social services and hospitals , so that the association and its hospitals will deduct 20% for all surgical operations and hospitalization in general, radiography and surgical analysis to each person holds the Chamber of Commerce card provided that the chamber will rehabilitate the (heart disease) department in the association 's hospital which is located in Al-Wa'er region with an estimated cost of 22.5 million Syrian pounds paid from the chamber savings . In addition, members of the Chamber are entitled to receive 10% free of charge from all the contracts signed with international organizations," Sheikh Fattouh added.
12 million Syrian pounds for martyrs and war wounded
Regarding the donation fund allocated to the families of martyrs and war wounded, Dr. Fattouh clarified that 60% of the fees paid by traders goes to the Foundation of the families of martyrs and war wounded in Homs and the other 40% goes to the Central Institution in Damascus. The transferred amounts reached more than 12 million Syrian pounds last year.
In addition to the donation made by the Chamber to the newspapers and periodicals, especially those interested in economic and commercial affairs, financing the printing of cultural and historical books interested in Homs governorate and spreading historical awareness of its human and geographical components, as well as reviving the Development and Training Center in the chamber, where we dedicated a floor with all its requirements and necessary equipment for carrying out professional courses in management, accounting and information in addition to other training courses for foreign languages and developing personal skills. We have also established an employment center by providing information that connects job seekers and the private institutions which need employees. Thus, the chamber provides employment opportunities by linking job seekers with institutions that fit their qualifications.
Rehabilitation of commercial markets in the city center
Dr. Fattouh believes that the most important work done by the Chamber is the rehabilitation of the commercial markets in the city center stressing that after the liberation of Homs and its commercial center, the Chamber began contacting the international organizations and local government institutions to work on rehabilitating markets and re-establishing the commercial center. A work group of volunteers from university students working under the sponsorship of the chamber, that gave them support and place to continue the work ,which is an engineering survey of the streets, shops and squares of the commercial markets and tabulating them within statistical tables including the shops of each street and the names of owners and the quality of their work and the extent of damage in each store or shop , so as to serve as a complete database required for each entity that wants to work on the rehabilitation of these markets.
He added that these data have helped organizations and associations to provide all that is needed for those affected traders. Thus, work began after the signing of a protocol between the Chamber and the UNDP to remove more than 70.000 Cubic meters of rubble from the streets.
Income-generating equipment has been distributed first to 38 shops in Hamidiya Street and then to 130 other shops in the market of vegetables, (Souk Al-Hashish).
"We also worked on installing doors and shelves, repairing walls, distributing refrigerators, freezers, meat and chickens chopping machines. We are now awaiting the arrival of other equipment from the donor organization to be presented to 130 other professions," he made it clear.
"since the beginning of the work , a committee has been formed comprising members representing the Chamber of Commerce, the Governorate, the City Council , the Electricity and Water Company, the Engineers Union, the Directorate of Antiquities and Sanitation Directorate so to achieve integration in the rehabilitation of markets and the installation of iron roofs on the basis of preserving its heritage as well as highlighting its engineering structure", Dr. Fattouh concluded .

Amal Farhat- Homs