Saturday, April 16, 2011

President al-Assad to the ministers: Be humble

In his speech today to the new Syrian Cabinet, President Bashar al-Assad had this advice to give at the end of the speech:

النصيحة الأخيرة التي أنصحها لكل مسؤول ألتقي به وكل حكومة هي التواضع. تواضعوا مع الناس، لا مبرر للغرور. الغرور هو بداية الانحدار وبداية الفشل وبداية السقوط لأي إنسان، لأي دولة، لأي شعب، عندما يصاب بالغرور. عندما يصبح الإنسان مسؤول يجب أن يفقد شعوره بنفسه أو بقيمته الذاتية ويشعر بأن أي مواطن هو أعلى منه قيمةً. ولكنه يسترد هذه القيمة فقط من خلال رضى المواطن. عندما يرضى المواطن فعليك أن تشعر كمسؤول بقيمتك بأنك إنسان يستحق أن يحترم ولكن أيضاً من دون غرور.
The last advice which I give to every government official I meet with and to every government, is humility. Be humble with the people. There is no justification for arrogance. Arrogance is the begining of falling, the begining of failure, the begning of collapse, for any person, any state, any people, when they're afflicted by it. When anyone becomes an official, they should lose their sense of self or self-worth and feel that any citizen is of more value than them. They would then regain their value only through the satisfaction of the citizen. When the citizen is satified, you should as an official feel your value, and that you are a person who deserves to be respected, but then again without arrogance. 

You can watch the full speech here and below [AR]. The quote above is between 41:22 and 42:07.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American visitor to Syria says: "no sign of any protest wherever we went"

In a blog posting today on "Syria Comment", a blog on Syrian affairs by Dr. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, a message that came to Dr. Landis from someone who has just returned from Syria was published:
Dear Joshua, We proceeded with our recent trip to Syria (March 25 – April 3) and had a wonderful time. There was no sign of any protest wherever we went (Bosra, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Crak de Chevaliers, Sergilla, Aleppo and Palmyra) and people were extremely friendly. The State Department’s advisory for all Americans to consider leaving Syria seemed paranoid – perhaps a Washington-Damascus power play.
Best regards, Olaf Andersen
Read the blog posting here.