Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun and Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Luca al-Khoury (Photo by Eva Bartlett)
«”While the Western-led, anti-Assad bloc mind-blowingly speaks of arming non-existent “moderates” to fight in Syria, they also continue to demonize and silence the very voices that offer a true means of bringing peace and stability back to the region.
Two of these voices are: Political and Media Adviser to President al-Assad, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban; and Syria’s highest Muslim official and scholar, Grand Mufti Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun. Both are highly-educated and convey messages of dialogue, understanding, and peace. And both seemingly terrify the West, which has been quick to sanction and deny them visas, lest the anti-Syria lies and propaganda be challenged before a Western audience.
From February 24-26, 2015, the US delegation I accompanied met a number of important Syrian figures, including Mufti Hassoun and Dr. Shaaban.
Dr. Shaaban is known to her American friends as “the bridge,” she says. “I always wanted to be a bridge between Syria and Western cultures.” She has lived abroad, earning a PhD in English literature from Warwick University, on a Fulbright scholarship at Duke University, and later as professor at Eastern Michigan University.
She speaks affectionately and respectfully of Americans: “I enjoyed American people, their hospitality and kindness.” Affection for the people aside, she is heavily critical of the US government and allies’ prolonged attack on Syria.
Not only has the West backed and trained terrorists in Syria, the so-called “opposition” they hand-picked to represent Syrians can’t even pretend to do so. “They adopted personalities who haven’t lived in Syria for 30 years! Further, they took the wrong step in closing embassies, instead of communicating with us and observing from the ground. In the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ they are destroying our country.”
As for countries neighboring and near Syria, Dr. Shaaban notes:
“Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar…they are the spearhead of what has happened here.” She points out that beyond President Erdogan’s suits and smiles; he is a staunch supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has long sought to disrupt Syria. Add to the fray Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi extremism and the result is the “moderate” organ-eating, head-chopping, crucifying mercenaries plaguing Syria, from the so-called FSA to al-Nusra to Da’esh (ISIS). “With external support and financing, and an over 800 kilometer border with Turkey, it’s very difficult to stop the flow of terrorists.”
In our meeting, Shaaban paints a picture of the Syria that existed prior to this multi-regime attack on its sovereignty.
“Syria was formerly one of the fastest developing countries in the world, and one of the safest. We have free education and health care. We did not know poverty; we grew our food and produced our own clothing. At universities, 55 percent of the students were women.” Already, these are points the West would prefer remain unheard, points which dispute the lies that Syrians were living in miserable oppression prior to the faux-revolution, and also which could not be said about NATO’s Gulf state allies.
“The souk of Aleppo was the most beautiful. It’s now rubble, they destroyed it. In whose interest is it to destroy this heritage? Who is the beneficiary of this? I’m sure if the American public knew the truth about what is happening in Syria they wouldn’t accept Syrian people being slaughtered.”…»
Presidential Adviser, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban (R) with former Attorney-General Ramsey Clark (Photo by Eva Bartlett)