Centrul Diplomatic/Diplomatic Center

Centrul de Studii Politice si Diplomatie/ Center for Political Science and Diplomacy

THE SYRIAN REVELATION by Vlad Hogea, vicepresident of Romanian Conservative Party

THE   SYRIAN   REVELATION

Vlad Hogea

I spent a week in Syria, with a media delegation chaired by Professor Anton Caragea, director at the Institute for Political Science and International Affairs. Our visit was made possible through the kindness of the Ambassador of the Arabic Republic of Syria in Romania, his Excellency Walid Othman.
I knew some things about that part of the Levant especially that the Romanian-Syrian links have been extremely tight over the last 40 years: do not forget that 35.000 Syrians (3 of them – are being ministers in office in the Damascus Government along with many other officials!) studied at the universities in our country. Some of them got married with Romanian women and formed mixed families. Thousands of companies in Romania are owned by Syrian citizens. The Romanians built refineries and other important landmarks in Syria.  So we have in common things linked to our recent past, to continuous present and consequently there are the premises for a good cooperation in the future.
 I set out this journey hopping that Syria is a country to be discovered and I came back with the satisfaction of a true revelation. None of the stereotypes promoted by some journalists having the wrong information or bad intentions is valid. On the contrary, I have gladly traveled across a wonderful country from all the points of view. Syria has a long and glorious history (don’t forget that Damascus is the oldest capital in the world, and it remained like this until these very days) but it is also opened to the new and to the modern civilization (this is to be seen even in its infrastructure) in the context of political stability honorably represented by the President Bashar al Asad (the son and the spiritual heir of Hafes al Asad), the BAAS party and the National Progressive Front.
I saw the place where Saul of Tarsus got the message from God on the road to Damascus and became a Christian, being later known as Saint Paul. I entered the Umayyad Mosque (where lies the head of Saint John the Baptist also honored by the Islamic religion). I touched the Tomb of Saladin (the famous conqueror of Jerusalem and unifier of the Arabic tribes), but we didn’t miss the monasteries built to honor Saint Takla and Saint Serge and Bacchus (no connection with the god of wine). I visited the Azem palace, the Alep and Crac de Chevaliers fortress, the ancient vestiges from Ugarit, the magnificent area of Latakia, the Roman Amphitheatre from Bosra (much better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome) – the city where Mohammad met a Christian monk who told him that he would be the great prophet of a new religion. I went to Golan Heights, at Quneitra, the city completely destroyed (according to the conclusions of the international commission) by the Israeli troops in 1973 between the moment of signing the armistice and that of the partial retreat. Of course the official meetings at the ministerial and political level offered us the privilege to find out many interesting things about today’s realities and about Syria’s role as “part of the solution not of the problem in the region” (as stated by the president of the country).
We were welcomed and well treated everywhere. It’s a real friendship widely expressed by the Syrians. A friendship built and consolidated during decades of mutual trust, a friendship that nobody has the right to ignore or to denigrate.

July 25, 2009 - Posted by | Economy, Environment, Foreign policy, History, Informations, International Relation, Leaders, Mass media, News, Politics, Religion, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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