Syria's president Bashar al-Assad gave a speech today before a group of teachers and staff of the educational sector in commemoration of Teacher's Day. I feature some translated excerpts from it because there are some notable remarks about the goals of education, the teaching of history, the West and the ongoing war in Ukraine. For instance, al-Assad suggests the need for the teaching in history about the Islamist insurgency of the 1980s as part of a strategy of raising the 'national awareness' of future generations. He also claims the war in Ukraine is a turning point that has exposed the West and removed its remaining masks.
Original video here.
"Today we are concluding the 11th year of the war on Syria, matters are becoming more clear with regards to every Syrian citizen with the passing of time and years, and the components of this war are becoming more apparent, whether from the West which strives for hegemony and seizing control of the whole world, including Syria as one of its fields, coming to the original systems, whether Arab, regional or Western in Europe, and then coming to those who bear Syrian nationality but do not bear the spirit for the homeland or for its heritage, and this component is the most important one in this war, because they are the entrance of the foreigners and the key for every conspiracy that has happened in Syria. And the lessons of the war cannot be useful lessons or benefited from if we cannot analyse this case. For these people lived with us in the same homeland, studied with us the same curricula, all of these lessons present in history, we learned them together, but they went in the opposite direction, those groups of Syrians, and they are small, in the opposite direction of history and the nature of the society in Syria.
There is another factor no less important than this factor or component: they are the Syrians who loved their country but did not possess the sufficient awareness in the beginning of the war to know what was happening, so they accidentally sent erroneous messages to the outside, so they encouraged the outside, encouraged the terrorists, when they showed that what was happening in Syria was not natural political differences or natural political differences as people have different opinions, but what they showed was rather the national division, and when there is national division, meaning when the foundations of the homeland are not correct, this gives a message to the foreigner to look for the appropriate and golden opportunity to intervene in Syria. They confused freedom of opinion and chaos of opinions, for with regards to them, the talk about subjects or talking in language of partition- whether sectarian, ethnic or others besides these things- is a part of freedom of opinion, and not part of destroying the homeland. They justified the chaos with response, they justified the destruction as reform: they said when the person revolted, he revolted for the sake of reform of corruption and various mistakes present. They confused between government and state; instead of opposing the government, they went in the direction of destroying the state. They did not appreciate what foreign intervention means, the entry and coming down of foreign ambassadors to the field in Syria in order to support the destruction. They realised subsequently but when they reached the stage of awareness, the years had passed, and in that time the train of destruction had set out in Syria.
All these examples express a deep and very terrifying lack of awareness among a part of the sons of the society, even if this part is small and not big, and I say terrifying because the security and stability of the homeland depends on awareness. The most important component is awareness, and national awareness in the first degree. All the other components for stability are important, but in the absence of the component of awareness, there is no value to them. And of course education is the most important component of the components of forming this awareness."
[for the remainder of this post, for paying subscribers only, see]: