Bashar Al-Asad: 'They want us without a memory, so they can plan our future'

From a speech by the President of Syria, delivered to the students of Damascus University


The fast pace of developments in our region and the tragic consequences of these developments have made Arab citizens pay a high price in terms of their livelihood, security and dignity. The confused vision and the loss of direction among some people violently shocked the convictions, ideas and values of the Arab people, particularly young people.

A number of international circles, and their agents in our Arab establishment, have been trying to promote their destructive political schemes under exciting names which touch people's feelings and emotions. They have been targeting people's minds and souls before targeting their countries, and invading their cultural identity and national existence before invading their national borders. They have been doing this in an orchestrated media campaign which has met a partial success thanks to the high technology it possesses, the money it spends, and the dubious trumpets it hires to promote this campaign of deceit.

Theorists of this war have targeted our youth, in particular. That think that these young people are the weak point in any confrontation or any attempt to crack our national structure. I tell you, in all confidence, that your generation will prove to the enemies and the opponents that it is not less capable of standing fast and challenging than those who preceded them. Hence, you and I are going to face these challenges togetherand will defeat them with the determination that we inherited from our fathers.

A quick look at the issues raised at present in the political arena will show that all of them have one root, which is our absolute refusal to bargain over independence versus subordination, sovereignty versus submission and dignity versus submission.

The problem of certain powers with Syria, or Syria's problem with certain powers, is its pan-Arab national identity. Arab nationalism is our identity and our history; and history is our memory which enables us to go to the heart of the present and the future. They want us without a memory so that they can plan our future for us, and without an identity so that they can identify our role for us.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam