Posted by Alex on Saturday, January 19th, 2008
Posted by Alex
Damascus celebrated yesterday the official opening of festivities for "Damascus, capital of Arab culture for 2008"
For the first time in Damascus fireworks were used in those celebrations. In the past, security concerns prevented organizers of similar events from using fireworks.
President Assad made a speech that included the expected expressions of pride in Damascus and its history, culture, and significance in the Arab world. But the speech also included hints to the strategic direction the Syrian President intends to take Syria in the future.
Here are some quotes:
"The routes on which Paul, the Messenger walked have been flowered with amity that he planted , and Khaled is opening his arms at the eastern gate of Damascus embracing you …the Umayyads are looking to the horizon on the minarets of the Umayyad Mosque guarding John the Baptist…and Sallahuddin is mocking those who have been harboring evil to Damascus,"
"Here are the tombs of renowned philosophers , poets and artists from all over the Arab homeland form the tomb of Farabi to the tomb of Ersouzi …and from the tomb of Iben Arabi to the tomb of Nabulsi..from the tomb of Hussein Marwa to the tomb of Abdul-Karim Karmi and from the tomb of Jawahiri to the tomb of Nizar Kabbani,"
"Damascus, the capital of Arab culture means to be the capital of the Arab dignity .. gives us the strong sense of human and national pride and inexhaustible sense of the national pride, so Damascus is the capital of the resistance culture as an inherent feature of our Arab culture features … it is the culture of freedom and defense of freedom … it is the culture of creativity because our freedom is a condition of our creativity and creativity and freedom can not be separated… Damascus, the capital of the Arab culture is a great and deep lesson and indicates the dialog of cultures and their co-existence and is a symbol of the richness of life and an eloquent proof on the futility of idea of civilizations clash,"
"The Arab culture establishes a love relationship and openness with culture of the other .. Damascus is an example in that… it opens her heart to those who come carrying their hearts and close its doors in the face of those who approach carrying their swords… we are sons of one culture .. Our Arab culture is our home as a whole… under it we live equal in belonging to it .. proud to defend it .. creators in its domain .. living in it our deepest identity because it is the pattern of our presence, values, ideas and beliefs and spiritual creativity,"
Here are some photos from those celebrations.