President al-Assad Launches official opening of festivity of Damascus,
capital of Arab culture for 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 09:50 PM - Syrian news agency
...Today, Damascus not only represents the Arab Capital of Culture, but the
Arab Capital of dignity.
It provides us with a strong sense of Arab and human dignity, an infinite
sense of national pride. It is the capital of resistance, as resistance is
an original aspect of our Arab culture. It is the culture of freedom and the
defense of freedom. The culture of resistance is creativity; our freedom is
a prerequisite for our creativity and hence both are inseparable.
Damascus Arab Capital of Culture embodies a living example of the dialogue
and coexistence of cultures; it represents a symbol of diversity within
unity and an attribute of the beauty of the rainbow of human life. Through
all this, Damascus provides definite proof that the notion of the conflict
of civilizations is both null and void.
Damascus embodies Arab culture that builds relationships with other cultures
based on love and openness; it opens its heart to those who arrive carrying
their hearts and closes its gates to those who arrive carrying their swords.
...As I am sure you have all witnessed, Damascus adorns herself with
Damascus rose, she showers her visitors with the sweet fragrance of jasmine
and quenches the thirst of her lovers with her delicious spring water. But
Damascus also has a sword to her name. the Damascus sword, which she will
quickly raise in the face of those who covet her or those who wish her harm.
Our message is one of solidarity to the Arab nation, to the language of our
great ancestors, to the great universal values bestowed to us from God. We
work with dignity and pride to achieve peace and the well being of humanity.
Thank you all.