Sami Moubayed at PostGlobal

Sami Moubayed

Damascus, Syria

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst and historian based in Damascus, Syria. Moubayed is the author of "Damascus Between Democracy and Dictatorship (2000)" and "Steel & Silk: Men and Women Who Shaped Syria 1900-2000 (2006)." He has also authored a biography of Syria's former President Shukri al-Quwatli and currently serves as Associate Professor at the Faculty of International Relations at al-Kalamoun University in Syria. In 2004, he created Syrianhistory.com, the first and online museum of Syrian history. He is also co-founder and editor-in-chief of FORWARD, the leading English monthly in Syria, and Vice-President of Haykal Media. Close.

Sami Moubayed

Damascus, Syria

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst and historian based in Damascus, Syria. more »

Main Page | Sami Moubayed Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Wanted: Inspiring Syrian Heroes

Young Syrians want leaders who attract investment and jobs, not those who preach revolution.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (20)

Epaminondas:

THOSE are your heroes and guys you look up to?

No wonder your country is so messed up.

Asim, San Antonio:

Hazem,
I really feel sorry for U:if U can not learn or be inspired by the brilliant Salahodeen and the legendary Omar ibn Al Khattab, then U have not and will not ever learn anything any time from any one.

The two legendary personalities taught us Courage,chivalry,hoensty, justice,transperency and both liberated Jerusalem and all Bilad Al Shame from the Crusaders 1 and 11:Byzantines and European;besides Hassan Naserallah,there is no contemporary personality to come close to the caliber of the two heros.

The values that the two have taught us can never become outdated:times change,but human nature never changes and values live on forever.....

Asim, San Antonio:

Hazem,
I really feel sorry for U:if U can not learn or insoired the brilliant Salahodeen and Omar ibn Al Khattab, then U ahve not and will not ever learn anything any time from any one.

The two legendary personalities taught us Courge,chivalry,hoensty, justice,transperency and both liberated Jerusalem and all Bilad Al Shame from the Crusaders 1 and 11:Byzantines and European.

The values the two taught us can never become outdates:times change,but human nature never change and values live on forever.....

George Robertson:

What does this generation coming up have to be hopeful about, here or anywhere else in the world? Not much. Elites want to quarrel and bicker to the last dying breath of all of their followers. The earth is being poisoned and its irreplaceable resources squandered in a juggernaut of unsustainable development. It's been like this for 40 years only we're just now waking up to the reality. It's so blatantly obvious that even young people in the United States are starting to become aware of these things, much less Syrians. We're in for a rough and bumpy ride.

809212876:

IMO, these last couple of lines tell much about the theme of the article:

"These results, measured by what I get from interviews with famous Syrians, were surprising and alarming. They bring to mind an old story when Galileo was told by one of his students: “Unhappy are those who don’t have heroes!” Galileo replied, “No, unhappy are those who still need heroes!”

There are few true heroes in most nations. The issue of what really is a 'hero' is grist for a whole other discussion. IMO, pro athletes don't come close to being a hero or the least bit inspirational, unless there are extraordinary aspects to their story.

My hero's are FDR, Churchill, Truman, Gorbachev, Lincoln. . . who stood the test of time and led by courage and ethics during excruciatingly bad times. Heroes all. Right now, the closest thing we have in the USA at the national level is Barack Obama, running on a need to change the current darkness.

809212876:

IMO, these last couple of lines tell much about the theme of the article:

"These results, measured by what I get from interviews with famous Syrians, were surprising and alarming. They bring to mind an old story when Galileo was told by one of his students: “Unhappy are those who don’t have heroes!” Galileo replied, “No, unhappy are those who still need heroes!”

There are few true heroes in most nations. The issue of what really is a 'hero' is grist for a whole other discussion. IMO, pro athletes don't come close to being a hero or the least bit inspirational, unless there are extraordinary aspects to their story.

My hero's are FDR, Churchill, Truman, Gorbachev, Lincoln. . . who stood the test of time and led by courage and ethics during excruciatingly bad times. Heroes all. Right now, the closest thing we have in the USA at the national level is Barack Obama, running on a need to change the current darkness.

Martin:

How do they square being happy with the demise of Saddam Hussein with hating those who brought it about? Do they even notice the contradiction?

Hazem - Syria:

I am so surprised and disappointed by the list suggested by fellow Syrians. I have full respect to Mahathir Muhammad of Malaysia or the late Sheik Zayed of UAE but I would have loved to hear names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs (who has some syrian roots), Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison...etc
The interesting (and sad as well) thing is that some characters who lived 500-1000 years ago are on the list. I mean names like Saladdin, Omar ibn elkhattab deserve respect but what can we get out of what they embodied? nothing. they lived in totally different time. We need heroes who can inspire us to build a better modern Syria and I am not sure what Saladdin can represent here. He was a military leader with tactics that are suitable for an age were people used to fight with swords and daggers and used pigeons for communications.
We need to look at creative modernizing heroes and like it or not, most of those heroes exists in the west not in the old east.

Oliver McDoux:

Heroes, Idols and role models are after all humans who have positive traits, but like every human, many other undesirable traits too.

I understand their need for children.

But once one develops ones powers of abstraction, through education and experience, the hero concept becomes simplistic and misleading.

Rather an abstraction of those great traits that make a hero, ought to become the goal.

Moreover, as someone one said: Every hero eventually becomes a bore!

Anonymous:

Abdulnassir was an eloquent speaker. He lied to the Egyptians. Most of the Egyptians leaders were nothing but a disgrace in the glorious history of Egypt. They were traitors. Their most serious threat was from Islamists. That’s why the killed them and tortured them in prison. Such treatments of Islamists were the gifts they offered to Israel and its allies.
The same thing goes for the Syrian Nussairies. They ruled after they spelled the blood of the Islamists.
All of these leaders came to power by crushing the skulls of innocent people.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

Está realmente faltando ao Mundo, lideranças modal se preocupem com uma vida de mais de 6,5 bilhões de Seres humanos modal habitam o nosso Planeta.
Está havendo muito individualismo, demagogia e pouca credibilidade na competencia das pessoas que nos governam. Está havendo muito individualismo, demagogia e Pouca credibilidade das nd Competencia PESSOAS modal nos governam. A corrupção está se alastrando imediatamente e os país que formam o G-15 poderiam se unir para planejar e eleger prioridades para o Mundo. A corrupção está se alastrando imediatamente E OS país modal formam o G-15 poderiam se UNIR para planejar e eleger prioridades para o Mundo.
O capital especulativo internacional está cada vez mais cartelizado e os governos cada vez mais individualizados e enfraquecidos. O capital especulativo internacional está CADA vez mais cartelizado e os governos CADA vez mais individualizados e enfraquecidos.
Os países do BRIC poderiam e podem muito bem, se unirem em uma pauta de interesse da Humanidade. Os Países e poderiam fazer BRIC podem muito bem, se unirem em uma pauta da Humanidade de interesse. Está faltando isso e urgentemente. Está faltando isso e urgentemente. O mundo tem que conservar as conquistas e corrigir os erros. O mundo tem modal conservar as conquistas e corrigir os erros.
FMI e ONU não podem deixar que a especulação perversa, continue concentrando riquezas e criando mais pobreza.Em pleno século XXI, não há qualquer justificativa para mais de 15% da população mundial viver em estado de absoluta miséria e pobreza. FMI e ONU NÃO podem DEIXAR perversa que é uma especulação, continuam concentrando riquezas e criando mais pobreza.Em pleno Século XXI, NÃO há qualquer Justificativa para mais de 15% da população Mundial viver em estado de absoluta miséria e pobreza. É um crime que não poderia deixar os criminosos impunes. É um crime poderia modal NÃO DEIXAR os criminosos impunes. Lenin, em 1918, considerou como Terroristas, todos aqueles que especularam com petróleo ( energia) e alimentos Lenin, em 1918, considerou como Terroristas, TODOS AQUELES modal especularam com.br. Petróleo (Energia) e Alimentos

SyrianHoosier:

After more than three decades of totalitarian oppression, I am surprised from the answer the author got. I would have expected the answer be the same "Assad is our hero" However, take that the survey had included educated and well read young scholars, it is somehow refreshing to hear this variety of opinions.

Anonymous:

This truly speaks to the society. Its disturbing to see the absence of Jordan's kings (Abdullah 2 and Hussein) as well as Sadat from admired list. It also points to some level of confusion, which is perhaps a limited positive sign. And perhaps to the need for the Arab world to have its own Mandela or Gandhi or Martin Luther King. This poll suggests that maybe the hunger is there. Sooner than later, please.

alan balboni:

much ado about very little.

Marcelo:

I am a Brazilian and although we have a lot of people from Syria and Lebanon(My wife's father was from Syria)and its descendants we know little about Syria. Only the image of a Muslin country that hates west and it is involved in terrorism. But now I know they just people like us here in Brazil.We want better jobs, quality of life, better education. It is unfortunately that Syria is under a dictatorship.Bu t this a thing that the Syrian must solve by theirselfs.

American:

I just spent one year in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah)and was shocked by the lack of Saudis working, mistreatment of their wifes, etc. Then I noticed that most doctors, dentists, engineers, etc. (both men and women)were from Syria. They were well educated, fluent in various languages, sophisticated, and true professionals. Whoever their role model is irrelevant - they made it.

pgr88:

Are you sure Bugs Bunny wasn't on the list somewhere?

JBE:

Obama is the exception.

Stand by for a world full of rejectionists who will follow the lead of the American youth in sending the dinasaurs, the fundamentalists, the oligarchs, and the chattering elite living off of the backs of the working class to the history pile where they have belonged for far too long.

Observer:

Mousa says:
"Respondents were then asked to think hard and come up with a list of people they thought would qualify as inspirational figures, people who they respected and looked up to. The Prophet Mohammad ranked #1. Other names ranged from Hafez al-Assad, Hasan Nasrallah, Antune Saadah, Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro, to Amr Khaled, Saladin, and Omar Ibn al-Khattabl . The list did not contain a single artist, writer, or poet, nor a single woman."

The chronology of this list conveys to me a vivid example of how confused a person can get. This is reflected on the ground by how much those civilized Aramaic people have regressed over the past 15 hundred years.

Sami Asmar:

after reading this article I had to think Hard about my Heroe, I couldn't find one, and at the present time I live in the USA and I'm under different pressure than my fellow Syrians.

Sami

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.