Damascus, SANA – An event was held Thursday at the National al-Assad Library in Damascus marking the World Book Day, a yearly event celebrated on April 23.
The Ministry of Information and the Syrian Publishers Union co-organized the event, which, being held under the current circumstances of the ongoing terrorist war in Syria, gives a sign of the Syrians’ adherence to their national and cultural achievements made before the war.
“Everything that happened in Syria up to this moment has failed to turn the Syrians into people of surrender, but rather made them people of steadfastness,” Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in a speech at the event.
“The most important thing at this stage is to preserve the national identity and firmly defend the homeland,” he added, noting that the school and university books and those published and promoted in Syria are of great value having immensely contributed to the shaping of this national identity of the Syrians.
He called for defending Syria as “a notion” since Syria stands not only for a country or a state but for a civilization and a culture.
Al-Zoubi pointed out that Syria is part of the Arab nation which will remain united despite the attitude of some states, namely Saudi Arabia which had amassed stockpiles of weapons over tens of years to kill the Yemeni people and destroy their economy and infrastructure.
The minister said that the Zionist war against Yemen and the events in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, the conspiring against resistance and the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are all part of the conspiracy against Syria.
Syrians will emerge victorious in the war against terrorism, the minister added.
For her part, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban said in a statement to reporters on the sidelines of the event that “encouraging reading is part of the steadfastness against terrorism.”
She pointed out that the Syrians “should restore books and reading to their former glamour in an age dominated by technology.”
Haytham Hafez, head of the Syrian Publishers Association, said that event aims to “make reading a key feature of the development of our nation,” adding that the Syrian books have always had a presence in local, Arab and international book fairs.