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Opposion seeking to prepare the Syrian youth to rule – Syrian activist | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Syrian academic and political activist Najib Ghadbain, who is also a member of the Syrian Opposition Consultative Council, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Syrian opposition has “entered a new phase of operations, within the framework of preparing the Syrian youth for leadership following the collapse of the regime.”

Ghadbain attended the recent meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Istanbul earlier this week, and he stressed that “the objective of the previous meetings that were held in Turkey [e.g Anatalya summit] was merely to bring together Syrian political activists abroad to find a way of supporting the revolution and to allow the Syrian voices to be heard by international public opinion.”

He added “as for the Istanbul meeting, its objective is to bring together a large group of Syrian youth, from inside Syria and abroad, and prepare them [for rule], by enrolling them in intensive training courses focusing on several subjects, including legal issues, international relations, media, as well as defining concepts such as citizenship, minority rights, and others.”

He also stressed that “the Syrian youth activists require such training, for one of the jobs of repressive regimes is to kill the youth’s interests in politics” adding that “it is essential for the Syrian youth to gain these basic skills, particularly as a broad section of this youth will be leaders in the forthcoming stage; therefore it is our duty to prepare the youth in this regard.”

Ghadbain also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the youth who have undertaking these training courses will be working to share what they learn with their colleagues [who could not attend the summit], particularly as there is a lack of political awareness amongst the Syrian youth in general.” However Ghadbain acknowledged that the Syrian youth had “learnt a lot by organizing and participating in the demonstration [against the Syrian regime].” He added that “the forthcoming stage is extremely sensitive and we must be ready to meet any challenges.”

As for differences of opinion between the Syrian youth on the ground and the Syrian political opposition, Ghadbain said that “there can be no doubt that the Syrian elite, or the so-called more traditional Syrian political opposition, is not capable of leading the street protests. However both sides have recently discovered that they need one another, for the youth need the expertise of the traditional political opposition, whilst the opposition is in need of the youth’s enthusiasm.”

He also revealed that “the Istanbul meeting was held at the request of the youth, who wanted to develop themselves.”

Ghadbain stressed that “the [Syrian] opposition is seeking to show the world’s leaders that there is an alternative to the al-Assad regime that is capable of filling the vacuum in the forthcoming stage.” He added that “as for the rumors of the establishment or formation of an [opposition] national salvation or transitional government, there can be no doubt that we would support this when the time comes.”