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President Assad Observes Eid Prayers in Recaptured Daraya

Syrian president celebrates Eid holiday in Damascus suburb after army recaptured the rebel-held district in August following four years of siege
President Assad Observes Eid Prayers in Recaptured Daraya

President Bashar al-Assad prayed on Monday at Saad Ibn Muaz Mosque in the recently captured city of Daraya in the Damascus countryside on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

A number of state officials, ministers, lawmakers and Muslim scholars were also present for the ceremony, which was led by Sheikh Adnan al-Afiouni, Mufti of Damascus and its countryside.

The Eid al-Adha festival, which marks the end of the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj to Mecca, and is one of the two most important festivals on the Islamic calendar, commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to follow God’s command to sacrifice his son Ismael.

Sheikh al-Afiouni delivered the Eid sermon, saying this year’s holiday gives the Syrians hope for the end of the crisis in the country thanks to the Syrian army and the victories it has achieved.

He also referred to the recent reconciliation agreements, where civilians and rebels were evacuated from cities in the Damascus countryside and Homs, which he said was proof that the Syrian state is honest and sincere in caring for all parts of the homeland, he said.

“Together with you Mr. President we will rebuild modern Syria and make it more beautiful, powerful and developed than it has been,” added Afiouni.

Following the prayers, President Assad toured Daraya city to inspect the damage on infrastructure, places of worship and public and private property during recent terrorist attacks.

The president also met with officials to discuss the evacuation process and was briefed on plans for restoring services to the city in order for citizens to return to their homes as soon as possible.

Speaking to state media, the president affirmed that the message of his visit to Daraya is a message to those who have worked against Syria and bet on its collapse, especially those states which continue to support terrorism in Syria.

“We come here today to replace the false freedom they tried to market at the beginning of the crisis, including about Daraya, with the real freedom; the freedom that starts with restoring security and safety, goes through reconstruction and ends with the independent national decision,” said Assad.

He also dismissed accusations of “demographic change” in areas recaptured by the Syrian state, labelling the remarks “malicious” and “dangerous,” adding that such rhetoric targets the unity of Syria and paints its society as fractured and divided.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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