“Taking the Ideas We Believe in to the New Multipolar System”: Interview with Bouthaina Shaaban

This conversation took place on June 6, 2021. A week earlier, Syria held presidential elections. Along with the re-election of Bashar al-Assad, images of huge rallies celebrating the electoral event were recorded throughout the country, sending a clear message of what the Syrian people feel and think, now that ten years have passed since a transnational war was attempted to impose a regime change, both in the country and the region, seeking to realign the country to transatlantic strategic interests. Hence, the elections are not only a message but also a living testimony of how the country continues to prevail in the face of foreign pressures and aggressions.

In this interview, Dr. Boutheina Shaaban (Mas’udiyah, Homs province, 1953) offers an analysis of the event, as she addresses each and every one of the issues arising from it: Syria’s position in the world, the changes emerging today in the global order that point towards multipolarity, on the essential value of memory and the urgency of documenting absolutely everything and the urgency of producing a thought that is in line with this moment, where it is not possible to understand the paradigm shift underway in Palestine that has not been possible without a Syrian victory against terrorism. Shaaban also highlights the points of contact that unite Syria with the geopolitical battles that Venezuela is also fighting, while stressing the imperative need to unify and exchange experiences, consolidated by hard, constant and persistent work.

With a PhD in English Literature from the University of Warwick (UK), Dr. Shaaban has been an interpreter for both Hafez and Bashar al-Assad. She was part of the Syrian delegation that participated in the last peace process for Palestine in the 20th century. Sanctioned along with four other government officials, today she is a political and media advisor to President Bashar al-Assad. She is also the author of four books and directs the “Memory of the Homeland” project, which documents and records all human activity in her country, from the Assyrian language, to the history of Christianity, to the testimonies of war.

The interview was conducted by Diego Sequera, researcher at the Samuel Robinson Institute for Original Thought.

Editing was done by David Borges Revilla. Translation and subtitling by José Miguel Aponte and Diego Sequera.