The college professor who kissed the charcoal-stained hand of his student!

Faris al-Khoury; president of the UN Security Council in 1947 , the first Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations, the Minister of Finance, Interior and Knowledge.

He headed the House of Representatives and the Council of Ministers, and was the fierce defender at the United Nations for Syria’s independence from France.

One of the amazing stories of the history of the United Nations is when Faris Al-Khoury sat on France’s chair instead of Syria’s, After a few minutes, the French representative to the UN approached Faris and asked him to leave the chair, Faris ignored the Frenchman and just looked at his watch, a couple of minutes later, the Frenchman angrily asked Faris to leave immediately, but Faris kept on ignoring the Frenchman and just staring at his watch, After 25 minutes of sitting in France’s chair, Faris left the chair and said to the French representative: “You could not bear watching me sitting in your chair for a mere 25 minutes, Your country has occupied mine for more than 25 years, hasn’t the time of your troops departure come yet?”.

It is worth noting that the process of Syria’s independence started in this same UN session. Besides,the day he was informed by General Guru that France came to Syria to protect the Christians of the East, he rushed to the Umayyad Mosque on a Friday and went up to the pulpit, and said: “If France claims to have occupied Syria to protect us Christians from Muslims, I hereby say:  la ilahailla’llah (there’s no God but Allah)” thus, the worshipers of the Umayyad Mosque carried him on the shoulders and went out to the old neighborhoods of Damascus in a national scene  that Damascus remembered for a long time.

The people of Damascus came out that today in mass demonstrations that filled Damascus, shouting,” There is no God but Allah” they were not Muslims, they weren’t Christians; they were only the sons of the nation!

Faris al-Khoury also contributed to the establishment of the Arab Science Academy, but the strangest thing in his career was that he was appointed as the Minister of Islamic Endowments; the MP then “Abdel-Hamid Tabbaa” defended that saying:” we trust you with the Islamic Endowments more than we trust ourselves”.

In one of his lectures at Damascus University, a late student entered the lecture. Mr. al-Khoury asked him why he was late, but the student was embarrassed and reached the professor to explain to that the reason for his delay was that he worked as a charcoal burner at night to attend lectures during the day, that’s when professor al-Khoury held the hand of this student and kissed it in front of the whole class!

He is the shining Syrian symbol, the model of the responsible person who seeks to serve the human community in isolation from his religion:

(He is the wonderful Syrian national … Faris al-Khoury).


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