INTRODUCTION The thirtieth anniversary of the Socialist Arab Bath party was celebrated with parades and rallies in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Thursday (7 April).
SV EXT. Students in procession, with flags and banners in streets of Damascus, Syria (2 shots)
GV & SV Children taking part in parade (4 shots)
GV TRACKING SHOT City square with banners and poster of President Hafez Al-Assad
SV President entering Hall of Celebration with other officials, and audience applauding (2 shots)
SV Newsmen taking photographs of officials
CU Palestinian poet Yusef Al-Khateeb speaking and President Assad listens and applauds (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO MV Fadel Al-Ansari, National leadership member, speaking and President Assad and delegates applaud
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Background: INTRODUCTION The thirtieth anniversary of the Socialist Arab Bath party was celebrated with parades and rallies in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Thursday (7 April).
SYNOPSIS: A large group of young students staged a colourful procession to express their support for the Bath Party, which originally came to power in Syria in 1963. Baathism is defined as a synthesis of Marxism and Arab nationalism and it has a major influence on Syrian affairs. The party is the political organisation which assists the army in governing and the most influential figures in Syrian political life are among its members.
Syria is ruled by a coalition of forces welded together by its President Hafez Al-Assad. The Bath party makes up about half of the coalition and its economic policies have changed little since Michael Aflak and Salah Bitar invented it 30 years ago.
Thursday's celebrations included a reading by the Palestinian poet Yusef Al-Khateeb. The Bath party has considerable following throughout t he Middle East . It has branches in numerous Arab states, including Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
An anniversary rally was also held and that was attended by members of all political parties, Syrian ministers and Arab and foreign ambassadors. Among the speeches was one by Mr Fadel Al-Ansari who outlined the party's achievements in the past 30 years.