• Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East…a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings

  • It’s about everyone taking shared responsibility in moving this country forward, about empowerment in a civil society

  • She managed to get people to consider the possibilities of a country that’s modernizing itself, that stands for a tolerant secularism

  • I like to get out and meet people and do things

  • My husband gave me back something I had lost

  • Her intelligence is both intellectual and emotional

  • That’s how religions live together in Syria - a way that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. We live side by side, and have historically

  • [The president] says he was attracted to studying eye surgery “because it’s very precise, it’s almost never an emergency, and there is very little blood”

  • You’re safe because you are surrounded by people who will keep you safe

  • The household is run on wildly democratic principles. We all vote on what we want, and where

  • We have to help them

  • The president joins in the punch line: “Brad Pitt wanted to send his security guards here to come and get some training!”

  • People clap, and some call out his nickname: “Docteur! Docteur!”

  • This is how you fight extremism - through art

  • “This is the diversity you want to see in the Middle East,” says the president, ringing his bell. “This is how you can have peace!”