When it came to choosing a Syrian national figure who has consistently made honorable imprints during the twelve years of the Syrian revolution, most opinions agreed on the choice of Mr. Aiad Koudsi from among dozens of prominent national figures on the struggle scene.
We started searching early for the location of our personality, following him from one country to another because his work offices are distributed in many capitals which have helped him to efficiently follow up the affairs of the Syrian revolution with the political leaders in those countries. Eventually, a meeting was arranged that would connect participants in Bahrain on one side and Michigan and Houston in the USA on the other via the Internet.
From the first minutes of our acquaintance, we sensed that this would not be a typical interview because Mr. Koudsi does not use the words “I” or “we”, but rather “Syria” and “the revolution” and “Syrian national figures.” In addition, there are no negative terms in his speech such as “weapons” or “infighting”, but rather he replaces them with positive terms such as “awareness”, “political wisdom”, and “constants of the revolution.” Therefore, this style of address led us to move away from the familiar journalistic reporting style. In the end, what came out of this meeting was less of an interview and more of a “revealing of the revolutionary national consciousness.”
Mr. Koudsi was born in Damascus in 1948 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Houston in the United States of America. He works in the field of information technology, project management, and senior management. He previously held positions as General Head of the Communications and Information Engineering Department, and Special Advisor in the Aramco Vice President’s office. He is currently the owner and managing director of Menascope Consulting and has offices in many Arab and Western countries.
As the age-old proverb “like father like son” implies, the character traits of Aiad Koudsi were based since childhood on patriotism drawn from the support of a family of seniors of political and military stature, as seen in a series of family photographs.
After completing his studies in Houston, Koudsi’s work on projects outside of Syria caused him to say: “Syria, my love, when I left my country unwillingly in my early youth, longing always pushed me to return. When I returned in 2000, I was sure that Syria is the mother and is a unique love.”
When the Syrian revolution broke out in 2011, Mr. Koudsi got involved in national action early, holding the position of deputy head of the Syrian Interim Government, which had emanated from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, from November 2013 until his resignation in December 2014, assuming at that time the duties of Minister of Education and Chairman of the Board of Directors/Teacher of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.
His political activities abroad included heading the Syria Consulting Center in Washington D.C. and member of the political bloc of the Syrian National Association. He was also an honorary member of the Syrian Council for Change, and a member of the Revive a Homeland Initiative in addition to his participation in the formation of several political entities to support the Syrian revolution, including the Damascus National Council.
“The earthquake was a severe catastrophe by all standards for the Syrians in the liberated areas, and all over the world, and praying for mercy for the deceased preceded the news of their actual death”Aiad Koudsi
Our first question to Mr. Koudsi concerned the recent earthquake that affected Syria and what he thinks about the measures that were taken to mitigate its effects. He responded by saying:
“The earthquake was a severe catastrophe by all standards for the Syrians in the liberated areas, and all over the world, and praying for mercy for the deceased preceded the news of their actual death because they were buried under the rubble and left without rescue until they died.
“We can describe the rescue attempts that were initiated by some of the Syrian revolution organizations and the youth present there as logistically primitive compared to the size of the casualties and the area destroyed by the earthquake. First responders suffered from the closure of the Turkish border crossings and the regime’s negative stance towards this crisis, as its statements revealed its criminal behavior towards millions of its people who demanded freedom.
“On the opposition side, the Coalition’s moves in the international and domestic arenas did not match the scale of the disaster. Their positions were not up to the level of responsibility and making appropriate decisions. They are always like horses tied behind a cart. This is in addition to their inaction towards obstructing the arrival of rescue machines and other logistical materials from some countries and from other governorates of the country.”
“the meetings of the Constitutional Committee are a waste of time because constitutions are not written in this way. They are not written outside borders, and they are not written by parties that cannot be reconciled because there is no real victor“Aiad Koudsi
When we asked Mr. Koudsi why he appears to be less active nowadays after being in the first ranks of Syrian opposition leaders for many years, he replied:
“I did not go out or move away from the picture, but rather I still do what I can, without being involved in government institutions or the recognized opposition. In fact, after I submitted my resignation at the end of 2014, I participated in political work as a main tributary in many Revolutionary components, such as the Union of Syrian Democrats with Michel Kilo.
“I was also a contributor to the establishment of the Damascus National Syrian Pact in Paris with patriotic Syrian personalities. And when our activity was accused of regionalism, we created the Syrian National Charter in 2021. Turkish authorities asked me to put in place a new structure for the Syrian National Coalition. They clashed with some demands, especially the non-interference of countries in selecting the components and members of the coalition.
“We have declared our opinion that the meetings of the Constitutional Committee are a waste of time because constitutions are not written in this way. They are not written outside borders, and they are not written by parties that cannot be reconciled because there is no real victor, and also because constitutions are not written while the war is still on and half of the people are displaced.
“The time has come for us to focus our efforts so that the solution is in the hands of the Syrians only. We have begun to form an inclusive umbrella to unify the efforts of all Syrians“Aiad Koudsi
“In fact, after I resigned from my position in the Interim Government, I became outside the institutional framework entrusted to the relevant countries in the march of the revolution, and I continued to exercise my political duty as a free Syrian citizen in Jordan and Saudi Arabia in a way that does not contradict the policy of the two countries.
“The time has come for us to focus our efforts so that the solution is in the hands of the Syrians only. We have begun to form an inclusive umbrella to unify the efforts of all Syrians. We called it the Syrian National Dome. Consequently, I met some influential American personalities during my stay in Jordan, and the first indications heralded strong support for us from within Syria.”
As Syria currently seems to be stuck in one of the most difficult periods in its history, we asked Mr. Koudsi if he sees a way through it and what he believes the Syrian people must do in order to find their way to the other side of this difficult period.
“I believe in Syria and the unity of Syria as a whole. So we have to work with a lot of political intersections. There is a reality that we must accept, and a reality that we must not accept or change.
“We have to work with five foreign countries that have armies on Syrian territory: Turkey, America, Russia, Iran, and Israel. We have to make intersections with these countries in a way that does not contradict Syrian sovereignty. We can make agreements with countries, and this is important.
“Our vision is to work with all available means to achieve a political transition, which guarantees the removal of injustice from the groups of the Syrian people“Aiad Koudsi
“Also, we are Syrians and there should be no regionalism for any free patriotic Syrian. Corruption is the biggest cancer now in Syria. We will remain loyal to Syria, and the world should know this, and that our love for our country is unconditional. Our vision is to work with all available means to achieve a political transition, which guarantees the removal of injustice from the groups of the Syrian people and the withdrawal of weapons from the militias and confining them to the hands of the army in order to maintain civil peace and preserve state institutions needed to restore the provision of basic services for the daily life of the people. All of this must facilitate the return of the displaced in a safe and appropriate environment in order to start writing a 100% national constitution for the country.”
“The people inside Syria are dying and cannot make any change under this autocratic regime”Aiad Koudsi
Before concluding our conversation, we asked Mr. Koudsi if there was anyone he wished to address, individually or corporately, regarding the situation in Syria. He said: “I wish to address the people inside Syria, and the institutions inside Syria, even the Syrian Army that serves with Assad — actually, all entities inside Syria — and tell them “Enough! Syria is being crushed and scattered.”
“My last call is to the Syrian opposition and all Syrian people: We need to set aside our differences and make Syria our priority”Aiad Koudsi
“The people inside Syria are dying and cannot make any change under this autocratic regime. The Syrian government is incapable of helping the eight million people who are still there survive. And we should not forget the detainees that are still being held in Assad’s prisons. As Syrians, we need to gather ourselves to be united. Every day we hear about the success and achievements of young Syrians living outside of Syria and this gives us hope for the future.
“My last call is to the Syrian opposition and all Syrian people: We need to set aside our differences and make Syria our priority.”