Mrs. Asma al-Assad attended (7 Sept. 2016) a graduation ceremony for the National Center for the Distinguished at Damascus University. Saleem Hanna, who won the first place, stressed in a speech the center students’ resolve to accomplish the goals they have set their hearts and minds to, spurred by their sense of responsibility in serving the homeland. Chief of the Center Iskandar Munif said the center was meant to be a “breeding ground” for excellence and innovation, hailing the Syrian leadership’s interest and care. He urged fresh graduates to build bridges and continue to attain knowledge to help in building Syria’s future. Established in 2009, the Center has sought to groom competent cadres in a climate conducive to innovation and excellence, striving to enhance promising skills in order to allow the youth to bring their capabilities and potential into play.