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Establishment

It is well-known that astronomy is one of the oldest and most important sciences for the human being. But not everybody knows that this science was one of the areas in which our Arabic ancestors were so creative and productive. If you stare at the sky in one clear night you find that most prominent stars carry actually Arabic names which are used all over the world. However, only few Arabs are aware of this fact.

 

On the other hand we found a great gap in this field of knowledge between our country and most of the other developed countries, not to mention that this gap is widening day after day. We recognized that most Arabic people do not know that planets are simply seen with the naked-eye, think that there are only twelve constellations, and believe in astrology and signs without even knowing what a constellation is. So we concluded that it is crucial to do every possible effort in order to narrow this gap and to try to catch up with the global progression in this branch of science.

 

To realize this purpose a bunch of ambitious labor-loving amateur astronomers who would like to improve the scientific level of people in all social levels decided to make a change. Not only they wanted to create a collection of amateur astronomers, but they also wanted to establish an association who takes over the process of educating general population in the field of astronomy and attract more and more people to this area.

 

Syrian Astronomical Association (formerly, Syrian Amateur Astronomers Association) was established in Damascus on 19/8/2004 upon an official meeting of the following founders: Mr. Mohammad Assiri, Mr. Abdol Salam Basha, Mr. Mohammad Alkahal, Mr. Alexander Adli, Mr. Morhaf Saadi, Mr. Wassim Khani, Dr. Mohannad Kholani, Dr. Firas Safadi, Mr. Soubhi Alewi, Dr. Fawaz Syouf, and Dr. Firas Mourad. In this meeting we approved the establishment of a scientific association which is concerned with astronomy in Syria. We carried on with the official approval and gained the government support and acknowledgement, and SAA was announced officially on 31/8/2005.

 

The start was shy and modest in face of lack of support and fund. The association could still make great leaps in both the quantity and quality of its activities, and it was able to attract a good number of population from all age groups. The association now carries out distinctive observational activities to allow an extensive contact between experts, amateurs, and general population on special astronomical events. Moreover it does have a strong influence on the media through its website and publications. It also attracts a lot of reporters and correspondents who seek explanations for various astronomical events which occur from time to time.