The 17-year old Russian youth powerlifting champion Maryana Naumova, who bench presses nearly 150 kilos and who is often regarded as the world’s strongest girl, has recently returned from her voyage to war-torn Syria and shared her experience with Sputnik.
According to...Naumova, despite all the hardships and the horrors of war, the people of Syria continue to display remarkable resilience, persevering against all the odds and struggling to bring peace to their ravaged country.
Even as the government forces, aided by their Russian and Iranian allies, continue to liberate cities from the clutches of terrorists, the civilian agencies swiftly rush in to repair the damaged infrastructure and help the people to restore their lives.
"I went to Homs and Aleppo, I visited sports schools and schools for the children of fallen Syrian soldiers; I also attended the weightlifting and judo competitions that were held in Aleppo. I was amazed by the fact that only a month after the city’s liberation the government is providing assistance to the local children and athletes. There was a trainer there who guided me around, pointing at crates of apples and juice and joyfully shouting ‘The terrorists got kicked out, and now my children have everything they need – juice, milk, fruits; they’ll become champions!’" Naumova said.
She also remarked that she met a lot of people with different backgrounds during her trip, and they are all convinced that the government of Bashar Assad is the only chance for peace and stability in Syria.
"I met with the Supreme Mufti and with the Catholic Patriarch of Syria, with communists and with nationalists. And they all say that there’s death and terror where the terrorists are, but there is peace and people can work and study where Assad is in control," she said.
It also appears that such remarkable faith in the Syrian leader is in no small part a product of a personal example set by President Bashar Assad and his wife, Asma Assad.
"I talked with Asma Assad, the wife of President Bashar Assad. What moved me the most was her saying that she and Bashar will stand beside their people no matter what and will not abandon their country. Asma personally visits the families of fallen soldiers, and the students from the school for the children of the slain servicemen regard Bashar and Asma as their parents – they (Bashar and Asma al-Assad) often visit such schools in order to check on the children studying there," Naumova added.
And last but not least, she confirmed that the locals truly appreciate Russia’s intervention in this war, and that the contribution made by Russian forces does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
"In Syria, at any checkpoint manned by government forces, Iranians or members of Hezbollah – when they learn that there are Russians riding in your car, it serves as the best kind of ID. People start smiling and waving at you, saying ‘Rusi, Rusi, Putin!’ When I visited a marketplace and the locals realized that I’m from Russia, they started bringing gifts to me. The people are glad that Russia supported Syria in this war," Naumova declared.