A Syrian Martyr – Professor and Civil Engineer Muhammad Nassar

Today marks the inaugural post in a new regular Friday Series about Syrian researchers and scientists including their work, their research and idea as well as their contributions to university students like myself, the IIT Syrian students, and thousands of others. We are grateful for their service to learning and higher education in Syria and to our world.

One thing the world must know is that Syria claims an incredible number of university researchers and professors; we can consider them as the academic fortune and foundation for Syria’s future. They will be the path forward that will help us in the future to rebuild our country after all what we suffered.

In this post I will talk about one of the greatest professors that I ever seen during my study years in Syria, Prof. Muhammad Nassar in the faculty of Civil Engineering in Damascus University.

Professor Nassar graduated as one of the top graduates in his class in Damascus University and got his Ph.D in Geo-technical Engineering from France. For all of us – his students – Professor Nassar was more than a teacher, he was a mentor.

I remember when I would go to ask for his help for anything related to my education and he always had the right answer, and perhaps as important, the right question to ask me. I still remember the day before I left Syria, I went to see him in his office and I was honored to get a recommendation letter signed by him – the letter that I will keep for the rest of my life.

On October 15, 2012, at the age of 46, Professor Nassar was killed during the conflict that is going on in Syria. When I heard the news of his death I was shocked, and I realized how hard it is to lose one of the greatest people I have ever met. Professor Nassar is one of the Syrian martyrs that we lose every day; each one of them is a great person in somebody’s life and just by thinking of that you can imagine how much sadness we have in Syria.

I just want to say something to Professor Nassar: Rest in peace and I hope someday I will be able to do what you expected from me.

For my part, I will honor his legacy and memory by serving as teacher, engineer, humanist, activist, peacemaker – and mentor, to all.

Suhaib

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