Ammar Saati: 17 years of leading “the National Union of Syrian Students” and performing practices of “tashbih”

Ammar Saati in one of the seminars for the "National Union of Syrian Students", October 2017 - (The Facebook page of the NUSS)

Ammar Saati in one of the seminars for the "National Union of Syrian Students", October 2017 - (The Facebook page of the NUSS)


17 years ago, Ammar Saati, a member of the central leadership of the “Baath Arab Socialist Party,” assumed the presidency of “the National Union of Syrian Students (NUSS), particularly in 2004. Then, Darine Suleiman was elected as the chairperson of the union last July during the general conference of the “Syrian Students Union” in its 15th session.

At the Sahara Hotel in Rif Dimashq, 400 students from universities, public and private institutes, and foreign branches of the NUSS participated in the conference on the candidacy for the presidency of the 81-member union. 

Ammar Saati, Basem Sudan, Rasheed Sayasneh, and Bashar al-Mutlaq were disqualified from running for the presidency of the union, because they are over 45 years of age, according to the candidacy conditions issued by the leadership of the “Baath” party.

The NUSS, according to the description written on its official website, is a popular organization established in April 1963, and includes students of the Syrian public and private universities and higher institutes, and has branches inside and outside Syria. 

The Syrian regime uses the NUSS to educate Syrian students on the intellectual values and principles of “the Baath” social party. 

Saati was born in 1967 (53 years old). He has a ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of “Damascus”. He joined the “Baath” Party in July 2013 and was vice president of the NUSS between 1995 and 2000 and a member of the party’s central committee between 2005 and 2013. He was the head of the party’s administration office between 1992 and 1995, and he was a member of the People’s Council of Syria from 2003 to 2015.

Committing acts of thuggery “tashbih” against the Syrian opposition’s students 

Saati was known as “an active member of Syria’s cruel shabiha militia.” “Shabiha” means “ghosts”, and it is a term for “pro-government militias and supporters.” Saati believes that “the role of Syrian youth in the reconstruction of the country” is through joining the ranks of the Syrian regime forces to participate in the battles against the Syrian opposition factions, according to what he called for in 2017.

He was credited with the idea of forming the “Baath Brigades,” which contributed to the support of the Syrian regime forces, and was headed by his associate Basem Sudan.

Saati also leaped the life of the Syrian businessman Muhammad Hamsho, by reaching Maher al-Assad and establishing projects with him, through the head of Maher al-Assad’s office, Ghassan Bilal, as Hamsho got many privileges to be one of the top businessmen in Syria.

Saati married the Syrian journalist, Luna al-Shibl, whose name rose to prominence after moving from Syrian TV to al-Jazeera in 2003. Through her news coverage and her meetings with senior officials, she was able to draw attention to her.

After the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, al-Shibl sided from the far right in the Qatari al-Jazeera TV channel to the far left in the presidential palace, as a media advisor to Bashar al-Assad.

However, al-Shibl’s resignation from al-Jazeera amidst mysterious circumstances after seven years of service raised doubts about her, especially after she became a fierce defender of the Syrian regime, accusing al-Jazeera of “breach of journalistic trust.”

The media focused on the name of Luna al-Shibl, the pro-regime journalist, in 2017, after the news spread that Asma al-Assad, the wife of the head of the Syrian regime, expelled her from the presidential palace.

Al-Shibl led the official Syrian delegation participating in the “Geneva 2” conference, in 2014, which brought the Syrian opposition together with the regime. During the conference, she confirmed that there are no “moderate fighters” in Syria.

Al-Shibl declared after the conference, “Do not worry, the president is staying, and he will run for a second term. No one can change this reality, including the United States. We will remain in the conference until others get bored and leave to where they came from.”

New chairperson of the NUSS

Darine Suleiman (40 years old) assumed the presidency of the NUSS on 29 July, and she was a member of the “Constitutional Committee for National Dialogue” in Switzerland in 2019, in addition to her participation in the “National Dialogue Conference” in Russia, in 2018. 

Suleiman, who holds a master’s degree in public relations from the faculty of media at the University of “Damascus,” was the head of the Office of Private Education and Informatics and a member of the Executive Office of the NUSS between 2010 and 2020. She was also a member of the NUSS leadership of the Damascus Institutes’ branch between 2001 and 2010.


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