Syrian Astronaut, General Mohammad Ahmed Faris, Dies at Gaziantep Hospital

Astronaut Muhammed Faris passed away, (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

General Mohammad Ahmed Faris, renowned for his historic space journey and later alignment with the Syrian revolution, passed away yesterday evening in Gaziantep, Turkey, after a prolonged battle with illness.

Syrians across social media platforms mourned the loss of General Mohammad Faris, commemorating his notable accomplishments and principled stands. Shared widely were numerous images capturing moments with the esteemed general throughout the years.

Born in Aleppo in 1951, General Faris etched his name in history as the first Syrian astronaut and the second Arab to venture into space. His participation in the Soviet space program aboard the “Soyuz M3” spacecraft to the Mir space station in July 1987 marked a significant milestone.

In the wake of the 2011 uprising against the Syrian regime, General Faris chose to align himself with the revolution, defecting from the regime forces. He sought refuge in Turkey, where he remained until his passing.

Acknowledged by The Guardian as the “Armstrong of the Arabs,” General Mohammad Faris earned recognition as the inaugural Syrian to journey into space.

In poignant interviews preceding his demise, the late general conveyed his longing to return to Syria, envisioning a future where his children could play without the shadow of conflict looming over them.

Notably, General Faris endured persistent harassment from the Syrian regime throughout the reigns of both Hafez and Bashar al-Assad, enduring periods of confinement within his own home.


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