Syrian Students’ Union president in Russia kisses Putin’s ring


November 27, 2013

KISSING THE RING: Nawaf Ibrahim, the forty-something leader of the Syrian Students Union in Russia kissed the ring of Russian President Vladimir Putin as he visited Moscow’s People’s Friendship University on Tuesday. The Russian president, visibly surprised in the awkward moment, removed his hands and hugged Ibrahim.

The video went viral on Syrian diaspora websites, where users spoofed Ibrahim’s kow-towing to the world leader most associated with Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

“After this, Nawwaf Ibrahimi has fallen in my estimation and is in the eyes of many, a degenerate man who does not truly represent Syrians in Russia or elsewhere. He has a dishonorable attitude, very humiliating. Shame upon him,” wrote a commenter on the video.

Ibrahim was raised and studied in Latakia, where he graduated as a mechanical engineer from Tishreen University. He has worked for government-mouthpiece “Voice of Russia,” defending al-Assad and describing efforts to quash the uprising as a “campaign against terrorism.”

A bevy of Syrian officials have been in and out of Moscow over the past month, with Russian officials playing a key role in paving the way for the Geneva II conference, currently scheduled for January 22nd.

Video courtesy of Aiham Jabr.

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