Vice-President Najah al-Attar offered special greeting for President Bashar al-Assad who worked hard to upgrade education process in Syria through supporting constructive cultural projects. The remarks came during the inauguration of the 27th edition of Al-Assad Library International Book Fair 2011 which kicked off at Damascus Fairground on Thursday. Al-Attar said "Syria has always believed in the united Arab stance, the united Arab nation and the struggle to upgrade the Arab life to achieve victory and defend the rights." "Our nation will always be the strongest and Syria will always be the greatest for its pan-Arabism, stances and belief in defending the Arab Nation's rights", Al-Attar added. Al-Attar indicated that protecting the new generations requires more efforts to spread knowledge and good thinking among children and youth, stressing the important role of schools, mass media, books and culture in creating strong basis for better life. For his part, Minister of Culture Riyad Ismat said "the 27th edition of Al-Assad International Book Fair provides evidence on the continuity of the Arab cultural steadfastness in the face of conflicts and challenges." Minister Ismat added "We believe in cultural diversity and plurality basing on dialogue, amity and forgiveness which is a Syrian characteristic since ancient times. The participants stressed that the Fair constitutes an important cultural phenomenon in Syria's history, adding that knowledge and culture are the only way to overcome difficult circumstances. More than 250 publication houses are participating in the to-day fair, in addition to a special pavilion assigned for books and research conducted by public and private universities in Syria under the auspices of Ministry of Higher Education.