- 2018, Wien, Österreich, Damaskus, Syrien
Fine Arts, Cultural History, Raumfahrt, Technical History, Syrien, Muhammed Faris, Soyuz TM-3, Soyuz TM-2, Soyuz programme, Soviet human spaceflight, Sowjetunion
Hafiz al-Assad, Syria’s dictator from 1971 to 2000 and father of Bashar al-Assad, must wait – in stark contrast to his habitual gesture of domination, evoked by making others wait for him. He is forced to maintain a stiff pose in the TV studio for several minutes, waiting for the appearance of the true star of the upcoming live broadcast, Syrian cosmonaut Muhammed Faris. The summer of 1987 provided the Syrian nation with a memorable collective television-viewing experience: Faris reported to Assad about his stay on the Soviet space station Mir. To this day, viewers remember the Faris broadcast with pride. The sight of the waiting dictator remained hidden from them, however, at the time.