Bashar al-Assad attending an economic lecture in Damascus before becoming president in 2000

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Image Source: Syrianhistory.com Archive

Seated in the front row (from left to right): President of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce Rateb al-Shallah, Bashar al-Assad, Hassan Risheh (the future ambassador to Moscow), Economy Minister Mohammad al-Imadi, Director of the Assad Library Ghassan al-Lahham.