President Hafez al-Assad at the Azm Palace in Damascus with a group of Syrian artists in 1973

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President Hafez al-Assad at the Azm Palace in Damascus with a group of Syrian artists in 1973. Third from left is Bahjat al-Ustaz (a singer from the 1950s known by the art name Fata Dimashq), and behind him stand the singer Fahd Ballan and the actor Shaker Barikhan. Next to Ustaz is the singer Jalal Salim, then the director Samir Qasim, followed by Fawzi al-Kayyali, the Minister of Culture, President Assad, and the actress Najah Hafeez. On the ground are the dancers Ghalia Hindawi, Layla Sulayman, along with the actors Mohammad al-Tayyib (left) and Mohammad Sheikh Najib (far right).