Muhammed Faris

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Muhammed Faris
Muhammed Ahmed Faris.jpg
Interkosmos Research Cosmonaut
Nationality Syrian
Status Retired
Born (1951-05-26) 26 May 1951 (age 65)
Aleppo, Syria
Other names
Muhammed Ahmed Faris
Other occupation
Pilot
Rank General, Syrian Air Force[1]
Time in space
7d 23h 04min
Selection 1985 Intercosmos Group
Missions Mir EP-1 (Soyuz TM-3 / Soyuz TM-2)
Mission insignia
Soyuz TM-3 mission patch.svg
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin

Muhammed Ahmed Faris (Arabic: محمد أحمد فارس‎‎; born 26 May 1951) is a Syrian military aviator. He was the first Syrian and the second Arab in space.

Born in Aleppo, Syria, he was a pilot in the Syrian Air Force with the rank of a colonel. He specialized in navigation when he was selected to participate in the Intercosmos spaceflight program on 30 September 1985.

He flew as Research Cosmonaut in the Interkosmos program on Soyuz TM-3 to the Mir space station in July 1987, spending 7 days 23 hours and 5 minutes in space. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-2.

Muhammed Faris was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 30 July 1987. He was also awarded the Order of Lenin.[2]

After his spaceflight, he returned to the Syrian Air Force and lived in Aleppo. He is married and has three children.

On 4 August 2012, during the Syrian civil war, he defected from Assad's government and joined the armed opposition.[3][4]

On 13 September 2012, made an exclusive interview with Al Aan TV and covered many topics regarding the Syrian civil war.[5]

He is also part of the Syrian National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, an anti-violence, anti-Assad grouping [6]

In a March 2016 interview as a Syrian refugee in Turkey, Faris stated regarding the ongoing Syrian Civil War "I tell Europe if you don't want refugees, then you should help us get rid of this regime," adding "I am very sorry about the Russian interference, which has stood on the side of dictator Bashar Assad, and has begun to kill the Syrian people with their planes".[7]

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