Dr Rida Said was one of the founders of modern Syria. The story of his life, narrated in this book and translated into English for the first time, will help to shed new light on the dilemmas and challenges of bygone and contemporary Syria. Born in Damascus in 1876, Said trained as a medical doctor in Istanbul and Paris. He served as a field doctor with the Ottoman army in the Balkan Wars, but became disillusioned about the Ottoman Empire. Like other Syrians, he was aware of an aggressive Turkish nationalism that alienated Arabs. After his medical work in Damascus during the First World War, and following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Said became a pioneering educationalist in Syria under the French Mandate. He was the first head of Damascus University, and then Minister of Education. He died in 1945, a few months before Syria finally achieved independence (1946). Rida Said: A Man of Many Talents tells the story of this remarkable man who helped to shape many aspects of modern Syria and lived through the Ottoman and French occupations, staying true to his commitment to the education of Arab people.