Analysts: Romney knowledgeable, less hawkish at presidential debate

Quoted in the Washington Times

On Syria, close observers felt neither candidate presented a serious plan toward resolving the bloody civil war that threatens to destabilize the entire Middle East.

“In Obama’s case, this is quite disheartening because he’s been following the situation and been involved in it from the beginning,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “It’s as if he’s putting together a eulogy rather than a policy.”

While Mr. Abdulhamid credited Mr. Romney with doing “some good posturing” on Syria policy, he added that it was “not clear if Romney is going to bring a coherent policy other than saying we’ll throw some weapons at the problem and hopefully it will solve itself.”

As Romney, Obama debate foreign policy, few see easy answers in Middle East

Quoted in KansasCity.com

The lack of a commitment to military intervention – such as a no-fly zone or airstrikes, but not foreign boots on Syrian soil – is maddening to pro-intervention Syrian opposition figures such as Ammar Abdulhamid, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington research center.

While Abdulhamid said the Obama administration’s involvement in the Arab protests was “overall a positive one,” Syria is “a nightmare scenario” that was facilitated by government officials’ “lack of resolve, leadership and vision.” Syria, he and other activists say, could end up as a stain on the administration’s otherwise sensible response to the Arab uprisings.

“If they make it through this coming election, I just hope they have plans to give this tragedy the time and resources it requires to be brought to resolution in a manner commensurate with the aspirations of the pro-democracy activists who started this whole thing and were, in effect, betrayed,” Abdulhamid said.

Doha’s Four Seasons Hotel Tea Lounge a painful exile for Syrians in Qatar

Quoted in The National

To Ammar Abdulhamid – a prominent opposition member in the United States who is adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies – exile is the wrong place to look for Syrians around whose charisma, political ingenuity and force of intellect an opposition will somehow coalesce.

“Syria’s future leaders are in Syria,” he says. “The political process will be determined by Syrian actors, despite all the dabblers and the dabbling taking place.”

 

Red Cross, Jackson Center To Host Law Conference In November

Post-Journal

The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York and the Robert H. Jackson Center will host a humanitarian law conference on Nov. 7 at the Robert H. Jackson Center, 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown.

The conference introduce local teachers to the American Red Cross Exploring Humanitarian Law curriculum and help local educators learn the skills for teaching International Humanitarian Law in their classrooms.

The event will feature several key speakers, including a live conversation with Ammar Abdulhamid, a leading Syrian human rights and pro-democracy activist. The event will also feature two American Red Cross speakers: Winnie Romeril, an International Humanitarian Law instructor and Kathy Burch, an Exploring Humanitarian Law master educator and assistant director of the Southwestern NY Chapter.

Holding Civil Society Workshops While Syria Burns

Quoted in Foreign Policy

“In truth, we are not talking about major expenditures here,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a prominent Syrian activist and fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, cautioning that OSOS was too new to assess its effectiveness.

Syria’s civil war leaves its cities, economy and cultural heritage in shambles

Quote in The Washington Post.

“In terms of infrastructure, major parts of Syria have effectively been bombed back to Ottoman times,” said Ammar Abdul-Hamid, a Syrian activist and a Washington-based fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies…

“We have a long way ahead before we put the country back together again,” Abdul-Hamid said. “But once we do, and we will, it will be our achievement.”