The Pristina-Damascus Connection

Cited by Seyward Darby, Transitions Online

PRISTINA | A few weeks ago, three Syrian opposition activists arrived in this small Balkan capital for a short visit. The trio stayed in a hotel downtown – “nothing fancy,” according to one of the activists – and met with various local dignitaries, including Kosovo’s foreign minister, advisers to the president, and the mayor of Pristina. Continue reading

Syrian forces beat up political cartoonist Ali Ferzat

Quoted in the Guardian

“At this stage, fame may be more of a danger than a protection because the regime does not want any prominent figure to come to the fore and provide a public face for the revolution,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a US-based dissident and son of Syrian actor Mona Wasif.

Their Audacity to Hope

Brave individuals who challenge the status quo in authoritarian societies—and expect our support

Mention in the Wall Street Journal

Mr. Muravchik might have said more about why Western states should support liberals, in all their vulnerability. Take the Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid. Audacious and articulate, Mr. Abdulhamid abandoned a life of privilege in Syria (he is the son of a famous actress) and chose exile in the U.S. so that he could give full force to his criticism of the Assad regime. Yet like many of those described by Mr. Muravchik, he has committed himself to a liberal ideal, and sacrificed a great deal, in return for very little so far. When Western governments revert to so-called reasons of state — where “realism” and supposed self-interest often triumphs — Middle Eastern liberals become a vanguard easily discarded.

Tharwa Founder Testifies Before Congressional Human Rights Caucus

September 2008

On September 24, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus hosted an event entitled “Syrian Human Rights Policies in Syria and Toward Lebanese”. The event, moderated by Congressional Human Rights Caucus Executive Director Hans Hogrefe, featured testimony from Ali Abou Dehn, a Lebanese political detainee, Kamal El Batal, the Director of Human Rights for the World Council of the Cedars Revolution and Ammar Abdulhamid, Executive Director of the Tharwa Foundation. Continue reading

The Heretical Advocate!

In this post, I will respond to some points raised by Alex here. In my next post, I promise to deal with some issues raised by Golaniyah.

Alex, I think the misunderstandings between us are the result in part from:

  • you, projecting your own attitudes and/or fears onto me,
  • me, because I treated this blog as mixture of a personal space where I sometimes mouth off and vent my own frustration (and when people do that, as you know, they end up, no matter how momentarily, being snobbish and arrogant, – perhaps this what made you think that I am trying to “lead them out”), and at times, I analyze, opinionate and advocate with regard to the Syrian situation, and because this is a personal issue for me, after all, I am a Syrian, anger gets mixed with tactics, and with attempts at objective analysis. Continue reading

No Worries, I Live!

My period of prolonged silence will have to continue for a few more weeks I am afraid. But, just to appease those who think I bowed out, let me say that I absolutely did not. Indeed, we at Tharwa are now dealing with another round of interrogations, intimidation and arrest, but so do all internet activists in the country at this stage in pursuance of some new and clear-cut directives from Syrian authorities. But we have no intention of leaving the scene. Continue reading