On May 15, and as part of the program for launching the Freedom Collection in Washington, D.C., I was invited by the director of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, to introduce President Bush by way of highlighting the tragedy currently unfolding in Syria. This was my introduction:
Official Freedom Collection Page
Interviews were conducted in July 2011, but the site came online only in March 2012.
Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian human rights activist who in 2003 founded the Tharwa Foundation, a grassroots organization that enlists local activists and citizen journalists to document conditions in Syria. In response to his activities, the Syrian government subjected Abdulhamid to repeat interrogation and threats. In September 2005, he and his family were forced into exile in the United States. From his home in Maryland, Abdulhamid remains one of the leading bloggers and commentators on events in Syria through the Syrian Revolution Digest. Continue reading
For many Syrian dissidents scattered around the world, the anti-government backlash in Syria is bittersweet. They support political change at home, but they are horrified by the government’s brutal crackdown.
From the basement office of his home in the U.S., Ammar Abdulhamid does his part to support what he calls the Syrian revolution. Like many Syrian expatriates, Abdulhamid keeps in regular contact with people inside the country, following events and forwarding what he learns through his blog: Syrian Revolution Digest. Continue reading
Every night, as most of her neighbors in Silver Spring are going to bed, Khawla Yusuf opens her laptop and plunges into a revolution.
Using Skype or Facebook, she connects with Syrians who have been trying for 10 months to change their government. She watches footage, recorded on shaky cellphones, of protests in distant towns and listens to her countrymen describe the surreal daily life of a nation under siege. Continue reading
After weeks of demanding a strong statement by President Obama on the tragic developments in Syria, I was invited to attend his speech on U.S. policy towards the MENA region in view of the changes currently unfolding there. His references to Syria were encouraging, but were still below expectations, as he failed to call on Assad to leave. Nonetheless, one cannot expect President Obama to take such drastic step until the opposition got its act together. After which, I was interviewed at some length by The Washington Post. Continue reading
Ammar Abdulhamid has emerged as the “unofficial spokesman” and most visible face of the Syrian revolutionary movement.
One of the great weaknesses of the protest movement sweeping Syria has been the absence of any recognizable leadership. Syrians have been asking, “Shoo al-Badiil? – What is the alternative [to Bashar al-Assad]?” Today, one of the faces behind the extraordinary revolutionary movement sweeping the Middle East and driving the social media protest movement has emerged in an extended profile by Eli Lake in the Washington Times. Continue reading