Syria in Transition

On April 25, a day after my congressional testimony before the Near East and South Asia Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Tharwa Foundation took part in organizing another Hill event, this time focusing on Damascus Declaration and its potential role in leading the transition to democratic rule in Syria. In addition to speeches by representatives of the Damascus Declaration abroad and yours truly, a host of American officials and experts also took part in the event, among them: Ambassador Theodor Kattouf, and Congressional adviser Alan Makovsky. Below are some photos from the event. Continue reading

THE STATE OF SYRIA UNDER THE ASSADS & PROSPECTS FOR CHANGE

On April 24, 2008, I became the first Syrian citizen to deliver a testimony in the U.S. Congress. My co-panelists included my colleagues from the Brookings Institution: Martin Indyk and Peter Rodman. In the testimony I try to set the record straight on the deteriorating internal situation in Syria focusing on Assad’s weakening grip and signs of growing popular discontent. The text of the testimony can be found below, and also on the House Foreign Affairs Committee website. Continue reading

Neither Sleet Nor Snow

New York City greeted our planned Sit-In calling for the release of prisoners of conscience in Syria and which took place in front of UN headquarters with severe cold and much snow. But that did not deter us. Khawla, Mouhanad and I spent the whole day, but then we had to get back to Washington. Others braved it for 2-days.

I can be recognized by my ponytail

Khawla and Mouhanad

Blogging while we work

A brief interview (Arabic only)

A Good Rally!

2652007_25Well, it was not exactly a revolution but we did it. We rallied in front of the Syrian Embassy on Saturday and we did manage to make some noise. We were about 50 people in all at one time, but some counts around 75 people did show in the three hours period that we spent. The crowed was pretty diverse, and represented Syrians from various backgrounds, ethnic and political. There were also some American and Arab participants who wanted to show their support of our cause. For this, they have our lasting gratitude. Some photos of the event can be found on the Syrian Elector blog, but the picture above shows the heretical family in action: my daughter, Oula (21), holding the sign on the far left, my wife Khawla holding the sign on the right, I am holding, but not hording I swear, the loudspeaker, and my son, Mouhanad (17), holding the sign on the far right. Continue reading

Updates

Preparations for the Freedom Rally are proceeding as they should. We wouldn’t know, however, how many people will turn out right until the final moment. The rally will take place on Saturday May 26th, 12-2 pm in front of the Syrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and to be specific, right on 2215 Wyoming Ave., N.W.  There will be some media coverage involved as well. Hopefully, it will be worse it, if not, well, at least we have tired to do something. Continue reading