Text of speech introducing President Bush at Freedom Collection launch in D.C.

Good morning. My name is Ammar Abdulhamid. I am a Syrian dissident. In September 2005, I was forced to leave my country for criticizing President Bashar Al-Assad.

In exile I have lived in Washington with my loving family: my wife, Khawla, our daughter, Oula, and our son, Mouhanad. Together, with help from our friends here and in Syria, and with funding from the Middle East Partnership Initiative, a program established by President George W. Bush, we launched a foundation dedicated to supporting pro-democracy activists in Syria and across the Middle East. Continue reading

Syrian Expats Lend Support to Protests From Abroad

Quoted by Jeff Swicord, VOA

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

Syria’s opposition meeting was a PR exercise

Quoted in the Guardian

There are protests taking place throughout Syria almost daily, while the city of Hama is reported to be de facto without so much as a traffic policeman. As the Syrian dissident in exile, Ammar Abdulhamid, said, the Syrian revolution is not stillborn – it is a healthy baby that may form the “foundation of a future Syria”.

Protests Will Only Grow, Democracy Activist Predicts

Quoted by NPR

Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian living in exile in the United States who writes about the democracy movement there and has become an informal spokesman for those who oppose the Assad regime, told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel today that the Syrian president and those in his regime must step down because today’s crackdown and killings show that they are not serious about any of the concessions they have offered in recent days.

And Abdulhamid predicted that the protests will only continue to grow as more Syrians turn against the regime because of its violent response to the protesters’ demands. Continue reading

Ammar Abdulhamid and Joshua Landis in a debate on Bloggingheads.tv

Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma, Syria Comment) and Ammar Abdulhamid (Tharwa Foundation,Syrian Revolution Digest) speak about:

Syria is not ready for an uprising

The groundwork for Egypt and Tunisia’s days of rage took years. In isolated Syria, there is much grassroots work to be done.

guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 February 2011 11.00 GMT.

A “day of rage” called for by Syrian opposition members living abroad and scheduled for last Friday and Saturday came and went: the only mass presence detected on the streets of major cities in Syria was that of security forces. Continue reading