By Joby Warrick, The Washington Post
Of the dozens of journalists covering the speech live from the State Department, few had a greater personal stake in President Obama’s words on the Middle East than Ammar Abdulhamid.
The 44-year-old Marylander is a Syrian exile and democratic activist who contributes to several blogs closely followed by his former countrymen in Syria, where a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters has left hundreds dead. From the minute Obama began his much-anticipated speech on Thursday, Abdulhamid’s cell phone buzzed with emails and texts from readers anxious to learn details. Continue reading
February’s ‘day of anger’ fizzled out, but protests in Deraa show Syria’s revolutionary spirit is now gathering pace.
Ammar Abdulhamid, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 22 March 2011 11.36 GMT
What a difference six weeks make. Back in early February I was asked whether Syria would be next on the growing list of countries to witness a popular revolution. My answer, which came in the form of an article published on Comment is free, was, in essence, “not yet”. Continue reading
Quoted in Deutsche-Welle:
The ramifications outside of Egypt are troubling as activists and journalists struggled to understand the situation there, as Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian dissident and human rights activist in the United States, told Deutsche Welle.
“The Internet, and the Tunisian precedent made the world take notice of events in Egypt from day one, whereas it took months for them to notice the importance of developments in Tunisia, but even there, the Internet played a crucial factor,” he said. Continue reading
Senator Brownback promises a hold on nominations until State Department acts on appropriations
Washington, D.C. — Surrounded by front-line activists from Iran, China, Cuba, Syria, Tibet, and the Uyghur Region of East Turkestan, Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) promised to put State Department nominations on hold until the Department follows Secretary Clinton’s January 21st Internet freedom speech with decisive action. “Those who have gathered here agree on one incredible fact: That we have it within our power to tear down the firewalls of oppression, right now, by supporting technology that shatters the censorship apparatus of regimes worldwide,” Senator Brownback said at a March 18 press conference in the Capitol Visitors Center. Continue reading