The embassy’s clumsy, almost cartoonish, effort to intimidate its critics only serves to highlight the nature of the regime. Ammar Abdulhamid of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies had this take on the embassy’s cloddish attempt to silence dissidents: “The only element of déjà vu involved in this situation is the willingness of Syrian officials and diplomats to lie and distort facts with impunity. Embassies run by Assad officials have served for decades as centers of intimidation of exiled dissidents and their families and friends. Their increased activities in this connection at this stage comes as a cynical and desperate act to stem the tide of change. To no avail. Soon, the justice system of a free Syria will have its say in the matter, and this impunity will come to an end.”
“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.
Mention in The Guardian as relating to my mother’s political position:
Others have hedged their bets. The actor Muna Wassif, the mother of the democracy activist Ammar Abdulhamid, who runs a blog on Syria’s revolution, called in May for an end to the killing and the lifting of sieges on villages but stopped short of calling for the regime to go. In May a group of international filmmakers signed an online petition denouncing the killing of protesters for making “demands of basic rights and liberties”.
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”.
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
Ammar Abdulhamid and his family were forced to leave Syria in 2005 because of their political activity. When recent protests began, the whole family jumped in – online – to be a part of it. Mother, father and two college-aged kids are spending their nights on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Dick talks with Ammar and his daughter Oula about their involvement. Music:Statement Number One