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 →
Mr. Muravchik might have said more about why Western states should support liberals, in all their vulnerability. Take the Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid. Audacious and articulate, Mr. Abdulhamid abandoned a life of privilege in Syria (he is the son of a famous actress) and chose exile in the U.S. so that he could give full force to his criticism of the Assad regime. Yet like many of those described by Mr. Muravchik, he has committed himself to a liberal ideal, and sacrificed a great deal, in return for very little so far. When Western governments revert to so-called reasons of state — where “realism” and supposed self-interest often triumphs — Middle Eastern liberals become a vanguard easily discarded.
I seem to be on my way back to the spotlight again, at least for a brief spate. I have been quiet for far too long this time, but I am gradually but surely being pulled out again from the doldrums of administrative work to the kind of activism I am more accustomed to and comfortable with. Continue reading →