The day I met Syria’s Mr Big

One of the most feared men in Syria before his assassination, Assef Shawkat told me minority rights were a CIA invention.

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 July 2012 07.58 EDT

“The country is not ready for revolutions and civil disobedience,” he told me.

“That’s your opinion,” I replied.

“We won’t imprison you and let your friends in America turn you into a hero.” Continue reading

Ammar Videos on the Freedom Collection Page!

Official Freedom Collection Page
Interviews were conducted in July 2011, but the site came online only in March 2012. 

Introduction

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 DigestContinue 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

Syrian Americans anxiously monitor uprising

By Tara Bahrampour, Published: January 8, 2012, The Washington Post

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

Their Audacity to Hope

Brave individuals who challenge the status quo in authoritarian societies—and expect our support

Mention in the Wall Street Journal

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.