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

Ammar Introduces President Bush!

On May 15, and as part of the program for launching the Freedom Collection in Washington, D.C., I was invited by the director of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, to introduce President Bush by way of highlighting the tragedy currently unfolding in Syria. This was my introduction:

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Launching the Freedom Collection

On March 28, 2012, I was invited to Dallas, Texas, again to take part in the official launching of the Freedom Collection, an “effort to document the struggle for human freedom and democracy around the world, which presents “a central feature of the Human Freedom initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.” During the event, I, alongside a number of colleagues from around the world, were given a special recognition by Mr. an Mrs. Bush for our efforts to highlight the cause of our people, and were told that we will be among the first to be interviewed for the Freedom Collection.  Continue reading

Participating in the Bush Institute conference on human freedom

On May 26, 2011, I took part in one of the panels of the Bush Institute Conference on Human Freedom, alongside many distinguished colleagues from around the world. The conference gave me the chance to meet with President Bush for the first time since his departure from the White House.

The second panel, “The Future of Freedom on the Middle East,” moderated by Bush Institute executive director Jim Glassman, featured stories from the frontlines told by Ammar Abdulhamid, Founder and Director, Tharwa Foundation; Khadija Arfaoui, Retired Professor, American Studies, Women’s Studies, English and Human Rights Activist, Environmental, Human Rights and Women’s Rights Issues; Esraa Abdel Fattah, Projects Manager, Egyptian Democratic Academy; Ahmed Salah, Veteran Egyptian Activist, Director, New Future House Center Coordinator, The Coalition of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; Bassem Samir, Executive Director, Egyptian Democratic Academy; and Mouheb Ayari, President, I Watch Organization.

Activists honored by President George W. Bush

On July 24, I was invited to attend President George W. Bush speech on his Freedom Agenda, an event hosted by USAID. Prior to the speech, and alongside a number of colleagues from Belarus, Cuba, Burma, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe, we had a brief encounter with the President. One the most memorable aspect of the meeting was when the President whispered in my ear that he was sorry for not doing enough about Syria. Continue reading

Defending America’s “Freedom Agenda”

Project Syndicate 

Former Syrian MP and political prisoner Mamoun al-Homsi, Kurdish activist Djengizkhan Hasso of the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Kurdistan, and I recently met with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office. National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, National Security Adviser to the Vice President John Hannah, and several other officials also attended the hour-long meeting.

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