After Assad: What’s Next for the Future of Syria?

Quoted in the Time:

If Syria is allowed to fracture, each ethnic group hunkering down, says Ammar Abdulhamid, an exiled Syria opposition leader in Washington, “it won’t be easy to put humpty dumpty back together again. It would take decades of instability and violence to sort itself out. And that is what we’re most worried about.”

Syria is not ready for an uprising

The groundwork for Egypt and Tunisia’s days of rage took years. In isolated Syria, there is much grassroots work to be done.

guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 February 2011 11.00 GMT.

A “day of rage” called for by Syrian opposition members living abroad and scheduled for last Friday and Saturday came and went: the only mass presence detected on the streets of major cities in Syria was that of security forces. Continue reading

On Assad’s Visit to Spain: Pissing in the Wind

Global media fail to accurately report on Bashar al-Assad’s anti-peace statements that he made in Madrid, where he said:

1)    “signing peace agreement does not mean actual peace, but more like a permanent ceasefire.”

2)    “Should there be peace with Israel, an Israeli Embassy will open in Damascus, but it will be besieged and no one will dare enter.”

3)    “Should there be peace with Israel, no tourists will come nor businessmen.”

4)    “There will be no popular sympathy for any peace achieved with Israel.” Continue reading

Simple Facebook question raises problems around the world

Quoted in CNN

Facebook recently changed its listing for the Golan Heights — which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 — so users there could choose to say whether they live in Israel or Syria.

It was responding to pressure from a pro-Israel group called HonestReporting — and from Facebook users who set up a group on the site itself called “Facebook, Golan Residents Live in Israel, not Syria.” Continue reading

THE STATE OF SYRIA UNDER THE ASSADS & PROSPECTS FOR CHANGE

On April 24, 2008, I became the first Syrian citizen to deliver a testimony in the U.S. Congress. My co-panelists included my colleagues from the Brookings Institution: Martin Indyk and Peter Rodman. In the testimony I try to set the record straight on the deteriorating internal situation in Syria focusing on Assad’s weakening grip and signs of growing popular discontent. The text of the testimony can be found below, and also on the House Foreign Affairs Committee website. Continue reading