In Syria, Building a Civil Society Book by Book

The Chronicle of Higher Education
BYLINE: KATHERINE ZOEPF 

Damascus, Syria 

Leave it to others to devise grand programs for bringing democracy to the Middle East: Ammar Abdulhamid wants to lay the intellectual foundations of citizenship one book at a time.

Two years ago, with a small group of Syrian writers and academics here, Mr. Abdulhamid, a 38-year-old American-educated historian and novelist, founded DarEmar, a nonprofit publishing house dedicated to making canonical works of Western philosophy, social science, and literature available in Arabic. His goal, he says, is to print books that will foster “debate on a broad range of issues pertaining to civil society and democratization.”  Continue reading