U.S. Seeks a New Opposition in Syria

Quoted in TIME.com.

Indeed, many feel that Clinton’s reorganization is too little too late. “The opposition Secretary Clinton is trying to unify has become largely irrelevant, even infusing it with elements from inside may not be sufficient,” says Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian exile who is active in the opposition in Washington. “Syria’s current fragmentation necessitates working with local groups, that is, the rebels and whatever political forces are coalescing around them.”

In announcing it the way she did, Clinton also alienated one of the few friends the U.S. has amongst the Syrian opposition, the SNC, which announced it would hold its own meeting just prior to the Doha gathering as a snub to the U.S. “The SNC will fight for its survival, many opportunists will fight for inclusion, seeing a window in Clinton’s announcement,” Abdulhamid says. “It’s going to be a free for all and a freakshow in Doha. The U.S. should have worked on this quietly.”

 

Doha’s Four Seasons Hotel Tea Lounge a painful exile for Syrians in Qatar

Quoted in The National

To Ammar Abdulhamid – a prominent opposition member in the United States who is adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies – exile is the wrong place to look for Syrians around whose charisma, political ingenuity and force of intellect an opposition will somehow coalesce.

“Syria’s future leaders are in Syria,” he says. “The political process will be determined by Syrian actors, despite all the dabblers and the dabbling taking place.”

 

Syria’s civil war leaves its cities, economy and cultural heritage in shambles

Quote in The Washington Post.

“In terms of infrastructure, major parts of Syria have effectively been bombed back to Ottoman times,” said Ammar Abdul-Hamid, a Syrian activist and a Washington-based fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies…

“We have a long way ahead before we put the country back together again,” Abdul-Hamid said. “But once we do, and we will, it will be our achievement.”

Rebels With a Cause, But Not Much Consensus

Syrian opposition fighters are committed to Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, but disagree on just about everything else.

BY AMMAR ABDULHAMID | OCTOBER 1, 2012

As President Bashar al-Assad’s forces disintegrate, the Syrian civil war is devolving into a battle between Sunni rebel groups and Alawite-dominated militias fighting in support of the old regime. This may increase the rebels’ chances of victory, but it also means that the work to rebuild Syria after Assad falls will be even more challenging. Continue reading

An Interview with Turkish TV Channel

The transcript can be found at this link (Google Translations can give a good idea of the gist). The video is below. The interview was conducted during my three-weeks trip to Turkey in August but was aired only on September 18.

Ammar Abdulhamid röportajı by imctv