Ammar Abdulhamid on Syria’s uprising

Rights activist says the international response to violence in Syria is merely “symbolic” and “rife with hypocrisy”: an interview on Al-Jazeera online:

Rights groups have estimated that at least 1,600 people have died since the start of the uprising in Syria in March, but that number might increase considerably by the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Since Sunday alone, at least 150 people have been killed in Deir ez-Zor, Hama and Al-Buka-mal – a bloody progression from battles and sieges in other cities and towns such as DeraaHomsLatakia and Jirs al-Shughur. But how long can the protests – and the severe crackdowns on them – continue? Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian human rights activist and founder of the non-profit Tharwa Foundation (which promotes democracy and development in in Syria as well as the broader region). He told the foreign affairs committee of the US House of Representatives in the spring of 2008 that, “Change in Syria is not a matter of ‘if’ anymore, but of ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘who’.”  Three years later, he still feels the same, and the questions seem closer to being answered by the nation of Syria itself. Abdulhamid tells Al Jazeera what he thinks of the of the international response to the unrest and how he sees the government and protesters arriving at their end games. Continue reading

Syrian businessmen back opposition conference

Quoted in the Guardian

The Sanqar brothers declined to comment on their role at the conference, but Ammar Abdulhamid, the exiled Syrian dissident and head of the Washington-based Tharwa Foundation, said the inclusion of business personalities was “a significant development”.

“We have a number of other businessmen and entrepreneurs here. The business community is slowly coming around to realising the need to support the future of Syria,” he said.

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

The Making of Armageddon!

The Jordanian authorities are still moving adamantly with their case against Hamas and the Syrian regime. The recent televised confessions of a Hamas suspect may seem like a page out of an old and worn out book, but it does betray a serious commitment to taking this matter to its logical conclusion: a confrontation with the Assad regime. When the Jordanian monarch warned against the rise of the Shia crescent, he was not mincing words or sound-bites. Rather, he was speaking as a true believer in the ultimate necessity of seeing this unholy crescent collapse and fall apart. He is a Hashemite after all. Continue reading

Peachy Heresies!

Is the Syrian regime finally off the hook? Does the international community, headed by France and the US, seem to be backing down at this stage allowing Bashar & Co. to continue to rule Syria for a little while longer for fear of creating another failed state in the region at such inopportune times? If this is so, does this mean that Bashar’s strategy of wagging the Islamists worked, especially with the indirect aid of the Amman terrorist attacks? Moreover, is Syria planning to crackdown against PKK outposts in the northeastern parts of the country to curry favor with Turkey? 

Continue reading