The Syrian Revolution is the first major popular revolution of the 21st Century. Like most popular revolutions, the erstwhile ideals of its early leaders, a group of secular nonviolence activists, were soon set aside as the violent crackdown unleashed by the Assad regime, with the support of its regional and international backers, most notably Iran and Russia, produced a similar violent backlash among its opponents. Consequently, the country was plunged into a civil war in which various regional and international players cultivated their proxies along sectarian and ideological lines. The indifference of the international community and the unwillingness of major powers to push for a quick political solution, or to at least back moderate rebels at a time when they formed the majority of rebel fighters, have called into question the very legal and intellectual foundations of the new global order that seemed to be emerging following the end of the Cold War and the formulation of such legal doctrine as the Responsibility to Protect. The Syrian Civil War has so far claimed close to 250,000 deaths by conservative estimates, dislocated more than half the country’s population of 23 million, with an estimated 5 million becoming refugees in neighboring countries and the European Union, and destroyed the majority of the country’s infrastructure. The result is the worst humanitarian disaster of the 21st Century, so far.
Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid’s Freedom Collection interview provides a compelling look inside his troubled homeland. We were very fortunate to interview him for a second time and learn about more recent developments in his country. We are now pleased to post a recently recorded second set of interviews with Ammar, to hear his perspectives on Syria’s bloody civil war, steps that must be taken to end the violence, and building a sustainable democracy.
Ammar is a Syrian human rights activist who founded the Tharwa Foundation in 2003, a grassroots organization that enlists local activists and citizen journalists to document conditions in Syria. In response to his activities, the Syrian government subjected Ammar to repeat interrogation and threats. He now lives in exile with his family, but remains one of the leading bloggers on events in Syria.
Watch Ammar’s updated interview here.
© 2013, Ammar Abdulhamid. All rights reserved.