Category Archives: Activism & Advocacy

Initiative to End the Civil War in Syria - An amended version

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This new and amended version of the Tharwa Initiative to End the Civil War in Syria reflects feedback from a large number of activists and opposition members  from inside and outside the country that Tharwa received since the launch of the preliminary version on June 30, 2015. The next phase seeks to publicize the Initiative on the international level.  (Arabic Version)

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The Jüdische Kulturbund Project”: A profile of and an interview with Ammar Abdulhamid

Ammar Abdulhamid Writer and Multimedia Artist living in the United States. Photo taken in Damascus, Winter, 2005.
Ammar Abdulhamid Writer and Multimedia Artist living in the United States. Photo taken in Damascus, Winter, 2005.

Ammar was born in Damascus, Syria in 1966.  When he was 17, Ammar studied English for three months in the United Kingdom.  At 18, he spent a year at Moscow University before moving to Wisconsin in 1986.  Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, California, then, returned to Wisconsin in 1990 to study history.  He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point in 1992.

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The Side of Freedom

FC-SnapshotSource: The Side of Freedom | The George W. Bush Institute

Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian democracy activist who exchanged radical Islamism for the Federalist Papers after studying in the United States, is featured in the Freedom Collection and recently shared his story with educators from across North Texas. "I don't know how many people can say the Federalist Papers actually inspired them to quit their fanatical sort of outlook on life," he says, "but to me ... that was really empowering."… Like Natan Sharansky a generation ago, the stories of men and women like Phyoe Phyoe, Joseph, Ammar, and Dalel keep the skeptics' view in doubt today. Even in the Middle East, where the democracy deficit is the starkest in the world and the immediate outlook is bleak, there's no doubt that the universal tug of freedom is present there as well.

Amanda Schnetzer is the director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.

Somber Jon Stewart Delivers Scathing Monologue About Charleston Shooting

Jon Stewart’s monologue tonight was an impassioned, frustrated meditation on the Charleston shooting and other recent tragedies. “I didn’t do my job today,” he said. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina.”

Source: Somber Jon Stewart Delivers Scathing Monologue About Charleston Shooting

If Americans still insist on dealing cynically and apathetically with one of the country's oldest and most infamous and painful problems, namely racism, why should we find their indifference regarding the tragic and mind-numbing developments in Syria, or any number of conflict zones around the world, surprising?

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The Ruse of Civility, Or, Ruse Awakening

“When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.” (The Atlantic, Nonviolence as Compliance)

Similarly, when calls emerge from certain quarters addressing “both sides” of a conflict and appealing for calm, even when one side has been using overwhelming violence from the get-go while the other remained committed to nonviolent tactics with few exceptions, we can all be sure that a ruse is in the work.

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