Category Archives: Tharwa News

“Bashar Al-Assad is a refined cannibal like Hannibal Lecter”

SOFIA LORENA IN GAZIANTEP | 03/11/2013 – 00:00

Below is a rough English translation made using Google. The Portuguese original can be found here: http://www.publico.pt/j1752052

Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian dissident living far away from Damascus since 2005. He says that no one anticipated how violent a response the Assad regime will employ against his opponents, and explains that “the first mistake was thinking that Bashar would not be allowed to go this far.” Continue reading

The “Founding Father” is broken, but still has everything to give Syria

SOFIA LORENA | 03/11/2013 – 00:00

Below is a rough English translation made using Google. The Portuguese original can be found here: http://www.publico.pt/j1752051

He is 47 years old and tired. No. He is broken. But he will endure. Ammar Abdulhamid is a leading Syrian dissident, a fact that means less now than when he became one of the most important Syrian dissidents. Now there are many dissenters, and though many of them will die or give up as this period of accelerated self-destruction continues, there will always be enough at the end of the road to start again. This was not the case back in 2001. Continue reading

Syria’s Delicate Transition: An Interview with Ammar Abdulhamid

On November 19, 2012, Sharnoff’s Global Views interviewed Ammar Abdulhamid. Ammar is a Syrian dissident and founder of the Tharwa Foundation. He is currently a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

SGV: On your Website, the Syrian Revolutionary Digest, you are described as “a liberal Syrian pro-democracy activist.” How do you define liberal with respect to freedom, democracy, human rights, minority rights and women’s rights?

AA: I believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international conventions on human rights, such as the Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Inspired by my liberal values I started my “career” as an activist by launching the Tharwa Project in Syria as an initiative meant to facilitate the processes of democratization in the country and the wider region by addressing the issue of minority rights and improving inter-communal relations in the country.

My liberalism also includes a belief in the free market system, albeit my faith is balanced by an equal commitment to union rights and universal healthcare among other checks on the system.  Continue reading

How the Rushdie affair has inspired some fine Arab writing

A mention in the Daily Telegraph:

As it happens, it was the Rushdie affair that inspired the book in the first place. The essay writing contest was the idea of the Ammar Abdulhamid, a US-educated Syrian who became disillusioned with radical Islam after the fatwa issued against Rushdie by Iran. He pointed out to the American Islamic Congress that while the Muslim world had vast, well-organised networks of people pushing extremist visions, nobody was doing the same thing for liberal ideas. “What we need is an essay contest on liberty with significant cash prizes,” he said.