Live Web Discussion, US and European Engagement in the Middle East

In this discussion I asked Ambassador Ryan Crocker about establishing a No-Fly-Zone in Syria in order to provide a safe haven for Syrian civilians. I believe the United States is responsible for protecting civilian lives, stopping Assad from killing his own people and creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful transition to Democracy in Syria.

Yale University, New Haven, CT Continue reading

My Interview on Min Washington Program. Aljazeera TV (Arabic)

Al-Jazeera Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

What Syrian-Americans think of President Obama’s policy towards the Syrian Revolution after two years of the uprising; and what role they want to play regarding future relations between Washington and Damascus.

Guests: Oula Abdulhamid, Mouhanad Abdulhamid, Omar Al-Muqdad, Hayvi Bouzo, Dlshad Othman, Rami Nakhla, Aya Zerikly, Sirwan Kajjo and others.

Full Episode:

Al Jazeera TV 

Bearing Witness to Syria’s Tragedies

Father Paolo Dall'Oglio and Oula Abdulhamid

Father Paolo Dall’Oglio and Oula Abdulhamid

One month ago, the Syrian government expelled Italian Jesuit priest  Paolo Dall’Oglio from the country he lived in for the past 30 years. His crime? Supporting the Syrian government’s opposition forces and speaking out against the violence of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Seven months ago, Hadeel Kouki, a student studying law and English literature at Aleppo University, fled Syria after several stints in jail. Her crime? Protesting against Assad’s dictatorship.

My question to the panelists: 

What do you believe the International Community can do in Syria? What do you think about International Intervention? What do the Christian Youth ask the International Community for now in Syria after we have seen major attacks by Assad on Damascus and Aleppo? Fast-forward to (0:43:10) to hear Father Paolo and activist Hadeel opinions on International Intervention.

More about the event at:  New America Foundation 

How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less

3:10 pm – How the Arab Spring Begat a Deadly Summer 

Oula Abdulhamid Alrifai, Syrian Youth Activist

Ahmed Al Omran, Blogger,

Andrew J. Tabler, Next Generation Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Katherine Zoepf, Moderator, Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation, Contributor, New York Times

Katherine Zoepf, a Schwartz Fellow at New America and a New York Times contributor, moderated a discussion with Syrian youth activist Oula Alrifai, Saudi blogger Ahmed Al Omran and journalist Andrew Tabler. Al Omran explained how he got into online activism about Saudi Arabia, where political discussion is against the law. Last year was a year of opposition campaigns, he said, and the Internet became a forum for the opposition in a country where people are not allowed to protest. Alrifai discussed a conference she participated in this year in Antalya, Turkey, where Syrian activists gathered to support the growing revolution. Many had to sneak out of Syria to attend the conference, she said, and many even returned to Syria afterward to continue protests. Tabler, who has written a lot about older opposition forces in Syria, talked about the rise of a younger, more tech-savvy opposition that isn’t interested in compromising with the established regime. The people are now realizing there are no positive aspects to the regime remaining in power, fueling the opposition movement. The uprisings could continue for a long time, and could become much more violent, he said, but they will not be able to last without changing dramatically to meet new social conditions.

New America Foundation 

Eye on Democracy Interview on Alhurra TV (Arabic)

My very first interview on Alhurra TV right after Syrians took the streets demanding freedom and dignity. This episode is focused on the role of the Social Media used by Syrian youth in the Syrian Revolution. Assad troops were committing massacres in the province of Daraa, Al-Omari Mosque was under siege. Hundreds of civilians were killed when the Fourth Armored Division led by Maher al-Assad entered Daraa.