Pages in category "Syrian dissidents"
The following 48 pages are in this category, out of 48 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 48 pages are in this category, out of 48 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Ammar Abdulhamid – Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian-born author, human rights activist, former radical Islamist, political dissident, co-founder and president of the Tharwa Foundation. Ammar was featured in the Arabic version of Newsweek Magazine as one of 43 people making a difference in the Arab world in May 2005, Abdulhamid was born on 30 May 1966, to Syrian actress Muna Wassef and the late Syrian filmmaker Muhammad Shahin in Damascus, Syria. By mid-1987, Ammar embraced the religion of his father, Islam and was a committed Sunni Muslim and he spent approximately eight years in the United States, studying astronomy and history. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in history and he returned to Damascus in September 1994. Ammar briefly taught social studies at the Pakistan International School of Damascus then located in Mazzeh, Damascus, known to his students as Mr. He married author and human-rights activist Khawla Yusuf, adbulhamid and Yusuf fled Damascus in September 2005, after calling for the overthrow of the Assad government. They currently live in Washington, D. C. with their two children Oula and Mouhanad awaiting political asylum in the United States, Oula works at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and writes regularly. Mouhanad has recently joined the International Medical Corps team, Abdulhamid was a visiting fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution 2004-2006. Abdulhamid was a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and is member of its Syria Working Group, in April 2012, a delegation of Syrian opposition members led by Ammar, visited Pristina, Kosovo with the aim of learning guerilla tactics from the Kosovo Liberation Army. Ammar stressed that the delegation has come to Kosovo to learn, in 2014, Ammar called for the United States to arm the Syrian opposition, enforce a no-fly zone and expand U. S military action beyond Iraq. Tharwa Foundation, In 2003, they founded the Tharwa Project while still residing in Syria, after relocating to the U. S. in 2005, they founded the Tharwa Foundation as an offshoot. The foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that encourages diversity, development. I Am Syria, a media based campaign founded in 2012. This movement is dedicated to let the people of Syria know that the world is supporting them through video, pictures, and media attention
2. Osama al samman – Osama Alsamman is a Syrian civil society activist. He later moved to Egypt to pursue education, during which time the Tunisian revolution started. The first role that Osama took on as a revolutionary was that of a media activist, gradually, however, he transitioned over to the political realm. Osama’s revolutionary activities commenced after the Syrian Day of Rage, February 5,2011, in the meantime, the Syrian Revolution Coordinator’s Union, which was one of the first official revolutionary bodies, and of which FNN was a founding member, came into existence. Osama also worked as a spokesperson for the city of al-Tal. Additionally, he joined the April 17th Youth Movement for Democratic Change as a member of which he went to Egypt, Osama is the executive director of Hurriyat, which was the first newspaper of the Syrian revolution. Moreover, Osama was actively involved in various media campaigns that sought to shed light on the plight of Syrian prisoners of consciousness, the most prominent campaign he participated in was that for blogger RazanGhazzawi, which received the 2012 BOBs Award for the Best Social Activism Campaign. When Suheir Attasi, a member of SRGU, was appointed to the Syrian National Coalition the Syrian National Coalition and he also participated in the founding conference of the Syrian Democratic Union, where he was elected as a member of its secretariat. Osama is the director of Hurriyat, which was the first newspaper of the Syrian revolution. He is also on the board of directors of Bahr, a Syrian civil society group, moreover, Osama was actively involved in various media campaigns that sought to shed light on the plight of Syrian prisoners of consciousness
3. Jassem Alwan – Jassem Alwan was a prominent colonel in the Syrian Army, particularly during the period of the United Arab Republic when he served as the Commander of the Qatana Base near Damascus. Alwan, a supporter of UAR President Gamal Abdel Nasser, opposed Syrias secession from the union in 1961. It failed, and resulted in Alwans imprisonment and sentencing to death until he was released in 1964 upon the intervention of Nasser and other Arab presidents, Alwans aborted counter-coup was a significant episode leading to the deterioration of ties between the governments of Egypt and Syria. From then on, Alwan lived in Egypt where he continued his activism against the Baathist government until he returned to Syria in 2005. Alwan was born to a Sunni Muslim family of Bedouin origins in 1928 in the city of Deir ez-Zor, after studying for a period at the Homs Military Academy, Alwan joined the Syrian Army in 1946. During the presidency of Adib al-Shishakli, Alwan had been teaching at the academy, student officers who attended his class included prominent future military figures, such as President Hafez al-Assad, and generals Ali Aslan and Muhammad Nabhan, all of whom were Alawites. Throughout the 1950s, Alwan had been involved in the Arab nationalist movement spearheaded by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1961. On 28 September 1961, a coup in Syria resulted in the dissolution of the union with Egypt. Alwan had not been at his base on that day, instead participating in a mission in Damascus city. Tank units officially under his command played an important role during the coup as they headed north towards Damascus to link up with other mutineers from the Dumayr base before taking the capital. However, the Qatana units acted without Alwans knowledge, and he blamed himself for the coups success. While the unionist coup was planned for 2 April 1962, the Nasserist officers under Alwans leadership made their move on 31 March, however, no other army units joined in to back the uprising, resulting in its quick end. A divided military and a political situation prevented the government from pursuing decisive action against the coup officers. The 1 April proposal was rejected outright by Alwan who proceeded to encourage his independent, thus, on 2 April, officers Alwan, Muhammad Umran and Hamad Ubayd led the insurrection in Homs and Aleppo, while Luay al-Atassi led the revolt in Deir ez-Zor. The flag of the UAR was raised over the Citadel of Aleppo, although, the Baath Party was dissolved by Nasser during the UAR period and its leadership had initially supported Syrias secession, Baathist officers openly supported reunification efforts. As a consequence of the Baathist pull-out, Alwans uprising failed once more, on 17 April a unity agreement between Egypt, Iraq and Syria was signed, stipulating a federal system with Nasser as president. Weeks later, dozens of Nasserist officers were purged by the Baathists, and his forces launched daytime assaults on the Army General Headquarters and the broadcast station in Damascus. The Baathist Interior Minister Amin al-Hafiz personally defended the army headquarters, eventually pro-Baathist units and the partys National Guard quelled the rebellion
4. Tarafa Baghajati – Tarafa Baghajati is a human rights activist and writer. He is also the chairman of the Austrian Muslim Initiative and he has lived in Vienna, Austria since 1986. Tarafa Baghajati was born in Damascus, Syria, to parents Adnan Baghajati, an author and former Syrian Education minister, and Amal Homsi, in 1984 the Syrian government detained Baghajati for more than eight months. He spent three of them in Tadmor Prison due to his political views, Baghajati is a former board member and member of the Honorary Advisory Board of European Network Against Racism He is also a board member of the Platform for Intercultural Europe. Baghajati is one of the founders and a member of European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion. Tarafa Baghajati has always stated his opposition and rejection of the practice of female mutilation, in Africa and Europe. On March 2009, Rüdiger Nehberg and Tarafa Baghajati met Sheikh Prof. Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Qatar, one of the best known Islamic contemporary authority scholars. They obtained a fatwa issued by the legal scholars, stating the genital mutilation of girls is referred to. Speaking at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology,6 February 2011 Baghajati ventured to predict to celebrate the end of practice as early as 2020. On February 2011, Rüdiger Nehberg and Tarafa Baghajati met Sheikh Prof. Dr Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti, on September 2012, Rüdiger Nehberg and Tarafa Baghajati met Sudanese Sheikh Hassan al-Turabi and obtained a similar statement opposing female genital mutilation. After Tarafa had accused them of hate speech and denigrating religious teachings, since the Syrian Conflict started on 2011, Baghajati publishes articles concerning the situation in Syria, mostly in Al-Hayat, and in Al-Quds Al-Arabi. Tarafa Baghajati is against the government of Bashar al-Assad and support a pluralistic and democratic view of Syria and he warns in his In his articles from the confessional tension in Syria and in the Islamic countries, especially between Sunna and Shiia. Tarafa Baghajati is against sending European fighters to Syria also, on May 6,2014 Baghajati had a conference, stated his strong opinion against sending European fighters to Syria. Baghajati graduated as engineer from Polytechnic University of Timișoara in 1986 The Muslim Austrian Initiative won democracy award by Margaretha Lupac Stiftung in 2008. On February 2016 Tarafa received the Golden Medal of the Province of Vienna at the event 10 years of Muslim commitment against Female genital mutation and he has been married to Carla Amina Baghajati since 1990 and has four children. Tarafa Baghajati on Twitter Tarafa Baghajati youtube channel Tarafa Baghajati on Facebook
5. Razan Ghazzawi – Razan Ghazzawi is a Syrian-American blogger, campaigner and activist. She was called iconic blogger and leading activist by The Telegraph, jillian York wrote that Ghazzawi was one of heroes. Ghazzawi received a diploma in English literature from Damascus University in 2003 and she obtained a masters degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Balamand in 2011. She started her career as a Translator and News Compiler for the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and she then worked in the Call Center of MTN Syria, but resigned because she discovered the company was corrupt. After this, she became the Media Officer in the Syrian Center for Media and she was arrested by Syrian authorities on 30 November 2011 while on her way to attend a conference on press freedom in Jordan. Her arrest sparked an outcry and an international campaign called for her immediate release. There is a campaign for her release and Amnesty International has declared her a prisoner of conscience. Before her arrest, she declared in her blog, Do you understand, that I was scared to protest and she had also written, If anything happens to me, know that the regime does not fear the prisoners but those who do not forget them. On 19 December 2011, she was reported to have been freed, and her employer, however she still faces the charges, which carry a maximum sentence of fifteen years imprisonment. Ghazzawi is one of the few courageous bloggers in Syria who writes under her real name, Ghazzawi was again arrested on 16 February 2012, during a raid on the offices of the Syrian Center for Freedom of Expression in Damascus, where the activist works. Ghazzawi was arrested along with thirteen of her colleagues, including the Head of the Center and she was freed again on 18 February 2012 but she is not allowed to leave the country. Ghazzawi was ordered to report to the police on a basis in order to pursue her interrogation. Razan Gazzawi was honoured with the 2012’s Human Rights Defenders at Risk award by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders foundation on 8 June 2012. Since she could not travel to Dublin due to restrictions on her, her colleague Dlshad Othman, Media related to Razan Ghazzawi at Wikimedia Commons Twitter
6. Rami Jarrah – Rami Jarrah is a Syrian political activist who was often cited by international media outlets under the pseudonym Alexander Page during the Syrian civil war. The barring of most international journalists from Syria by the government made such information particularly valuable, rami Jarrah is Syrian-British and lived most of his life in London. He first visited Damascus, his parents hometown, in 2004 where he was detained and placed under a 3-year travel ban by Syrian authorities. Between 2004 and 2007 he was interrogated by numerous intelligence branches regarding his relationship with his parents, both of whom were long-time opposers to the Baath party. In late 2011, Jarrah was arrested in Doha airport and almost sent back to Syria, according to NPR, before he became an activist, Jarrah was a successful businessman with a comfortable life but who quit his job rather than join a pro-government rally. In 2012, Jarrah along with Deiaa Dughmoch established The ANA New-Media Association claiming it would become Syrias first independent free media agency. The office was established in Cairo given the dangers of doing so in Syria due to the events of the Syrian civil war, Jarrah was awarded one of the 2012 International Press Freedom Award from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression for his coverage of the Syrian civil war. The awards are presented annually to journalists who have demonstrated their commitment to rights and honest reporting. The award is presented at the CJFE Gala, A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting, held in Toronto and he is also a director of The Center for Arabic Geographical Literature-Exploration Prospects which is based in Abu Dhabi and London. The institute has published a number of works relating to Arab travel literature, tibi is also a poet and has published a number of poetry collections in the Arabic language. Rami Jarrah was born in Nicosia Cyprus 11 June 1984, his parents both Syrian exiles, were forced to flee to the island during the war in Lebanon 1982, in 1986 Jarrahs family moved to London where he spent the next 15 years of his life. In 2004 he visited his home country facing arrest and a ban that then led him to settle down. Jarrah then began a business career as an import-export consultant for one of Syrias largest distribution companies. His career ended in early 2011 during the Syrian civil war due to a fallout with the companys Managing Director, Nabil Al Attar, in October 2011 Jarrah fled Syria after learning he had been compromised by Syrian intelligence services for his participation in the uprising. His Pseudonym Alexander Page was used to himself whilst speaking out to international media. Jarrah moved to Cairo in late 2011, he participated in the Mohammad Mahmoud events just by Tahrir Square. Syrian civil war youtube. com Alexander Page on CNN July 292011 talking Syria pro-democracy protests Alexander Page Speaks on Syria Author Mideast Reports | Date September 2,2011 Twitter
7. Kamal al-Labwani – Dr. Kamal al-Labwani is a Syrian doctor and artist, considered one of the most prominent members of the Syrian opposition movement. He was released from Adra Prison, near Damascus on November 15,2011, before his release, Amnesty International called him a prisoner of conscience. Dr. Al-Labwani comes from the town of Zabadani in the Rif Dimashq province. In 1982, while serving as a doctor, he observed the Hama massacre. This induced him to oppose the ruling Baath party, Kamal al-Labwani was arrested in September 2001 after attending a political seminar in the house of fellow activist and politician Riad Seif. Al-Labwani was taken to prison and held initially in incommunicado detention. Subsequently he gained access to his lawyer and he was allowed family visits, on 28 August 2002 the Supreme State Security Court sentenced him to three years in prison on charges including inciting armed revolt. After serving his sentence he was released in September 2004, during his first imprisonment al-Labwani was not allowed writing or reading materials but obtained painting supplies in his cell after holding a hunger strike, during which he lost 20 kg. He wrote two books and several poems in his head, but most of his paintings were confiscated, in 2005, he managed to bring about 40 of his paintings to England, which were then shown at an exhibition in Basildon. With the sale of some of his paintings, he financed his trips to the U. S. and through Europe, attempting to support for the opposition in Syria, on a platform of democracy. During these trips he attended the Liberal Democrats’ Conference and visited the UK Houses of Parliament, the European Parliament, and he was the first human rights defender and dissident from inside Syria to be invited to discuss the case for Syrian Democracy at the White House. On his return to Syria on 8 November 2005, al-Labwani was arrested at Damascus International Airport and his cell, intended to house 32 but containing more than 60, was in Wing 5, normally reserved for violent prisoners. The only evidence against him was prepared for them and read out by his fellow prisoners. The Working Group concluded that Dr. Rights activists confirmed that the prisoners included Kamal al-Labwani. Reuters quoted his daughter as saying that Mr. Labwani had no idea that Syria was in the throes of an upheaval, after his release, Labwani and his family obtained asylum in Sweden. In March 2014, he suggested in an interview with the London newspaper Al-Arab a military intervention by Israel in support of the Syrian armed opposition, in return, he proposed to renounce all Syrian claims to the Golan Heights. In September 2014 he visited Israel for the World Summit onCounter-Terrorism of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya. He met wounded Syrian civilians being treated in Ziv Hospital and said I visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and I saw your society and your state and we are neighbors and we could be friends
8. Haitham al-Maleh – Haitham al-Maleh is a Syrian human rights activist and former judge. He is a critic of the current Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad and has been imprisoned by the Syrian government because he was calling for constitutional reforms, Maleh became an important opposition figure in the Syrian Civil War. Haitham al-Maleh earned a degree in law and a diploma in international law and he was first arrested in 1951 at the age of twenty when he called for an independent judiciary, he was imprisoned for three weeks. He became a judge in 1958, the first Baathist government dismissed him from the judicial bench because of his public criticism of the 1963 Emergency Law, which suspended constitutional rights and codified martial law. He returned to the practice of law after his dismissal, while originally an advocate for democratic reforms, by the early 1970s, Maleh became an outspoken critic of the situation in Syria. The Syrian government ordered Malehs arrest and detention numerous times because of his political activities and he went on hunger strikes at least twice during his detention. Maleh, human rights activists found common ground and started the Human Rights Association in Syria in July 2001, and he was elected president of the organization and he has been active in Amnesty International since 1989. Maleh wrote several times to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad criticizing the human rights violation in the country, writing as the president of the Syrian Human Rights Association, he demanded the lifting of the Emergency Law. In 2003, he spoke before the German Parliament on the issue of Syrian human rights, when he returned, the Syrian government banned him from leaving the country for the next seven years. He has received awards for his defence of human rights in Syria, the Syrian Government refused to allow him to leave the country to receive the award in the Netherlands. After weeks of uncertainty he learned of the refusal to grant him an exit visa only the day before the ceremony. S. He was referred to the Damascus military court and tried on charges of spreading false and misleading information that would affect the morale of the nation, and sentenced to three years prison. Amnesty International named him a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He was released on 8 March 2011 after an amnesty on the anniversary of the arrival of the Baath party ascension to power. As of July 2011 there are estimated to be 10,000 political prisoners in Syrian detention, Maleh requested Syrian authorities to cease political detention permanently, release all political prisoners, and affirm the right of every Syrian citizen to express his opinion. He noted that prisoners are those who voice their opinions. Kamal al-Labwani Aref Dalila Damascus Spring Haitham Maleh Foundation
9. Mouaffaq Nyrabia – Nyrabia worked on founding a democratic bloc inside the Syrian Coalition and joined the similar attempts led by dissident writer and politician Michael Kilo. However, in March 2016, Nyrabia was elected as First Vice President of the coalition, Nyrabia was born on November 28,1949 in Hama. He moved from Homs where he did High School, to Damascus in 1969 to study Mechanical Engineering at Damascus University and he graduated in 1974 as a mechanical engineer. His second child, Layla, was born in 1988 in Homs and he lived with his family in Homs until 2007, when he was pursued by the government again, and moved to Damascus. In the late 1970s, Nyrabia became the head for Homs. His writings were thought to have leftist traits in philosophy, however, they were seen as promoting democracy. In the period known as Damascus Spring, Nyrabia was one of the initiators of the Statement of 99, Nyrabia was the president of the preparatory committee for the convention. In a February,2015 a Princeton University, Princeton Interactive Crisis Simulation paper and his position is key to maintaining strong diplomatic connections with other nations if crises were to erupt
10. Mansour al-Omari – Mansour al-Omari is a Syrian journalist and human rights defender, he contributed to the documentation of human rights violations in Syria with the beginning of the Syrian Uprising. Al-Omari was born in the Syrian capital of Damascus in 1979 to a middle-class family, al-Omari studied English literature at Damascus University, While a student in college he started his translation and journalism work. And also worked a s a translator for HRW, CMFE, al-Omari was arrested on February 16,2012 by the intelligence arm of the Syrian Air Force from the offices of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. Fifteen other journalists and activists were arrested on the day, including Mazen Darwish. Eight of them were released in May 2012, Mansour was subject to forced disappearance with no official statements of his whereabouts or status, until he was released on February 7,2013. In 2013 He received The Hellman-Hammett Award that recognizes writers for their commitment to free expression and their courage in the face of political persecution
11. Adib Shishakly – Adib Shishakly is a Syrian businessman, co-founder and vice-CEO of Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy, and the sole distributor of AvGas in the Middle East. Also, he runs other piston engine aircraft sales and maintenance services companies, a co-founder and member of the Syrian National Council in charge of Arab relations, he had been extensively involved in the Syrian opposition long before the revolution started. Early in 2005, he was making the flag of independence the symbol of change. Since then, he has been printing and distributing the flag became the unifying revolutionary symbol. Most recently, he was selected as president of the Syrian National Bloc. Shishakly was born in Syria in 1968 to a prominent military-political family and he is the grandson of the late Adib Shishakli, former Syrian leader then President of Syria, who was assassinated in Brazil in 1964. His father, Ihsan Shishakly, also is a military-political notable and he planned, facilitated, and participated in relevant conferences and consultancy meetings in Turkey, Egypt, Maghreb, GCC and EU countries, and the USA. Several leadership, negotiation and conflict management workshops are credited to him and he was once described as a Gandhian philosophy adopter when the uprising bloomed in Syria. He was also one of the first to criticize the support of the Assad government by Russia and he has been interviewed and quoted by mainstream international and pan Arab media
12. Riad al-Turk – Riad al-Turk is a prominent Syrian opposition leader, former political prisoner for about 20 years in Syria, and supporter of democracy, who has been called the Old Man of Syrian opposition. He was secretary general of the Syrian Communist Party since its foundation in 1973 until 2005, al-Turk joined the Syrian Communist Party while a student. He was imprisoned for the first time in 1952 shortly after finishing law school for opposing the government that came to power in a coup. He was held for five months and tortured but never tried in court and he later wrote articles for the party newspaper, Al-Nour, and became a leading party ideologue. He was imprisoned again in 1958 under Nasser for opposing the merger of Syria and Egypt in the United Arab Republic, again he was tortured but not tried for any crime. In 1972, Bakdash decided to merge the party into the National Progressive Front, along with supporters on the radical wing of the party, Turk formed the Syrian Communist Party, consolidating a split that had been apparent since the late 1960s. The SCP-Political Bureau initially negotiated with the government for terms of legalization, however, it later took a strong opposition stance, especially from 1976 on after the Syrian intervention in favour of the Maronites right-wing government in the Lebanese Civil War. Al-Turk was arrested and imprisoned on 28 October 1980 and held under difficult conditions for almost 18 years. He spent most of period in solitary confinement and suffering regular torture. Al-Turk was never allowed out of his cell to exercise, until the final months, he was not allowed a book, newspaper, mail or anything else to keep his mind occupied. For the first thirteen years of his imprisonment he was allowed no communication from, or information about, his friends and family and his only activity was being allowed three times a day to go to a shared toilet. He was never allowed to use it when other prisoners were there, one of his few diversions was collecting grains of dark cereal he found in the thin soup he was served in the evening and using the grains to create pictures in his cell. He suffered considerable ill-health, including diabetes for which he was refused treatment and he was released on 30 May 1998. After his release in 1998, al-Turk was initially not particularly active politically, in June 2000, however, Syrian president Hafiz al-Asad died and his son Bashar succeeded him. This was followed by an outburst of political debate and demands for changes, known as the Damascus Spring. In June 2002 he was sentenced to three years imprisonment for attempting to change the constitution by illegal means and this led to international protests, especially given his poor health. Al-Turk was released after serving fifteen months of his sentence, in spring 2005 the Syrian Communist Party held a secret congress at which it decided to change its name to the Syrian Democratic Peoples Party. At this congress, Turk stepped down as party secretary, in the same year, he also emerged as a prominent name in the Damascus Declaration, a pro-democracy coalition of Syrian opposition activists and organizations