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February 24, 2007



A Good interview, I bet you will be labelled a traitor for talkig to the Israelis now!


Everything I do, regardless of its consequences, real and/or potential, and regardless of the intentions behind it, if people can have a feel them through my words, will continue nonetheless to be labeled as treachery until such time our entire culture is changed, which is a pretty toll order as you might guess. We have to live with the labels.


Sounds like the words of a moderate pragmatist to me


At least you are making the interview in the open, not like the Syrian ambassodor and unlike the Syrian government who has been negociating the Israelis for two years behind closed doors. People have to know that enemy and wars are on the battle ground not all the times.


Ammar hope you are well,

Now it is out in the open! At least the Israelis will see there are moderate forces across the border. Dialogue however small and trivial from the begining fosters understanding and builds bridges.

A good interview, very good. What is happening with the NSF? ny further developments? Specifically any strategy in place to target the SHAM presidential election?

Now reading your earlier blogs before your exile, interesting reading! It gave me goose bumps, reminded me of my fathers words about the knock on the doors in the morning they all dreaded when living in the Middle East.

Anonymous in Australia


I am with you all the way!! bring democracy to Syria, bring down Assad! do it for the motherland!


Good interview.
I agree with most of what u said in said in there...

didnt leave a good impression on Syria News nonetheless.. ;)



“It is much better to work with a slightly enlightened regime than to risk the chaos that comes with change … I am willing to forgive so many things, just to save us a violent solution for the country and to have some sense of reform.”

I would agree with these statements. I think these regimes see these reform games as zero-sum – any quarter given takes power away from their side of the scale. I support the notion that reforms can strengthen these regimes.


it is a killer interview to the syrian ruler. the crackdown will be greater soon i think. in syria-news, all the agents of the Mukhabarat are now working on posting comments...enjoy!!!!!


Ammar, my friend, I support you 100% and you have the right to express your opinion to any newspaper you want. Talking to Israel or Israelis should be a personal choice and not monopolized by the Syrian regime.

As for the disgusting comments on Syria news, I can only cry for the cultural level of Syrians these days...sometimes I wonder why try to do something positive when people don't deserve it. But we always have to try...it is not their fault, it is the system and the impovrished societies who took away any freedom of thinking.

My best wishes and your efforts will not go in vain.


It's a good thing I am not running for office in Syria. It's a good thing that I have no such ambitions. I sometimes believe that all that I have been doing so far is a process of spontaneous combustion. I am left with no option but to embrace my own fire.


I like this interview a lot too.
Now i am curious....WHAT happened on the 'Syria News' ????

Philip I

Why doesn't Al-Baath newspaper interview the Israeli opposition?

Oh, sorry, I've forgotten, there are no such things as exiled Israeli opposition or free-thinking newspapers in Syria.



Although I’ve been reading your blog for sometime, I did not know that you are the son of the legendary Mona Wassef! I still remember her series “الجرح القديم“ and her role الحجة أمونة was one of her defining roles, at least in my mind. Mind you I was probably 8 years old (I am close to your age). Later, we were all captivated by your mother’s performance in أسعد الوراق و دليلة والزئبق I haven’t watch new series for her, but I hope she is still doing well.

I also did not know is that you are seeking asylum in the US. I thought you are an immigrant like many of us with US citizenship! How’s your application going, any troubles?

Your passion and articulation of the issues facing our beloved Syria is always inspiring. We all, I guess, hope to have a seamless and peaceful transformation of the country into a real Democratic Republic. It is certainly doubtful, however, that an existing force, group or coalition of the same is capable of moving the country step by step into such future, as there is really none! The looming question, as we all struggle to answer, is how then can we move forward?

Be well.


I think we Americans have learned that it's a fine thing to bring democracy to a country, but the citizenry has to be ready for it. Has Syria even gotten as far as the Mayflower Compact, which calls for "just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices" - i.e., a government accountable for serving the common good, not just the will of the family/tribe/group in power? This is a necessary social advancement that needs to precede the political one.


When asked:
What is your stance on Israel?

You replied:
"The Muslim Brotherhood, by the way, said they prefer a negotiated settlement with Israel...

I do not see any where in the interview your position on Israel...I suppose you think they are a wonderfull democray!!!
What constructive results did you accomplish by talking about the Syrian regime to the Israelis? Why did'nt you use your "famous courage" and enlighten the Israeli public about the brutality of their own goverment?
I am no friend of the Syrian regime, but you are at best "a joke" and at worst the Syrian version of Shalabi bringing more disaster on the already suffering oridnary Syrian citizens.
Please get your American citizenship, settle in the American dream...and find your fulfillment is some other project other than bringing more distruction on Syria.


Actually, I'd rather go back to Syria, and if I am a joke then you don't have to be so worked up over what I have to say, and should be far more concerned about what the jokers in Syria are doing, they are doing far more damage than even the Israelis can do to our homeland at this stage. No wonder the Israelis want them to stay.

Be that as it may, thanks you for sharing your feelings and your thoughts, and feel free to do so any time.

By the way, the comparison to Chalabi and Ghadri is somewhat inaccurate, if not downright unfair, I don't head any political party, nor do I seek to be the president of Syria, or to occupy any political position therein. The Syrians deserve someone who is slightly less heretical than I and far more appreciative of their traditional values. What I do I do for me: I deserve to live freely in my country, and I deserve to have a better government representing me and speaking in my name as a Syrian citizen.


Dear Ammar,
I do not think you are joke but you are the most courageous person in the opposition and the most honest one to himself and to his beloved country which been occupied by local clans. Your posts and thoughts are always advocating that we do not need anyone to slave our thoughts, ideas, speech and expression. I think the previous anonymous has exactly done like the regime trying to shut your voice in the name of patriotisms using your podium. If anyone from the regime meets with Israeli’s press or officials it is OK but if even an immigrant communicated with Israelis then he is a conspirator. Please keep the good work and keep writing at least for the one idea that you have the right to speak your mind and you have the right to be heard. By the way the reaction to Saddam iron regime created Shalabi and this is like chemicals reactions have a fate and destiny in it. The failing state of the State of Syria on all levels, the sectarian divide and control for the last 40 years no way is going to last. Closing the voices of the elites and the civil society is closing to the last door which can transfer the situation peacefully. It is a shame on their faces when you get your American Passport and you are most welcome in America. The big shame is on all those big shot of the regime echelons starting from the president have western Passport including President Son, what a shame. Writing comments as an anonymous because of fear from the regime is not only the dissents and ordinary citizens it is also by regime faithful like previous anonymous, what a state disaster we have reached? even Shakespeare can not describe!


What I do I do for me: I deserve to live freely in my country, and I deserve to have a better government representing me and speaking in my name as a Syrian citizen.

What do you have to offer to your countrymen so they can hope that your approach is any better than those of other Westernizers who sucked in foreigners' money and weapons only to feel a heavier yoke across their necks?


Thanks new Anonymous, I really appreciate your kind support, and I definitely do need to hear words like that every now and then, it keeps me going.

Solomon, good question. My approach is based on the necessity of having an open continuous and free dialogue on every issue until we reach an agreement or a workable arrangement for settling our differences or, more likely, for living with them while respecting each other's basic rights. My commitment to this matter is evident in my willingness to take part in a coalition that includes Islamists, communists and Baathists, despite my own heretical views and stances.


My approach is based on the necessity of having an open continuous and free dialogue on every issue until we reach an agreement -

And until then, who is the boss? And why should the boss want anyone to "reach an agreement" that could only result in him losing his cushy position? A small dollop of funds ladled to negotiators to keep them arguing is cheap job security.

More details, please.


I am not sure I understand, Solomon. If you are afraid that we will be caught up in our incessant argumentations and discussions while other people are busy running the show, that is indeed something we should be wary of. But then, this is why the arguments should be focused on certain proposed or taken actions, and their potential usefulness or consequences. In other words, the arguments should be related to certain actions, and not take place in an operational vacuum.


Perhaps Solomon is asking what incentive there is for those in power to engage in a multilateral discussion. In other words, Islamists, communists and Baathists may have different designs for Syria, but it is clear that the incumbent regime's intentions are to maintain power and status quo. Settling in for negotiation may keep up the appearances of an open dialogue, but what do the other voices have to offer the regime?


I see now. I did not mean to say that we should negotiate with the regime in general. The regime is made up of different power centers, led by different figures, some of which are not exactly happy with the way the country is currently being ruled. These can be encouraged to aid us in the opposition as we try to mount a popular challenge to the regime one day. Meanwhile, the thrust of the discussions should be aimed to achieve two things: coordinate between opposition groups, establish networks of communication and understanding with the grassroots.


So a two-pronged assault: subversion through engagement / coordination of dissident elements within the regime, and creating a network for popular opposition?

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