Iran on Verge of Land Link to Mediterranean

Op-Ed by SAC'S Policy and Advocacy Officer, Shlomo Bolts - 06/12/17

The Tower

For the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran is on the verge of acquiring a direct land link to the Mediterranean Sea and southern Lebanon. Iranian proxies and Assad regime forces advanced south in the Syrian desert on Friday to reach the Syrian-Iraqi border, cutting off Free Syrian Army rebels who had hoped to traverse that same territory to fight ISIS in the east.

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Don't Be Fooled: Assad is No Friend of Syria's Christian Minorities

Op-Ed By Mirna  Barq, Bahman Yamin, Samira Moubayed, and George Stifo- 05/11/17 

The Hill

Last week, during a markup of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher asserted that the Assad regime was “the protector of the Christians” in Syria.

As Syrian Christians who grew up in Syria, we would beg to differ. Hundreds of innocent Christians seeking freedom have been tortured to death in Assad’s jails or shot to death by his brutal thugs – including the activist Bassel Shehadeh, who was killed at a protest, then killed in spirit because Assad forces prevented his friends from going to church to pray for his soul. Human rights lawyer Khalil Maatouk has been detained in Assad’s jails in Damascus for over four years for the “crime” of defending detainees in Assad’s jails.

 

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Is the Trump Administration about to Make a Huge Mistake in Syria?

Latest op-ed by SAC's Director of Government Relations, Mohammed Ghanem-

The Washington Examiner

In 2007, when I was a professor at Damascus University, one of my closest friends was a janitor at a nearby school. This man, whom I will call Azad, was quite intelligent and had ambitious dreams for himself and his family. But we both knew that all doors were closed to him save for menial jobs such as janitor, waiter, or shoe-shiner for a simple reason: he was Kurdish.

 

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Assad’s Newest War Tactic: Dehydration

Latest op-ed by our Director of Government Relations Mohammed Ghanem- 

Daily Beast

Assad’s Newest War Tactic: Dehydration

"Greetings gentler than the zephyr of Barada; unstinting tears for you, O Damascus!" 

These words were penned by Ahmed Shawqi, the famed Egyptian poet-laureate, after French Mandate authorities bombed Syria's capital Damascus in 1925. Shawqi recalled the calmness of the Barada spring northwest of Damascus, especially in contrast to the violence then roiling the capital as France cracked down on the Syrian independence movement. His words were later set to haunting melody by the famed singer-songwriter Mohammed Abdul Wahab. Today, over 90 years later, his words again ring true. 

Wadi Barada was once an area known for summer picnics, cool breezes and popular cafes. As a born Damascene, I went there regularly during the summer to attain relief from the scorching heat. 

But last week, as the bombs started falling, Wadi Barada turned into hell on earth leading many to believe that we may be witnessing the worst environmental disaster of entire the Syrian war. What spawned this disaster? And what should be done to stop it? Read my latest op-ed to find out. 

سَلامٌ مِن صَبا بَرَدى أَرَقُّ ......... وَدَمعٌ لا يُكَفكَفُ يا دِمَشقُ

تلك الكلماتُ التي يحفظها الدّمشقيّون كانتِ التّحيةَ التي أرسلها أمير الشّعراء أحمد شوقيّ لأهل الشّام إبّان "نكبة دمشق" عام 1925 لمّا صبّت مدافع الاحتلال الفرنسيّ حممها على أحياء دمشق القديمة ليومين و ليلتين كاملتين لتدكّ أعرق الأحياء و الأسواق الدّمشقيّة و تلحق بها الدّمار و الخراب. عامها انهار سقف سوق الحميديّة و احترقت أحياء كاملة و أسواق نفيسة مثل سوق مدحت باشا والبزورية. 

فتّش شوقي في مخيّلته التي فاق إبداعها فلم يجد أرقّ من نسيم بردى ليرسله تحيّة يواسي بها أهل دمشق مكلومي الفؤاد، فقد كان وادي بردى و ربوة دمشق ملجأ الدّمشقيّين كلّما اشتدّ بهم القَيْظ، و أمّا نبع الفيجة الذي ما زال يتدفّق منذ آلاف السّنين فما من دمشقيّ أصابه العطش فروى من مائه الزّلال إلّا و انتشت أوصاله طرباً. حينها انطلقت أوتار عود الموسيقار محمد عبد الوهاب لتصوغ شعر شوقي أغنيةً خالدة ما ترنّمت بصوته الأجيال.

و اليوم، تسعون عاماً خلت، و ما خلت شجون دمشق و لا خلت شجون بردى.

يسلّط مقالي الأخير الضّوء في الإعلام الأميريكيّ على نكبة دمشق الجديدة و ينقل معاناة أهلنا في قرى وادي بردى للأميريكيّين مقارناً بين القَحْطِ الذي نزل بولاية كاليفورنيا و أزمة شحّ المياه الخانقة في دمشق.

و كما شوقي، جهدي هذا هو تحيّتي لأهلي في قرى وادي بردى عامّة و مدينة دمشق خاصّة، و كما شوقي أيضاً، أعتذر لأنّ البيان أعجز من أن يقوى على وصف المصائب الذي نزلت بهم، و لكنّهُ جُهْدُ المُقِلِّ،

و عَبَرَاتُ المُقَلْ وَمَعذِرَةُ اليَراعَةِ وَالقَوافي ........... جَلالُ الرُزءِ عَن وَصفٍ يَدِقُّ 

محمّد علاء غانم واشنطن 6 كانون الثّاني 2017


Trump must speak out on Aleppo

Latest Op-Ed from SAC's Director of Government Relations, Mohammad Ghanem:

"While Donald Trump has vowed to defeat ISIS "decisively and quickly" without fighting Assad, I argue that Trump cannot fulfill his campaign promise without protecting ٍSyrian civilians. Why and what steps does Trump need to take to inflict a lasting defeat on ISIS? My op-ed in the Washington Examiner provides the answers.

This is my first editorial in the Washington Examiner, one of the publications where Trump gets his news according to a recent analysis by Buzzfeed News

Please tweet at Trump! @realDonaldTrump You promised lasting #ISIS defeat. To get there you must do these two things http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-must-spea…/…/2609113 "

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The Clinton Campaign Must Not Avoid Syria


Lessons from the Syrian Opposition’s Aleppo Offensive

 

Mohammed Ghanem's latest op-ed in the Huffington Post... Read the full article here...


The fallacy of a self-professed prophesy

The fallacy of a self-professed prophesy

 By SAC VP, Sohaib Alagha 

 


Omar Hossino in L'Express "Pour sauver le cessez-le-feu, il faut bombarder le régime d'Assad"

Read Omar's article on L'Express here...

 

 


Can Military Action Save Syria?

By SAC's Omar Hossino on the Atlantic Council's Syria Blog Source

Read the full article here