War and Peace: How Congress is Handling Syria

Posted by on September 03, 2013 in Blog
The Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians on August 21, 2013, that claimed the lives of more than 1,400 Syrians, including over 400 children, brought strong rebuke from President Obama who had previously called the usage of weapons of mass destruction as a “red line” and called for U.S. military strikes against the Syrian regime.
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Despite Regime Brutality, Military Force Will Not Solve Syria.

Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Blog
Middle East needs forceful American diplomatic leadership to bring change to Syria, not missile strikes. In the aftermath of the undisputed use of chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to present to the American people today the rationale for military strikes on Syria’s regime. After making a compelling case for “what we know,” Secretary Kerry turned to “what we must do about it.”
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We Need to Hear From You About Egypt, Syria, and Palestine

Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Blog
As waves of protests and popular uprisings blossomed across the Arab world two winters ago, Arab Americans became swept up in their movements as well. It is difficult to forget the hope many of us shared in those initial weeks and months as massive, non-violent demonstrations flowed into streets demanding change. Yet as events have continued to unfold across the region, the evolving situations in each country have grown increasingly complex. Arab Americans have a unique role to play in ongoing policy debates regarding the Arab world, and that’s why AAI is responding to calls from the community to convene national Arab American conversations on Egypt, Syria, and Palestine.
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To Solve Syria, Arm the Free Syrian Army

Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Blog
By Yisser Bittar Government Relations and Advocacy Assistant at the Syrian American Council On June 14, Jeffrey Wright wrote on the AAI blog that it is a mistake for President Obama to provide defensive arms to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. Wright asserted that the move would further militarize the Syria conflict, would place the US in the regional "Sunni camp," and represented a "capitulation to advocates of intervention in Washington." As a Syrian American who has been working for over a year in DC to raise support for the Syrian Revolution, including military support to pro-democracy rebels, I would like to take this opportunity to respond.
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The Mistake of Arming Syria’s Rebels

Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Blog

Last night, the Obama Administration announced that it has concluded that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against its opponents in Syria’s civil war, and that it would begin to arm the rebels fighting against the Syrian government. White House officials said that the shipments of arms would be coordinated by the CIA and would include small arms, ammunition, and possibly anti-tank weapons. This list notably excludes the anti-aircraft weaponry that the rebels insist they need to neutralize the regime’s advantage in the skies. According to press reports, the news was greeted with cautious...

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After Syria Trip, McCain Renews Call for Intervention

Posted by on June 07, 2013 in Blog
By Abdulaziz Al-Alami Legal Fellow After returning last week from a surprise trip to Syria to meet with members of the Syrian opposition, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said at the Brookings Institution yesterday that he was now more concerned than any time since the darkest days of the war in Iraq that the Middle East is descending into sectarian conflict.
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The ‘Forgotten People’: Palestinian Refugees From Syria

Posted on May 27, 2013 in Washington Watch
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Middle East with a rather full plate. I don't want to pile on more, but there is an issue connected to both the Syrian civil war and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that must not be ignored.
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The Last Chance for Syria?

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Washington Watch
One can only hope for the success of the recently announced U.S.-Russian plan to convene a conference aimed at finding a resolution to the conflict in Syria. As difficult as it will be for this effort to succeed, and as bitter a pill as it may be for the warring factions to swallow, it may represent the last chance to avert a greater disaster.
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New York Venue Hosts “Little Syria” Community Exhibit

Posted by on May 02, 2013 in Blog
Tonight will be the opening reception of an exhibition in downtown New York featuring the life and culture of the "Little Syria" community that once inhabited Lower Manhattan.
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AAI Hosts Virtual Brownbag on Syria

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Blog

Today AAI hosted a virtual brownbag discussion on Syria, featuring two Arab American activists with very different perspectives on the conflict.

Rana Khoury, an independent researcher who has lived in Syria and written for media outlets like Jadaliyya, Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera, spoke about the many pitfalls of Western intervention, though she acknowledged that the situation on the ground is already experiencing “ a form of de-facto foreign intervention, including the arming and funding of rebels, the provision of technical and non-lethal support, warfare by proxy and the presence of foreign fighters.” She stressed the important of...

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