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Saturday, December 3, 2022

News Report | First consultative meeting of Syrian Americans held in Washington DC

Last Saturday, October 29, 2022, a consultative meeting was held, the first of its kind, between Syrian-Americans in Washington DC. The aim of this meeting was to unite the ranks of Syrians opposing the Assad regime. The meeting was attended by personalities from a variety of political, economic, scientific and academic backgrounds. For the first time, there were Jewish opposition members of Syrian origin, as well as representatives of the Yazidis, Palmyra tribes’ office in the US, the Kurds, and the Syrian American Student Committee in LA.

Some of the participants in the conference; Credit: Issam Khoury

All 70 participants agreed on the need for unity among Syrians within a single opposition political framework aimed at achieving political transition in Syria through the formation of a governing body as stipulated by international resolutions on the Syrian conflict, foremost of which is the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 unanimously adopted on the eighteenth of December 2015. Almost seven years later? no international actions have yet been taken to enforce the implementation of this resolution.

As well as the dire necessity for Syrian unity, attendees focused on the need for national independence and the participation of all of Syria’s national components in getting rid of Assad’s tyranny.

Credit: Saleh Saleh

The idea of ​​working to establish a Syrian-American lobby was also discussed as being a positive step towards empowering Syrian Americans as a political force that would enable them to have greater access to the decision makers in Washington DC. The existence of this lobby could potentially help in garnering support for Syrians in their quest to overthrow the tyrannical Assad regime. 

UN Syria officials have had a role in distorting the image of the solution in Syria

Adwar Hachwa

Adwar Hachwa, a Syrian lawyer, and a former member of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, told SYRIAWISE that “UN Syria officials have had a role in distorting the image of the solution in Syria,” by focusing on starting with the issue of the constitution instead of a transitional governing body as UN-related resolutions stipulate.

Syrian Americans succeeded for the first time in integrating all those who had been previously excluded in all meetings and conferences related to the future of Syria

Ayman Abdel Nour

Commenting on the meeting, Ayman Abdel Nour, a Syrian politician, media figure, and President of Syrian Christians for Dialogue, told SYRIAWISE that “Syrian Americans succeeded for the first time in integrating all those who had been previously excluded in all meetings and conferences related to the future of Syria.” Abdel Nour added that the organizing committee of the consultative meeting “will now classify the suggestions that were put forward by the participants, and we will formulate them in the coming weeks in the form of a working paper in preparation for the next meeting.”

Credit: Saleh Saleh

A mechanism must be found to transform what is theoretical into practical practice; otherwise we will add to our failure another failure

Namroud Sulaiman

Namroud Sulaiman, a Syrian writer and political analyst, said that for the first time, “Syrians stop at the negative points accumulated during the last eleven years, and when discussing them, everyone moved away from emotions and desires, but rather studied the harsh reality in all its dimensions, so we arrived at fruitful conclusions in all fields.” Sulaiman emphasized that “a mechanism must be found to transform what is theoretical into practical practice; otherwise we will add to our failure another failure.”

Credit: Saleh Saleh

I found clarity in vision and a boldness I had never seen before in dissecting the secretions of the Syrian tragedy and its disastrous repercussions

Saad Fansa

“I found clarity in vision and a boldness I had never seen before in dissecting the secretions of the Syrian tragedy and its disastrous repercussions and I discovered new enlightened minds that were absent in previous meetings, conversing with the most civilized cognitive tools,” Saad Fansa, a researcher, excavator, and specialist in the ancient civilizations of Syria, told SYRIAWISE.

there was an exchange of different views to find a unified ground that brings the Syrians together and makes them an effective and influential force in international forums to end the Syrian crisis and achieve a free and dignified life for all spectrums of Syrian society

Dr. Huda Aljord

Dr. Huda Aljord, Syrian professor at University of California, Riverside, told SYRIAWISE that her goal in attending the meeting was “to get acquainted with Syrian personalities with their history of struggle and practical consultation,” stressing that “there was an exchange of different views to find a unified ground that brings the Syrians together and makes them an effective and influential force in international forums to end the Syrian crisis and achieve a free and dignified life for all spectrums of Syrian society.”

Credit: Saleh Saleh

a meeting to break down barriers among the Syrian-Americans, remove red lines, talk transparently and realistically about the situation

Saleh Saleh

Syrian American political activist and Secretary of National Syrian Alliance, Saleh Saleh, aka Aram Al Doumany, told SYRIAWISE that this consultative gathering in Washington, DC, was “a meeting to break down barriers among the Syrian-Americans, remove red lines, talk transparently and realistically about the situation in which the Syrian people live, and build a platform for launching a roadmap based on the participatory national interest and on the basis of the demands of the Syrians inside the country.”

the constants of the revolution were present in all the statements and participations of the personalities present in Washington or on social media

Dr. Salah Wanli

Dr. Salah Wanli, a surgeon and former German MP of Syrian origin, told SYRIAWISE that his participation in the consultative meeting was a “duty to revive the issue of the Syrian revolution, which the hot international events almost pushed away from American decision-making circles.” The meeting was successful, said Dr. Wanli, in terms of the importance of the effectiveness of the participants from all domains, stressing that “the constants of the revolution were present in all the statements and participations of the personalities present in Washington or on social media.”

Credit: Issam Khoury

The participants in the meeting agreed that in order to be able to put pressure on decision-makers in the US administration to implement the relevant international resolutions, Syrians themselves must first be willing to set aside their differences and become a united front for their efforts to have any chance of succeeding.

Yasser Ashkar
Yasser Ashkar
Former instructor at Istanbul University. Ashkar is a Founding Member of the Association of Syrian Refugees, Human Rights Activist and Journalist. He currently lives in Michigan, USA.

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