CSIORS fellow expert in the US Issam KHOURY attended a Syrian-American meeting, which was held on October 29, 2022, in Washington DC. Here you can read his report from the event.
“Freedom, justice, and dignity” were and still are targets for the Syrian revolution, despite the many terms it dealt with, such as the term “civil war” which was approved in 2012 by the Red Cross, or the term “The holly war” which was promoted after the Shiite conflict was strengthened. Alawi – Sunni in Syria, especially after the public intervention of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia to support the Syrian regime in suppressing the protesters.
However, the Syrian owners of the peaceful project were insistent on intensifying their peaceful activities that fall under the goals of the Syrian revolution that began in March 2011, something that a group of Syrian-Americans accomplished by calling for a consultative meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC on October 29 The first is 2022.
Dr. “Samir al-Taqi”, a consultant at the Middle East Institute – Washington, and the political journalist “Ayman Abdel Nour” presented a summary of the US administration’s vision, both Republican and Democratic, for the Syrian file.
The attendees concluded from both speakers, in addition to what was presented by former Minister Hussein al-Ammash, that the US administration does not have a present policy and does not have sufficient interest in the Syrian file and its details, with its explicit interest in the file of combating terrorism and preventing drug trafficking, and it is the duty of the Syrians to work in an innovative and modern way towards highlighting Light on the Syrian file.
On his part, Abdel Nour indicated that some American politicians describe the Syrian delegations that visit the American diplomatic corridors as – the lame delegation – which Dr. Huda Huda al-Jord also attributed to the fact that all Syrian-American organizations visit the same offices, which gives a general impression to the US administration stated that the Syrians are in a state of competition that lacks joint cooperation in their work, then it touched upon the policies of some Syrian organizations and personalities, which seek to dwarf the achievements of any meeting held by any Syrian party that does not belong to them, which was also confirmed by Professor ” Zaher Baadarani” where he explained that some The Syrian-Americans judge the failure of any meeting prior to its convening, for special purposes and agendas, foremost of which is the unwillingness for any collective action to succeed.
In the same context, “Dr. Hicham Alnachawati” stated that Syrians all over the world are counting on the Syrians-Americans to create a positive atmosphere of serious and purposeful civil work to support the Syrian cause in the American corridors. Based on the role of the United States of America being the center of international gravity.
Minister Taghreed Al-Hajali spoke about the painful human testimonies she witnessed in the camps in the Kilis region, Turkey, and indicated that her desire to raise these pains is to motivate all Syrians to forget the side disputes and work hard to organize a unified strategy of action to save what can be saved, bearing in mind that The ivory towers that some elites cling to do not protect our people from homelessness and loss. Illiteracy has become rampant in Syria, and it is the duty of Syrians to draw up a unified plan that achieves justice and human rights for all Syrians.
Chancellor and Professor at the University of Sharjah, Wael Mirza, explained the difference between a politician and a statesman, citing the words of Winston Churchill: “The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next elections, while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”
In his opinion, the current Syrian political opposition figures are closer to politicians than statesmen, because they did not benefit from in-depth research papers written by well-known Syrian researchers. They also tried to hide most of the technocrats who defected from the regime, and the result was their emergence as politicians and not as statesmen who could play a leading role in society International to remove Assad from his power.
Dr. “Lina Murad” and Dr. “Ayman Haqqi” spoke about their dream that Syrian dialogues would be strengthened within the United States in order to intensify work to serve the vulnerable in Syria, also, Dr. Lina spoke about her experience in the field of medical service to support the Syrians in the camps.
Dr. Ayman spoke, we are needing to change the stereotypical mentality in presenting the Syrian issue within the American department and make clear the need to speak frankly about peace projects, and the need to move away from dependence on regional powers that do not have a powerful and permanent force to serve the independent Syrian project.
The Dean of Syrian Lawyers, “Edward Hashweh”, who is the figure who lived through all Syrian constitutions, was one of the most prominent participants, and spoke with a distinguished testimony about constitutional differences and disputes during his negotiations with envoys “Advisors” by the President during the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, and how the regime pursued a policy of deliberate killing of peaceful demonstrators in The “clock square” in his city of Homs, while he was negotiating with Assad’s envoys.
Counselor “Mohammed Adel Shaker” focused on the secularization of the Syrian state, and the necessity of antagonizing (the Assad regime, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran), as he made it clear state institutions cannot be religious, the institutions are a functional bloc, and those who manage them are employees They have competencies and skills, and competence cannot be measured by religion, nationalism, or ethnicity, and he gave broad examples of the fact that the appointments of the Syrian regime are based on sectarian foundations.
He added that it is shameful to talk about a minority and a majority in the opposition, we need to cherish the Syrian identity and consider it a comprehensive identity of the Syrian Republic.
Here, the responses from those present carried citations based on the knowledge of management and the concept of institutions, so the dialogue came between them, adding a lot of information and bringing consensus among all.
For his part, the representative of the Palmyra and Badia Tribal Council in America, Mr. Mahmoud Diab, stated that Syrian society is part of its Arab environment, and it is difficult to propose change very quickly. He also called on the attendees to stand for a moment of silence in solidarity with the reality of the Rukban camp, which is under siege by the Assad-Iranian militias.
The researcher at the Czech-Slovak Institute of Oriental Studies “Issam Khoury” presented a paper entitled: (Federalism between realism and minorities in Syria), which is included in the drafts of the work of the Syrian-American consultative meeting, which explains the current reality of the division of Syria into five states, namely:
- The area of the Syrian regime, which is controlled by the Shiite militias and the Russian Federation.
- The Salvation Government area, which is controlled by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham
- The Autonomous Administration area, which is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces backed by the United States of America
- The areas of the northwest, which are controlled by the armed factions are theoretically subject to the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the interim government, which has the support of Turkey.
- As-Suwayda, which witnesses frequent demonstrations and protests the Syrian regime.
Where Khoury explained that these regions are at war with each other and that the process of unifying them will not be as smooth and fast as the opposition or even the regime desires, so he suggested looking at a development project for each region separately until unity is achieved among them after several years, and it was specified in a second research paper under the title “The Muslim treasury and minorities) is the location of the Idlib region under the administration of the Salvation Government.
Of course, both papers were synonymous with the research of the Hermon Center, which was written by Dr. Abdullah Turkmani and Issam Khoury under the title (Determinants of American Policies on the Conflict in Syria “2011-2022” and its Future Directions), in which Khoury touched upon the division of the Syrian pressure groups in Washington into four sections:
- Groups that support the civil democratic state: Khoury indicated that the advocates of this project face the difficulty of introducing this term in the corridors of the American decision because this term came new out “After the Arab Spring in 2011”.
- The group calling for the “self-management” project: a group that has a strong and clear regional opponent, which is Turkey, which supports groups that support the project of a “civil democratic state.”
- The group that supports the project of separating religion from the state: a group that ended its meetings in September 2022, and perhaps in the future will seek to establish a lobby. In fact, this group is subjected to severe criticism from political Islam currents that insist on the term “civil democratic state.”
- The Unity or Umbrella Group: It is a group of Syrians Americans that seeks to unite the three previous pressure groups to reach a broad understanding towards the exclusion of Assad’s authority, without seeking to fuse any group within the other, as a result of its understanding of the extent of the differences between them.
The dialogues expanded among the audience to talk about Caesar’s law and its negative impact on the Syrian citizen, as two economic advisors of Syrian origin demanded to examine the damage that the Syrian citizen has suffered, because of the ruling authority’s evasion of Caesar’s law.
Dr. Hisham Nashwati defended Caesar’s law and indicated that it is one of the opposition’s tools to pressure the Assad regime, but the problem is in the way its provisions are implemented. One of the economic advisers participating in the dialogue explained that this decision is emptied of its contents because of government manipulation, and the inability to apply it optimally, as any internationally sanctioned figure can open companies for it in China and other countries to evade the sanctions law imposed by the US Treasury and indicated that Syrians need international humanitarian support.
Dr. “Badrani” and the political journalist “Abdul Nour” explained that the Syrian regime empties the provisions of Caesar’s law from its true value to have a negative impact on the Syrian people through:
- Theft of humanitarian aid
- Raising prices to counter the high inflation as a result of the depreciation of the Syrian pound.
- Apply multiple exchange rates. (Preferential price for international organizations – for import – for flag service allowance – and remittances)
- Restricting imports to businessmen affiliated with the regime, with the aim of narrowing the number of imports so that the Syrians feel under siege.
- Falsely promoting that the regime seeks to serve the citizen but is besieged by Caesar’s law.
The Syrian American activist, Murad Ismail, spoke about the militarization of the Syrian revolution, which he believed in at the beginning of the armed movement, and then realized through his in-depth reading of the experience of South Africa, that militarization does not help, and does not attract international sympathy.
But Dr. Hisham Nashwati defended the militarization of the Syrian revolution and made it clear that those responsible for the militarization of the revolution are not competent, and for this militarization went off course to become armed groups conferred by their financial donors, which made them lose national loyalty. Then Nashwati touched on his dream of establishing an umbrella of Syrian American civil organizations that preserves the privacy of each Syrian-American organization separately, provided that its mission is complementary in directing goals towards overthrowing Assad, then he touched on the obstacles he faced in his endeavor, which he sought to establish prior to the COVID pandemic. -19.
The expert in international law, “Hamdi Al-Rifai” noted the need to rely on professionals in the field of pressure institutions, and not rely on the “501 (C) 4” organizations in which the Syrian-Americans work because these were useful 20 years ago, stressing that it is necessary to delve deeply into an understanding of policies and priorities The White House, as well as knowing our partners accurately and professionally, as there are some institutions that do not want the unity of the Syrian ranks.
Within this regard, Dr. “Haqqi” stated that it is the task of the Syrians Americans to engage in dialogue with all institutions, whether they are loyal to our ideas or opposed to us, in order to shed light on the Syrian pain, and without this approach, we can’t to succeed.
The Syrian historian ” Saad Fansa” spoke of the complete disregard of the proposals he made to the Syrian American political opposition that there should be a council of wise men, in order to bring the views closer and draw up a policy directed to all Syrian.
The representative of the Yazidi Council and the media figure, “Nisan Ahmado”, explained that she felt a spirit of solidarity among the participating Syrians that she had not previously seen in any of the meetings of the Syrian opposition, and that we are looking forward to joint work and more cooperation in the future among all components of the Syrian people.
In a research paper he gave, Professor Zaher Baadarani discussed his opinions of the Syrians living within Syria’s borders and their requests of the US government. The research was divided into seven axes. Those interested in it can view his paper through the following link
Baadarani added: Today, through what we heard and heard in the Syrian-American consultative meeting, it has become clear and evident to everyone that our weaknesses and strengths as Syrians are:
- The absence of sound planning and complete preparation, which negatively affected the performance and effectiveness of the Syrian opposition, whether at the level of individuals, institutions, parties, and official and unofficial entities.
- The failure of the political team (the leader in the general political scene) to keep pace with the development of the successive events, and Baadarani saw that the Syrian interior is always considered a precedent in its popular and revolutionary movement for politicians abroad, and therefore instead of politicians abroad being influential and effective, they have become influenced only!
- The spread of the most dangerous disease that kills any collective action, which is the disease of treason, which has become prevalent among the Syrian opposition elites, unfortunately, and Baadarani explained its negative impact that seriously affected (national action) in each of its previous and current stages.
- The danger of the disappearance of effective and influential figures in the Syrian issue from its beginnings until the present day, and the practice of screening and selection processes in the media by some parties, as well as in political forums, at the level of invitations, representation, and so on.
- The suspicious and useless connections of some of the leaders of the general political scene with external and internal parties, which made the Syrian movement lose its true national identity, as well as the relevant national sense alike, and which made the Syrian opposition move within the agendas of abroad, instead of being the voice and conscience of the people inside Syria.
- The necessity for us to work as Syrians within the general constants of our just cause, while preserving all the gains and at all levels.
- Working to activate a vision, by understanding our priorities as Syrians, and then to establish acceptable balances between them, so that we can move to weighting according to interest, in all current and emerging national issues.
- Work on the Syrian issue is cumulative, meaning that any new movement does not cancel any previous work, but it can be built on, and this Syrian-American consultative meeting is part of the pyramid of national actions that have passed previously, as well as of the pyramid of upcoming actions in the future.
Journalist and political activist Saleh Saleh, nicknamed “Aram Al-Domani” and one of the survivors of the chemical massacre, added an investigative paper in which he outlined the demands of the Syrian interior, based on a series of interviews he and professer. “Badrani” conducted a week before the consultative meeting with young people from inside Syrians to elicit their opinions, record their perceptions, and write their ideas and suggestions. “Aram al-Doumani’s” paper was distinguished by focusing on the area of al-Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border, which he called “the forgotten camp.” You can view the paper at the following link.
In his speech, “Aram Al-Domani” also addressed the spirit of joint and mutual action, which reminded him of the civil work he carried out during the coordinating period of the revolution in 2011, which prompted him to remember his colleagues, led by human rights defender Razan Zaitoun, and reiterated his demand not to forget the sacrifices of the heroes of the Syrian revolution. And he considers extremist Islamic is an enemy of the Syrian people, as is Assad and his sadistic and racist sectarian regime.
Political analyst Nimrod Suleiman stressed the need to return the decision to the Syrians by intensifying unfunded dialogues such as this consultative meeting, noting that the product called opposition has become dependent on the decisions of regional and international donors, which has canceled the national character, and stated that the organizers of this meeting are able to build the self-factor to support the cause It is necessary to support their steps, and the steps of their like-minded national technocrats who were absent by a decision of the forces that do not want an independent decision for Syria. He believes that the international situation after the Ukrainian-Russian war is ripe to support the Syrians, but it will not succeed without an independent decision by promising Syrian leaders.
All the attendees submitted suggestions for the goal of studying in future meetings, and also dialogue with other Syrian-American groups, and no proposal was excluded from these proposals to be accessible to all those looking for the meeting, and among the most prominent suggestions that we received were written:
- Addressing those concerned with following up on the implementation of the Caesar Law, to the goal of there to be a third party to monitor or check the arrival of aid to those who deserve it instead of passing through the Syrian regime.
- The necessity of allocating small loans to implement small projects inside Syria so that the whales of money and power can’t that steal aid and loans, and the allocations addressed to the poor.
- Establishing a follow-up committee for the first Syrian-American consultative meeting.
- The request from the American administration to work with the allies to allocate a budget for the coalition and work to transfer it from Turkey to another country guarantees its liberation from the authority of any country.
- The necessity of forming an umbrella or network for Syrian-American organizations, whose task is to achieve institutional networking to implement a wide goal that is the exclusion of Assad’s authority, without prejudice to the structure or programs of any institution or organization.
- Establishment of a database for Syrian societies and bodies in America in order to achieve integration of work.
- Rejection of skeptics between Syrian- American institutions, or between Syrian-American activists.
- The necessity of having a council for Syrian wise men, in order to draw a clear policy for the Syrian opposition and reduce the differences between the Syrians.
- Focusing on the fact that the Kurds in Syria are Syrians Kurds, and they are an inherent component in the future Syria – unified Syria, just like the rest of the components.
- The necessity of seeking to organize a comprehensive lobby is able to address the American mentality in the language of the common interest, and not in the language of begging.
- Intensifying work to expose the money outlets to the ruling regime and in general its institutions and people who plunder the wealth and international aid.
- A follow-up to expose the Syrian regime’s drug trafficking and Captagon pills, which constitute a source of a major income for the ruling militias in Damascus, and to intensify meetings with the American administration in this regard.
- Work to hinder and stop the normalization attempts that some countries and organizations are based with the Assad regime
- Enhancing the role of many groups and components that were removed from the Syrian-American social mobility.
- The necessity of strengthening the position of the Syrian citizen is based on his efficiency, and not for his religious or national reference.
- Standardizing efforts and working as an integrated team instead of individual and personal work, until we reach outputs that meet the interest of the country and the citizen within a prepared plan and a specific time schedule and within a follow-up team.
- The necessity of working to preserve the “Constantial principles of the revolution” based on the goals of “freedom, justice, and dignity”.
- Intensifying meetings between Syrians, and working to reduce costs, by organizing meetings in homes and halls capable of accommodating more than twenty people, in addition to intensive and periodic meetings through the Zoom program to ensure the widest possible participation.
- The paramount and most important goal remains the development of a road map for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that accurately outlines the timeline for implementation and the role and tasks of all the active countries in the Syrian file, as well as the ruling authorities in all regions inside Syria, in cooperation between former politicians and experts in each The sectors necessary to write such a national plan with the Syrian organizations active in America.
 Since 2010, Dr. Samir al-Taqi has served as the General Director of Orient Research Centre (ORC), an independent think-tank focused on strategic and political studies in the Gulf and the Middle East based in Dubai, U.A.E. From 2005 until 2010, al-Taqi was the director of the Orient Centre for International Studies in Damascus, affiliated at the time with the Syrian Foreign Ministry until the center was shut down by the Syrian government. A cardiothoracic surgeon by profession, al-Taqi served as the Head of Medical Services at the Health Department in the Governorate of Aleppo, supervising and auditing the operation of all hospitals in the governorate. In the early 2000s, he consulted on health issues for the Syrian Ministry of Health, as well as Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Otari. From 1994-1998, Dr. al-Taqi served one term as a member of the Syrian Parliament. Al-Taqi was an academic fellow at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, from 2010 until 2011. He has written and presented extensively on the Syrian state’s structure and decision-making apparatus; political and strategic problems in the Middle East; and international relations. Dr. al-Taqi is a graduate of the University of Aleppo, Faculty of Medicine.
 Ayman Abdel Nour is a noted Syrian reformist, the editor-in-chief of All4Syria (Syria’s leading independent news outlet), and the president of the non-profit Syrian Christians for Peace. Ayman is trained as an engineer and economist. He has testified in front of the European Parliament and received numerous awards. Mr. Abdel Nour has provided consulting services on Middle East public policy to a variety of international organizations (such as UN and EU) and has been widely quoted in some of the most important publications in the international media, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Time.com, FOX, Reuters, the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and BBC News. He has lectured widely at prestigious universities, including Columbia University’s Middle East Institute at the School of International and Public Affairs in New York, Tufts University Cabot Intercultural Center, Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), Yale University, the University of California, Los Angeles International Institute Center for Middle East Development.
 Hussein al-Ammash got a bachelor’s degree from Aleppo University in 1974, then a Master’s degree from Monmouth University, New Jersey, and finally a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. Ammash started his economic research with the Kuwaiti Ministry of Planning from 1974 to 1977, where he was responsible for studying the projects of the first Five-Year Plan. Ammash then moved on to work for the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in Kuwait as an economic expert between 1985 and 2001. Afterward, Ammash became the economic adviser for the Fund to deal with Arab governments in the design and execution of more than 20 Arab and regional public sector development projects. Then Ammash dedicated his efforts to education. He founded the Al-Jazeera private university and occupied the position of the university’s dean between 2005 and 2010. in 2002 when he was appointed as chairman of the Fighting Unemployment Commission. In 2005, Ammash emerged as a savior of the unemployed and a fighter against corruption in the Syrian government, which led to his expulsion from the position. But Ammash then entered a new phase in which he communicated with the opposition and was arrested
 Huda al-Jord, a professor of comparative literature at the university of California
 Zaher Baadarani, president of Syrian Future Movement (SFM), and Founder and Director of Tawad Inc in Florida, also, he is the owner of Al Ihssan LLC for Educational Services and Academic Research. Baadarani has a Ph.D. in the renewal of Islamic discourse in the media.
 Hicham Alnachawati, MD, MPH, CIME. A Medical Graduate of Damascus University Faculty of Medicine. Holds Master of Public Health in Health Policy & Management from New York Medical College School of Public Health & Practice. He practices Urgent Care Medicine, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Disability Medicine and Legal Medicine in both New York & New Jersey. He is a Syrian American Activist, Humanitarian, Community Organizer and Political Writer and Opponent to Assad regime in Syria. He is the Founder and Director of the Syria Freedom Path, an Non for profit organization with mission to support activism against Assad regime’s tyranny, authoritarianism and oppression and, promote freedom, democracy and the great American values and principles.
 Tagreed al-Hajali, Former Minister of Family and Culture Affairs and Researcher specializing in Women and Development Affairs Secretary General of the International Organization for Women Empowerment and Capacity Building.
 Bilingual Bicultural Strategist: Policy and Risk Analysis / Creative Content Developer and Writer / Communications/ US and MENA region with special emphasis on Syria and the Gulf States
 Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, a British statesman, orator, and author who as Prime Minister (1940-45, 1951-55) rallied the British people during World War II and led his country from the brink of defeat to victory. After a sensational rise to prominence in national politics before World War I, Churchill acquired a reputation for erratic judgement in the war itself and in the decade that followed. Politically he was a lonely figure until his responce to Adolf Hitler’s challenge brought him to leadership of a national coalition in 1940. With Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, he then shaped Allied strategy in World War II, and after the breakdown of the alliance he alerted the West to the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union. He led the Conservative Party back to office in 1951 and remained prime minister until 1955, when ill health forced his resignation.
 Dr. Lina Murad is a nephrologist in Colmar Manor, Maryland. She received her medical degree from Damascus University Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
 Dr. Ayman Haqqi, Plastic surgery, and writer https://alarab.co.uk/%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%8A-90857
 Edward Hashweh, Syrian- American Lawyer, and the former advisor to the Constitutional Committee, was born in Syria in 1933.
 Muhammad Al-Shaker, Professor of International Law and Syrian Political Analyst
 Mahmoud Diab, head of the Palmyra and Badia Tribes Council
 Issam Khoury is a journalist and political activist from Syria with over 20 years of experience writing and conducting research for mainstream news media in the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author of three books in Arabic and “Assad and the ME” in English and has written more than 700 reports on politics, governance, Islamic groups, human rights, culture, and the arts, and is an expert on political and social trends. and personalities. He is also the first journalist to report on the revolution, while still in Syria. Khoury is an expert on social media and has trained journalists from all over the Arab world in this matter. In 2016, he was a senior advisor to Strategy XXI Partners in New York, then in 2017 he founded the Center for Environmental and Social Development, a 501(c)(3) international human rights organization based in New York. Khoury earned a Master of Geopolitical in 2008 and was an international journalist fellow at the CUNY J-school in New York in 2015 and in 2022 he received a master’s degree from the Quantic School of Business and Technology.
 Abdalla Turkmani is a Syrian writer and researcher, who holds a Ph.D. in Political Science. He filled the position of Senior Research fellow at the Orient Center for Studies in the United Arab Emirates. During the Tunisian Revolution, Turkmani contributed to many Arab newspapers and has publicly supported peaceful demonstrations. Currently, Turkmani is a researcher at the Harriman Center for Political Studies
 Hamdi Rifai, Attorney, working in government relations advocacy has continued since the early 90’s representing many Middle East interests and governments. has served as Deputy Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. He chaired a congressional campaign for the always hotly contested 5th district of Bergen County, New Jersey. When Bret Schundler ran for Governor Mr. Rifai formed the Lawyer’s Committee that gave Schundler his primary victory. Since 2011 Mr. Rifai has directed the work of Arab Americans for Democracy in Syria and it’s the successor the Council of United Syrians & Americans. He was instrumental in persuading the US to close the Syrian embassy in Washington, DC, and then also to prosecute sanctions violators. He has worked to promote civil society and the Interim Syrian Government.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University. He is certified by the Notre Dame University Institute for Trial Advocacy as a trial attorney and by the Public Law Center in legislative advocacy/government relations. He has appeared frequently throughout the years as an expert analyst on foreign affairs, national security, and legal issues on Fox News, Al-Hurra, Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and TRT.
 Saad Fansa: Photographer and former Director Photography Department and visual archive in the department of photography at the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums. He is also a lecturer at the Intermediate College of Archeology in Damascus, writer, and freelance journalist. He studied T.V photography and programs directing, sponsored by the Arab League, Union of Arab Radio Boards Mr. Fansa was Member in the Council of the Protection of Old Damascus as a photographer. Had a weekly column 1992-2007 in the Syrian weekly magazine (Arts). The column is a review documented by own shots of the most significant archeological discoveries in Syria. He also Published many research and essays related to Islamic Arts and Middle East history before the Islam in several Arab periodicals and magazine. Director of a documentary film “a story of a tablet” which summarizes stages of discovering a mosaic drawing and the efforts made to restoring and protecting such kinds of antiques.
 Nisan Ahmado is a multimedia journalist with VOA’s Extremism Watch Desk. A Kurdish Yazidi from Syria, she specializes in analysis of Middle Eastern current affairs, with a focus on Syria and U.S. policy in the region. She has lived and worked in Damascus, Riyadh, Dubai, New York and Washington, D.C. Nisan’s reporting has covered such areas as geopolitics, history, and culture, and includes humanitarian profiles of people on the ground. She also writes about minorities, women’s empowerment, and art as a medium to create a more comprehensive reality.
 Nimrod Suleiman, politician, and political analyst