Ammar was born in Damascus, Syria in 1966. When he was 17, Ammar studied English for three months in the United Kingdom. At 18, he spent a year at Moscow University before moving to Wisconsin in 1986. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, California, then, returned to Wisconsin in 1990 to study history. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point in 1992.
Jon Stewart’s monologue tonight was an impassioned, frustrated meditation on the Charleston shooting and other recent tragedies. “I didn’t do my job today,” he said. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina.”
If Americans still insist on dealing cynically and apathetically with one of the country’s oldest and most infamous and painful problems, namely racism, why should we find their indifference regarding the tragic and mind-numbing developments in Syria, or any number of conflict zones around the world, surprising?
Conflict in the Middle East will have consequences far beyond its borders, especially in Europe.
This is a very important article by Nicholas Blanford and can help us predict the future patterns of conflict in the region. The key quote in it for me, the one that explains how “geopolitical concerns” are understood by Iran’s leaders at this stage and, consequently, how other players are bound to understand them as swell, is this:
In February 2014, Mehdi Taeb, a senior Iranian cleric, underlined the importance of Syria to Iran in stark terms, saying it is a “strategic province for us.” “If the enemy attacks us and wants to take either Syria or [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan, the priority is to keep Syria,” he said. “If we keep Syria, we can get Khuzestan back too, but if we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”
I was honored to take part in the launch of Freedom Matters! – “a supplemental curriculum developed to help high school students connect the foundations of freedom to today’s global struggles for liberty,” prepared by the wonderful people at the Bush Institute.