Launching “Syria: A Fire Within” and “The Irreverent Activist”

On August 27, 2014, the DC Arts Center hosted a dual event featuring Ammar Abdulhamid: the first was a short documentary titled “Syria: A Fire Within,” made by the American activist and filmmaker Emanuel Benhamou, and the second was a book-signing of Ammar’s new book “The Irreverent Activist.” The dual event also featured a brief Q&A with Ammar and Emanuel.

Ammar, aug 27, 2014 - 2

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Causality and Meaning

  1. Nothing happens for a reason. There’s no reason for sunrise or nightfall, no reason for life or dying. There’s only what we do, regardless. 7:57 PM Jun 30th
  2. Causality is not teleology. The cause of an event provides no “meaning” for it: that’s our job. The search for meaning is a human vocation. 1:23 PM Jul 1st
  3. As is the case with hope (with anything really), the need for meaning is not necessarily conducive to it, nor is it a sign of its existence. 1:45 PM Jul 1st
  4. While we agonize over material things, the main theme for our suffering relates more to the unfulfillability of most our non-material needs. 1:53 PM Jul 1st
  5. For the greater good, we are often urged to put up with the lesser evil, until we drown in a flood of if. All evils are essentially equal. 3:34 AM Jul 16th
  6. There are no lesser evils, just shifting priorities, diverging interests and balances of power. 7:32 PM Jul 16th
  7. Your “greater good” suffocates me. Your “lesser evil” poisons me. Why does all that you do hurt me? Maybe you’re not really listening to me? 5:09 AM Jul 18th
  8. The most difficult choices we face are about the quality of our life, not life and death. But there are times when all choices are the same. 6:52 PM Jul 20th

Of Hate

  1. The only way you can stand up to hate is to resist, with all your might, the nagging temptation to hate back. Mutual hate is all consuming. 1:31 AM Jul 1st
  2. Love is not the best defense against hate, indifference is. Your indifference to the hate aimed at you is your best shield from it. 1:59 AM Jul 1st
  3. Be indifferent to those who hate you, let their hate consume them not you. Their salvation is their responsibility, you’re not their messiah 2:18 AM Jul 1st

Of Knowledge, Experience, Understanding and Wisdom

  1. How can you tell if the light over the horizon marks dawn, not dusk? That you can look forward to bathe in daylight, not wallow in the dark? 2:49 AM Jun 27th
  2. Some things are counterintuitive but you might still need to intuit what they are- Knowing and understanding are not the same. 3:19 AM Jun 27th
  3. Some things are irrational but you might still need to rationalize why they are- Knowing and understanding are not the same. 3:21 AM Jun 27th
  4. Some things are unknowable but you still have to try to uncover what they are, and why they are- Knowledge and wisdom are not the same. 3:28 AM Jun 27th
  5. Some things are ineffable but you still have to share them, to make them known- Knowledge and experience are not the same. 3:30 AM Jun 27th
  6. Some things are immutable but you still yearn to change the world- Knowledge and experience are not the same. Wisdom, understanding need both 3:33 AM Jun 27th