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Despite the fact that Bashar al-Assad is guilty of murdering approximately 500,000 of his own people and displacing 5 million since the Arab Spring erupted in 2011, the Arab League has voted to readmit Syria back into its fold. What were some of the horrendous crimes of Mr. al-Assad, and why is the Arab League so ready to overlook them? Does it have to do with his strong alliances with Moscow and with Tehran? Why have the dynamics within the Middle East shifted so rapidly since Beijing brokered an agreement between Riyadh and Tehran?
Here to answer these questions and more is Ahed al Hendi.
About the Speaker: Ahed Al Hendi is a dissident who fled Syria four years ago. As a student, he was imprisoned and tortured by Syrian authorities for establishing a secular anti-regime student organization. He is now the Arabic Programs Coordinator at CyberDissidents.org, a New York-based human rights organization that amplifies the voices of pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East. Al Hendi was elected as one of nine executive officers of the Antalya Conference held in Turkey. He has held meetings with many members of Congress in order to highlight human rights abuses in his home country. He has also met with the secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and with John Baird the Canadian foreign affair minister in order to highlight the abuses of human rights in Syria. Al Hendi is in touch with a wide network of activists in Syria every day and writes frequently about democracy in the Middle East.
In the past, Al Hendi has worked with the Samir Kassir Foundation in Lebanon as its Syrian researcher. He has been interviewed by leading American journalistic organizations like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. His articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The Daily Beast, and Reuters, and in Arabic dailies like Al Mustaqbal. Al Hendi was interviewed by Arabic channels such as Al Huraa, Russia Today Arabic, and Sawa and has also appeared on Bloomberg and Al Jazeera English.