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New York Celebration Honors Anwar Al-Bunni for His Fight for Justice

2023-05-12 01:14

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New York Celebration Honors Anwar Al-Bunni for His Fight for Justice

Political literature often illustrates the concept of "The art of the possible" [1] as a pragmatic approach, one that is removed from idealistic thinking

Political literature often illustrates the concept of "The art of the possible" [1] as a pragmatic approach, one that is removed from idealistic thinking. Yet, if this principle is aligned with the constitutional rights upheld by major nations, it serves a fundamental purpose: the advancement of constitutional justice.

The "art of the possible" involves setting realistic goals and executing them in real-world scenarios. This was exemplified by lawyer Anwar al-Bunni, [2] who adhered to the constitutional rights recognized by several European countries. His dedication empowered him and his team of volunteer lawyers to prosecute Syrian war criminals in European courts, successfully leading to the conviction of several Syrian security personnel who had relentlessly tortured detainees in Syrian prisons.

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This significant accomplishment earned him a place among the one hundred most influential personalities of 2023, as ranked by Time magazine. This recognition inspired Syrian-American activists to honor him with a celebration in New York City on April 26, 2023. The celebration in New York City was a well-attended event. Held at the residence of businessman Asaad Jabara, prominent figures took the opportunity to honor Al-Bunni's achievements. Dr. Hicham Alnachawati, [3] Director of "The Syria Freedom Path" organization, presented Al-Bunni with a symbolic gift. Moreover, Issam Khoury, CEO of The Center for Environmental and Social Development, presented another honorary gift on behalf of the Syrian-American Consultative Meeting, further acknowledging his significant contributions.

 

The honorary gathering was graced by academics from Columbia, Princeton, and the City University of New York specializing in journalism and postgraduate studies. Legal experts, economists, public relations strategists, media professionals, high-ranking US government officials, and the CEO of the Czech-Slovak Institute of Oriental Studies [4] were also present.

 

Syrians, Europeans, Palestinians, Egyptians, and Americans from other states attended the ceremony virtually via the Zoom App. The media and political dialogue were moderated by Ayman Abdel Nour, [5] fostering a sense of societal solidarity. The event made clear that a significant portion of the populace and intellectual leaders stand by the principle of holding criminals accountable, especially those involved in dictatorial regimes like the Syrian government, which employed Nazi torture methods to suppress its people's demand for freedom and justice.

 

This event contrasted sharply with the efforts of some governments to normalize relations with the Syrian regime. These governments, relying on the theory of "the art of the possible," view the Assad government as a negotiable entity in the civil war. However, they have largely disregarded the extent of the atrocities committed by this regime against its people and humanity at large.

Therefore, this honorary meeting emerged as a robust message from human rights advocates worldwide, underscoring the need for societal solidarity to uphold human rights and prevent dictatorships from infiltrating political life under the guise of "the art of the possible." The meeting concluded with the signing of copies of the book "Assad and Me." The book serves as an authentic testament to the crimes committed against civilians in Syrian secret prisons, providing detailed insights into the social, political, and economic life in Syria before and beyond the 2011 revolution.

[1] Time (November 18, 2022): “We’ve had lots of empathy; we’ve had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible,’ the future Hillary Clinton said in a flat, Midwestern accent. ‘And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.”

[2] Anwar al-Bunni (Born 1959) is a Syrian human rights lawyer. He spent "most of his life" defending Syria's political dissidents, often pro bono, and having sold his automobile and office to pay his bills as a result. He became interested in defending dissidents after being beaten, bayonetted, and having his beard set on fire by Syrian soldiers during a military sweep of Hama in 1981. He was head of the short-lived European Union-funded human rights training centre in Syria called the Center for Legal Research and Studies until it was shut down by the government following his 2006 arrest.

[3] 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.

[4] Tomáš Križan, CEO, co-founder and researcher Expert on the integration of refugees in Turkey, and radicalization.

[5] 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.

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