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Interview with Imad Hamad, American Human Rights Council Executive Director

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The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) is holding its annual banquet on Thursday May 18. I interviewed Mr. Imad Hamad with questions about the banquet and about AHRC. Below are excerpts.
Q: Another year, another banquet. What are the highlights of this year’s banquet?
A: This year we are having our third banquet. We are awarding remarkable individuals from diverse backgrounds for their work advancing human rights. We expect a strong turnout, a full house- just like last year. Last year we had over 800 attendees. This year we have a special guest whose appearance is a great honor for the banquet.
Q: Human rights is a new type of advocacy in Arab and Muslim circles, does this present a challenge to AHRC?
A: It used to present a serious challenge. Before AHRC, I advocated for years for civil rights and civil liberties, locally, nationally and internationally. Advocacy for civil rights and liberties has been around for so many years that almost everyone understands the concept and the work.…

The Syrian conflict and Hezbollah: Are there winners in the Syrian conflict?

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The Syrian conflict and Hezbollah: Are there winners in the Syrian conflict?*
The Wall Street Journal is one of America’s finest papers. It is also the paper with the biggest paid circulation. Even those who are liberal and not fond of its editorial policies have to admit that the reporting is professional, objective and accurate. There is a so-called Chinese wall between editorial writing and news writing.
Inaccurate and Unbalanced
On the Middle East, the Journal has good writers that have written deep and incisive pieces on the region. Understandably, Syria and Iraq get the bulk of the attention in Middle East reporting. One of the Journal’s reporters in the region is Maria Abi Habib. Recently, she wrote a piece on the Syrian conflict. Her thesis was that Hezbollah is the winner in the Syrian conflict. It seemed as if it was written by Hezbollah's PR department to raise the morale of its fighters and its core constituency.
The page one article by Maria Abi-Habib was entitled “A win…