Ammar's Gallery

Ammar's Gallery

www.ArtPal.com/ammarabdulhamid

I was born in Damascus, Syria in 1966, and received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1992. In 1994, I returned to Damascus where, after a two year stint as a social studies teacher in a diplomatic school, I dedicated myself fulltime to writing poetry and fiction in both English and Arabic. In 1999, I started writing articles critical of the ruling regime advocating reforms and greater respect for basic human rights. In due course, I was profiled in a variety of established publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Smithsonian Magazine, among many others. In June 2005, the Arabic Edition of Newsweek named me as one of 43 rising Arab intellectuals. Soon after, and on account of my continued activism and increased international visibility, I was exiled from the country along with my family, and we ended up settling in Silver Spring, Maryland, since September 2005. Raised as a Christian, I discovered Buddhism in my early teens, embraced Islamic Fundamentalism in my early twenties, which I ended up rejecting following the death fatwah against Salman Rushdie in 1989. Soon after, I discovered and took great interest in reading the “Federalist Papers” and the writing of the American Founding Fathers. This took me down a path that led me to embrace humanist and humanitarian ideals. Though I started out my public career as a poet and a novelist (my novel Menstruation is available on Amazon), my human rights activism occupied most of my time for the last 15 years. But, and with the recent publication of my book, The Irreverent Activist (also available on Amazon), a series of poetic reflections on being, liberty, faith and love, and my current digital art project, Reflections on Liberty and Revolution, which is now available through this site, I am going back to artistic roots for sustenance, and not a moment too soon. For a person who is on the autism spectrum (Asperger’s Syndrome), being an activist posed certain challenges, but perhaps not as much as being a husband, a father and a son. These struggles are definitely reflected in my works.



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