After Assad: Chicagoan helps prepare for democracy in Syria

September 7, 2011

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(AP/Bassem Tellawi)
Syrian supporters of President Bashar Assad carry a giant flag during a pro-regime demonstration in Damascus.

As of this month, anti-government protests in Syria have gone on for half a year. International support for President Bashar al-Assad has all but evaporated, with even his once-staunch allies demanding an end to his regime’s violence against dissidents. According to the United Nations, the clashes between Assad’s security forces and protestors have claimed 2,200 lives since the middle of March.

While Assad has proven that he will not retreat quietly, preparations for his eventual fall are already underway. Recently, various transitional councils have emerged, with meetings sprouting up in Paris, Cairo and Istanbul, but competing interests and insecure communications with opposition leaders inside Syria are complicating the prospect of unified leadership.

We speak to Syrian American Society chairman Mohyeddin Kassar, a Chicagoan deeply involved in the effort to broker a smooth transition to democratic elections in Syria.

You can read Mohyeddin's analysis of the unfolding situation in Syria on his blog, Revelations of the Revolution.