Ammar Abdulhamid was born on May 30, 1966 to a well-known artistic family in Damascus, Syria. Ammar spent an important part of his life in the United States (1986-1994) studying astronomy and history (he graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 1992 with a BS in history), and purging himself of his religious zealotry. He returned to his home-country in September, 1994 and has been living there ever since.

In 2003, and in cooperation with a number of friends and colleagues, Ammar established DarEmar, a publishing house/NGO dedicated to raising the standards of civic awareness in the Arab World through a wide-range of activities and programs, including the Tharwa Project, a program designed to shed some lights on the aspirations and concerns of the religious and ethnic groups in the Middle East. The Project has recently metamorphosed into the Tharwa Foundation with offices in Beirut and (soon) Washington DC.

In 2001, Ammar met and married Khawla Yusuf (born on September 26, 1968), a Syrian fashion designer and activist with her own rather complicated experience with life and religiousness. They currently live in Silver Spring, Maryland with their two teenage children: Mouhanad (1990) and Oula (1986).


Owner of DarEmar, a small publishing house in Damascus, Syria.

Director of the Tharwa Foundation.

Member of a variety of task forces concerned with civil society and human rights development in the region, most notably the Brookings Taskforce on the US Policy towards the Islamic World.


Bachelor of Science in History from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, 1992 (Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award)


The Voidman. A volume of English poetry published in London in 1997, and (clandestinely) in Damascus in 2000.

Menstruation. A novel written in English and published in London in 2001, and since translated into several languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Japanese.

Where Art Thou? A study of the contemporary Arab intellectual scene (to be published).
Tharwa community


The Tharwa Project