90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, November 19, 2012

Syrian Americans Press For Regime Change

Free Syrian Army rebels take up positions along an embankment on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Maraat al-Numan, Syria, on Saturday. (Mustafa Karali/AP)

Syrian-American immigration lawyer Muna Jondy, left, and her father, surgeon Abdelmajid Jondy, right. (Photos courtesy of the Jondy family)

Muna Jondy is a 37-year-old immigration lawyer in Flint, Mich. who participated in the recent birth of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,” which was intended to replace the largely discredited exile group that she is a member of, the Syrian National Council.

Her father is surgeon Dr. Abdelmajid Jondy, who recently traveled to his native Syria to help conduct surgeries in war-ravaged opposition strongholds.

They both support regime change in Syria.

But Syria expert and University of Oklahoma professor Joshua Landis says that the new Syrian opposition group will face the same challenge as the old group: getting the many militia groups fighting inside Syria to listen to them.

Interview Highlights

Dr. Abdelmajid Jondy on what it was like to return to Syria:

“For me it was great news to get in and see free Syria. But the sad thing I find everything been destroyed – infrastructure, the school, hospitals, even bakeries. There’s nothing really important that was not destroyed. It is very unfortunate to see like this. Everybody I touch lost some loved one.”

Muna Jondy on worries about al-Qaida involvement with opposition forces:

“I think that those are legitimate concerns. And there is a percentage – it’s still a low percentage, but it is a percentage none the less – that is getting its funding from those types of sources. And we’ve been advocating to our government, ‘Listen, you know that they are going to get the arms, you know that they’re going to continue on this path. Why don’t we be the ones to help train, direct and make this happen quickly.'”

Joshua Landis on the challenges facing the new Syrian opposition coalition:

“The problem will be whether these civilian exiles can in any way take control of the military war that’s going on on the ground. There are dozens of militias, some of them quite big and powerful, and it’s not clear that they’re going to listen to these foreigners – or these people in exile who are civilians.”

How involved do you think the U.S. should be? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Guests:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 15 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.