Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 – 12 PM PDT / 3 PM EST
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The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents:
Will Congress’ recently passed Caesar Bill with US sanctions put an end to Assad’s tyranny and the violence in Syria?
A Free Webinar with panelists Congressman Eliot L. Engel and Saed Moujtahed
|Congressman Eliot Engel represents New York’s 16th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, which includes the northern Bronx and parts of southern Westchester County.
Congressman Engel is currently in his 31st year as a member of Congress. In 2019 he became the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, having previously served as the Committee’s Ranking Member since 2013. He also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee including the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The Congressman was also the founder of the Oil and National Security Caucus, which seeks to reduce American reliance on foreign oil so that we can achieve true energy independence.
Congressman Engel has authored many important pieces of legislation in his time in office, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which successfully sparked international pressure on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon. He was able to pass the measure during a time when Republicans controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress, a testament to his bipartisan approach to politics and unifying message.
In April 2013, Congressman Engel was one of the first members of Congress to call for arming and training the moderate, vetted Syrian opposition. He introduced the Free Syria Act to establish a program to train and equip vetted units of the Free Syria Army and to spur the transition toward a more prosperous and peaceful future in Syria. He was a strong supporter of subsequent efforts to work with the Syrian opposition.
As barrel bombs rained on Syrian civilians, Congressman Engel worked to pass an amendment to the House version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Defense Department to consider the feasibility of imposing a protective no-fly zone in Syria to prevent the regime and its supporters from bombarding civilians from the air.
Seeing the unending violence in Syria, Congressman Engel has since introduced the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which would impose new sanctions on supporters of Syria’s Assad Regime, encourage negotiations to end the crisis, and kick off investigations into the eventual prosecution of war criminals. The bill was named for the former Syrian military photographer, codenamed “Caesar,” who defected to the opposition after documenting Assad’s torture of the Syrian people.
|Saed Moujtahed is an electrical engineer, and founder of Apex Consulting, an engineering consulting firm.
He is also an activist who has put the Arab-American community on the American political map by volunteering his time to empower Arab-Americans to exercise and protect their rights in the U.S. and to have a strong political voice.
He has worked tirelessly with Congress to defend the rights of the Arab and Muslim American communities against stereotypes and labeling. He successfully campaigned for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for her 2004 election, which she won.
Saed Moujtahed has been a Syrian-American activist from the beginning of the Syrian revolution. He established and chaired the Government Relations Committee for the Syrian American Council (SAC) for nearly a year. During the last five years, he spent most of his time lobbying our Administration to support the Syrian people in attaining their struggle for freedom.
He traveled to many cities throughout the U.S. to rally the Syrian-American community’s support and to motivate them to overcome the psychological fear that most Syrians inherited from this barbaric regime for over 48 years.
Currently, he is President of the Syrian Institute for Progress (SIP), an organization that focuses on addressing and supporting the needs of Syrian refugees. He launched a successful program, Burnt Children Relief Foundation (BCRF) bringing Syrian burnt children to the U.S. for treatments.
In addition to continuing to provide information and advice to our Administration on the dynamic changes of the Syrian revolution and the opposition in order to help find the most suitable and lasting solution to the crisis.