Foreign Policy just announced Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) for the #19 slot, alongside Rima Dali, in its list of 2012’s top 100 global thinkers for “insisting, against all odds, on a peaceful Syrian revolution.” This is very exciting news! It also looks like FP nabbed one of Christopher‘s shots of Bassel for the article. Doubly cool.
Not all those who have publicly defied Assad have been so fortunate. Bassel Khartabil is, or was, a young computer engineer living in Damascus whose innovative programming skills helped integrate Syria into the online community — laying much of the groundwork for the revolution to come. He became a well-known citizen journalist when the improbable uprising broke out, tweeting and blogging about the spreading crackdown under the moniker Bassel Safadi. He was hauled off by Assad’s security forces in March, and despite a “#FREEBASSEL” campaign launched by his friends, he has not been heard from since. “The people who are in real danger never leave their countries,” he tweeted weeks before his arrest. “They are in danger for a reason and for that they don’t leave.”