Syrians – like people all across the world – want their freedom. They want to be free of dictatorship and free of the extremism it has spawned.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad is responsible for crushing a peaceful uprising that has led to the deaths of over 200,000 people, the displacement of 10 million – half the country – and the emergence of some of the most radical, violent groups on the planet. Like Isis.
The vast majority of Syrians want neither Assad nor Isis. They want an end to the violence and a democratic Syria.
The Syria Campaign is mobilising people around the world to act in solidarity with Syrians in their struggle.
This could be happening to any of us. No one is free until we’re all free.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are based on real questions we get asked. Please ask us more and we’ll answer them below.
What is The Syria Campaign?
A global advocacy group standing in solidarity with non-violent Syrians and their struggle for a peaceful and dignified future.
We started on the 3rd anniversary of the uprising at a time when Syria was slipping off the media and political agendas of countries around the world. The violence has never been as fierce as it is now or the humanitarian needs as great. Now more than ever the world needs to engage on Syria.
What does The Syria Campaign do?
We take action targeting people around the world whose decisions can make a difference. We support leaders who champion the needs of the Syrian people, and pressure those who fail to act. We’ve protested outside company offices, petitioned political leaders and helped get non-violent Syrians heard at the highest levels.
Through our work we aim to amplify the stories and the voices of Syrians who are showing amazing courage, resilience and compassion living through the some of the toughest conditions on the planet. On The Syria Diary, we feature some of the best Syrian artists, writers, filmmakers and others telling powerful stories that are largely ignored in the day-to-day reports of conflict and violence.
How can I get involved?
Once you’ve joined The Syria Campaign you’ll get action alerts over email. Get started now by signing up here.
How are you governed?
The Syria Campaign is a non-profit organisation registered as a company in the United Kingdom as The Voices Project—company number 8825761. (If you’re wondering, you can’t be a registered charity in the UK if most of your work is campaigning.)
The Syria Campaign has two levels of governance that guide work and campaigns, maximise our impact and ensure that Syrians drive everything we do. These are:
The Governing Board, who are legally responsible for the organisation and oversee strategy and finance for The Syria Campaign.
Syrian Advisors, who we consult with on a daily basis. These are individuals working on the ground in Syria or the region who provide advice on campaigns and make sure that our work is sensitive to the needs of real Syrians. We do not publicly disclose the names of our Syrian advisors in order to avoid putting them at risk.
Who are you?
The Syria Campaign is supported by a small team of four campaigners:
Anna Nolan – Project Director
Anna Nolan is a Belfast born campaigner who has worked on a range of issues – mostly trying to make the world a fairer place, especially for the little guys. Anna spent her teenage years reading nearly every book available on the ‘Troubles’. Dinner conversations dominated a family that work in peacebuilding and a overly political DVD collection, working on Syria feels like the obvious next step.
Anna earned her campaigning stripes as a digital campaigner and innovation leader at Oxfam GB, one of the UK’s biggest and most impactful NGOs. Anna was the Digital Campaign Manager for the Robin Hood Tax campaign.
Follow Anna on Twitter
James Sadri – Campaign Director
James Sadri is a campaigner and organiser with a background in the Middle East and a passion for global justice. Based in Beirut, James most recent role was the Head of Mobilisation at Greenpeace UK where he led a team responsible for engaging millions of people on issues like climate change and deforestation. James led the digital communications for the successful global effort to free the “Arctic 30″.
James previously spent two years living in Yarmouk camp and other parts of Damascus learning Arabic and working on a TV documentary series for the BBC called “Syrian School”. James’ proudest grassroots campaign was getting people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana to vote in the UK elections to protest the lack of real democracy in today’s globalised world. The concept has been taken on by others and most recently saw Palestinians voting in Israeli elections.
Follow James on Twitter
Bissan Fakih – Campaigner
Bissan is a Beirut-based campaigner involved in efforts to shape the world’s response to events in Syria since the first months of the uprising. At Avaaz, Bissan pushed at the limits of what people thought was possible in an online organisation, working with citizen journalists to break stories from behind the media blackout, documenting human rights atrocities, including sexual violence and torture, and working with a team to release reports on forced disappearances and conditions in Syrian detention centres.
Bissan coordinated cross-border aid to field hospitals and internally displaced civilians across Syria when the humanitarian crisis was beginning. Bissan has campaigned on human rights, freedom of speech and women’s issues around the world, from Kenya to Afghanistan. One Syrian citizen journalist Bissan interviewed in 2012 told her how ordinary citizens were shielding Western journalists’ bodies from snipers with their own, protecting them in hopes that the truth would get out. Bissan is determined that the voices of these Syrians resonate around the world.
Follow Bissan on Twitter
Isaac Versaw – Creative Content
Isaac is an American midwestern boy who has always had a heart for those in need of attention far from the state lines of Ohio. Whether in a Jamaican shanty town or a Native American reservation in the middle of the desert, his volunteering efforts have fed a fire inside to continue work that makes impact. Isaac first heard of the Syrian protests when he was in his first year of journalism school, studying advertising and design. It wasn’t until his last year that he realised how serious the situation in Syria had become and that something needed to be done. He graduated and found out about The Syria Campaign.
Isaac is in awe every day of the amazing people whom he works alongside of, those who have joined the movement and the passion he is witness to from those who believe we can influence change in Syria.
Follow Isaac on Twitter
Where do you get your money from?
The Syria Campaign is fully independent and accepts no money from governments, corporations or anyone directly involved in the Syrian conflict.
Seed funding for The Syria Campaign was provided by The Asfari Foundation with supporting funds from private donors and foundations from across the world. The donors include many Syrian expatriates who are frustrated by global inaction on Syria.
Who do you work with?
The Syria Campaign consults a wide range Syrian advisors and activists on the ground as well as non-governmental organisations across the world to inform our work. We’ll collaborate wherever possible, partnering with leading human rights and humanitarian organisations on specific campaigns.
Are you affiliated with any side in the Syrian conflict?
We are not tied to any political group in Syria or anywhere else. We support universally-agreed human rights and freedoms. We support the aspirations of Syrians to live in a country that respects those rights and where people of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths live alongside each other in peace.
We criticise anyone who is violating human rights, no matter what side they’re on. Many opposition groups are committing human rights violations and these groups are often financially supported directly or indirectly by the West and its allies.
However, the overall direction of the human rights violations is clear: the regime is responsible for far more than any other group.
We believe that to make progress on resolving the conflict, people need to know not just who is doing the killing, but how much killing they’re doing.
Who are your campaigns aimed at?
People around the world who should care about what’s happening in Syria but don’t.
There are 87 countries involved in the fighting in Syria, this isn’t a distant and isolated conflict that can be ignored. The policies of governments around the globe direct impact the lives of Syrians inside and outside the country. That is why publics around the world need to be better informed about Syria and pressure their leaders to adopt better policies.
Our campaigns aim to engage people who care about human rights and solidarity – no matter where they live – but for whatever reason have failed to engage on Syria.
Maybe after four years it’s fatigue, maybe it’s thinking it’s too complex, maybe it’s just seeing only bad guys in the news. Whatever the reasons, we aim to overcome these barriers and get people around the world campaigning to concretely improve the lives of Syrians.
Do you provide emergency relief?
The Syria Campaign does not directly provide emergency relief to individuals.
As a campaigning organisation we may run campaigns to unlock more government aid, improve access to food and medicine and create momentum for an effective peace process.
There are many excellent organisations working on the ground in Syria who do provide emergency relief to people in need.
How can I get in contact with The Syria Campaign?
For all media, partner and general enquiries, please get in touch using the contact below. We read every email we receive. We try to respond to every email, but if we miss yours please bear with us. Our tiny team is hard at work putting together campaigns.