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.
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. Because what Syrians want is no different to what we want.
This could be happening to any of us. No one is free until we’re all free.
The leaders we relied on are failing. The media have grown weary of a conflict that has dragged on so long. Without a clear way to make a difference the world has turned away from Syria.
But every day the problems escalate. More Syrians are killed or wounded by bombs and bullets. More Syrians are facing violence from extremists. More people are displaced and forced to flee. More people languish without the healthcare they need or the opportunity for meaningful work or education to realise their dreams for the future.
We could not stand by and leave Syrians to suffer. This is a world war and we need the world to act. We are using our skills to move people to stand with Syrians in their struggle.
What do you do?
First, we amplify the stories and the voices of ordinary Syrians who are showing amazing courage, resilience and compassion despite living through the toughest conditions anyone could imagine. On our blog, The Syria Diary, we feature some of the best Syrian artists, writers and filmmakers telling powerful stories that have been untold in the day-to-day reports of conflict and violence.
Powerful stories can awaken people to the true scale of the crisis. They can connect us to each other as fellow humans who have the same hopes and aspirations - for safety and freedom; to live in peace with our neighbours; to work, raising our children, fulfilling our dreams. We believe that these stories we can help change the world’s understanding of the crisis.
Second, members of The Syria Campaign take action in support of the needs of Syrians. These actions target 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. Already our campaigns have played a role in helping a boy trapped inside Syria to be reunited with his father in the United Kingdom and put pressure on the UN to deliver much needed aid to hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians living in rebel held areas without government permission.
How can I get involved?
Join our email list. If you’re looking for where to start, action alerts will come primarily over email.
Like The Syria Campaign on Facebook. Sharing the stories of ordinary Syrians we amplify on social media will help create public pressure on the international community.
Follow on Twitter. Our ability to make change increases as our numbers increase. Follow us and urge your friends to do the same; the more we are, the stronger we’ll be.
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 the voices of Syrians are foremost in everything we do. These are:
- The Governing Board, who are legally responsible for the company 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 works on the Syria Campaign?
The Syria Campaign is supported by a small team of campaigners skilled in the emerging field of online organising and movement building. We came together because we know none of us are free until we are all free.
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.
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 is on a break from his job as Head of Mobilisation at Greenpeace where he leads a team responsible for engaging millions of people on issues like climate change and deforestation. Most recently he lead 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.
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. Bissan worked with networks of citizen journalists to break stories from behind the media blackout. She documented human rights atrocities, interviewed sexual violence and torture survivors, and worked with a team to release reports on forced disappearances and conditions in Syrian detention centres.
Bissan took part in the earliest responses to Syria's humanitarian crisis, coordinating cross-border aid to field hospitals and internally displaced civilians across the country. 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.
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 realized 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.
How are you funded?
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 private donors and foundations from across the world. The donors include many Syrian expatriates who were frustrated by global inaction on Syria and the absence of Syrian voices in discussion of the conflict.
Who do you work with?
The Syria Campaign consults a wide range of non-governmental organisations across the world and Syrian advisors and activists on the ground 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’re not a political organisation and we’re not tied to any political group in Syria or beyond. 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.
How do you choose campaigns or individual cases?
Members of The Syria Campaign take action that brings about increases in:
- Humanitarian assistance and access to aid for Syrians
- Momentum for an effective peace process
- Protection of civilians and end to the violence
- Increase in resources and resettlement for refugees
- Amplification of Syrian voices seeking a peaceful and free Syria
In a conflict as deep as what is happening in Syria, there are more challenges and urgent needs than we could possibly act upon. To choose our campaigns The Syria Campaign:
- Keep in touch with Syrian activists about their priorities
- Prioritise opportunities where mass, public pressure is likely to be effective
- look for gaps in public pressure that other organisations are not able to fill
- Keep in touch with activists on the ground and a range of experts across the NGO and aid sectors to identify where needs are greatest
Does The Syria Campaign 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.
You can also get in touch with us through social media. To reach us there, please Like The Syria Campaign on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.