Alternative Syrian media: A case study, the pacific weapon against bullets: Sayedat Souria Journal as example

CHARAF, Inaam (2014) Alternative Syrian media: A case study, the pacific weapon against bullets: Sayedat Souria Journal as example. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 170 - Newspapers. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
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Alternative Syrian media: A case study, the pacific weapon against bullets: Sayedat Souria Journal as example

Outside the boundaries imposed by the Syrian regime for more than four decades, and outside the black hole that some radical Islamist groups (Jabhat Al Nosra “Victory Front”; the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria “Daish”/ISIS; and Al Qaeda) are attempt¬ing to impose on Syria’s population today, there is a wider world in which women are gradually rising in the ranks. Women around the globe are independently demanding their equal rights and establishing themselves in the ruling class, as elected politicians and leaders in their fields. In Tunisia, female activists succeeded in forcing the parliament to approve Article 20, which recognizes that men and women are equal under the law, despite the fact that the country is ruled by a conservative, Islamist party. For more than 40 years, the Syrian regime put women on the sidelines with regards to nation building, but this began to change in March of 2011. Masses of women took to the streets to participate in demonstrations and sit-ins against dictatorial rule. After the revolution took full force, women’s role increased even further. They joined humanitarian efforts in helping the wounded and have documented civil and intellectual human rights abuses. Many women have paid a high price for their involvement, some with their freedom or even their lives. Yet, they remain subject to the same limitations imposed by the regime. Likewise, the op¬position is excluding women from taking on any significant leadership roles. At the time of writing, only 5% of Syrian National Coalition representatives are women. The Syrian opposition has failed to recognize the role played by women in the revolution and the value of the sacrifices which women have made for it. The recent rise of Islamic extremists has led to a further limitation of women’s overall role in society and severely endangers their future. Attempts to empower women do exist, however their ineffectiveness to date demonstrates the severe difficulties in exposing the reality of Syrian women and the obstacles they face. Because of this reality and the other factors mentioned previously, the creation of a feminist Syrian journal became a vital necessity. Syrian women today have the right to be informed and supported by a journal that could provide expanded horizons and a new vision for the future of women around the world. The creation of Sayedat Souria and its dissemination would have been much more difficult without the possibilities provided by the internet and digital technology. The author of this paper, who is one of three individuals who helped establish the publication—alongside a playwright/script writer and a young woman with a degree in Arabic language in Gaziantep in the south of Turkey.

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