Dima al-Sayed, my deprivation of my father was a motive to partake in the revolution

Dima al-Sayed

My deprivation of my father was a motive to partake in the revolution

Dima was involved early
in the revolution by taking to the streets in demonstrations and providing aid,
in addition to attending political lectures. Dima says that she comes from a
politically independent family that is not affiliated with any party. She spent
most of her childhood apart from her father who has, as she describes, incurred
the wrath of the regime, so he was away all the time. He only went back to
Syria after the death of Hafez al-Assad. Dima says that this early deprivation of her father was one of the motives for her to partake in the revolution
against an unjust and tyrannical regime.

Speaking about the
reasons that forced Dima to leave Syria, she says that after one month has
passed on the al-Hawla massacre in Homs in 2012, she went with her father and
two of her friends to al-Hawla to provide aid for the families there, as she
was working in the provision of aid at the time with a group of her friends to
support people who were displaced from Homs. Upon their return to Damascus,
they started to receive threats from the regime, and indeed, some of her close
friends have been detained, so she made her decision to flee for Turkey. Dima
worked with several media outlets since she moved to Turkey, such as al-Kul
Radio and Rozana Radio. Right now, she works on freelance basis.

Dima’s interest in
politics started with the beginning of the revolution. Yet, SWPM is the first
political body she actually joins. When she joined in 2018, she found that SWPM
represents her in all of its objectives and principles, especially in terms of
women issues and rights. She also wanted to be part of the change of society’s
perspective to women in general, through joining SWPM, in addition to her main
goal which is the political empowerment of women.

Dima always highlights
that the politically well-versed male and female members of SWPM should seek to
conduct workshops and lectures for awareness raising and political education in
topics like negotiations, governance and women rights among other issues,
especially for the new members who are enthusiastic to work but lack the

In terms of the
challenges facing political activity in Syria, Dima says that the most
prominent challenge is the absence of a political atmosphere in general and the
lack of democracy under the dictatorship of the Assad regime. As for the
challenges facing women in specific in political activity, Dima says that these
challenges emanate from the norms and traditions and the society’s general perception
of women as being of a lower status than men, in addition to challenges related
to changing the mentality of women themselves and their fear of being involved
in politics, partly due to the subsequent false stereotype created by society
about politically active women. The responsibility to raise the awareness of
all groups of society, and the young generation in specific, that women are
partners for men in everything rather than a rivalry, lies mainly on the
shoulder of women.

Dima highlights that
after nine years, all civil and political institutions should unify their
efforts to communicate a unified Syrian civil voice, continue to put pressure
on the international community and push for the implementation of the demands
of the revolution since its eruption. Dima adds that despite all the losses and
defeats the revolution has suffered, she still has a lot of motives to continue
the struggle to achieve the goals of the revolution. Most importantly, being
sincere and loyal to the martyrs of the revolution, releasing detainees, and having
hope in building a better future for the coming generations in a civil state
and democratic regime that respects the rights and freedoms of citizens, both
men and women.

One of the most
beautiful moments Dima had experienced in the revolution was meeting the man
she loved and married. The hardest moments though, was being under the threat
of detention because of her participation in the demonstrations and the
revolutionary activity, without taking into consideration the threat that she
or her family may be subjected to, in addition to the detention and death of so
many of her friends during the years of the revolution.

Dima dreams of a Syria
that is civil, stable and colored where all community groups live together with
equality, sharing and love, without any kind of discrimination. She says to the
women of Syria: “we are strong enough to bring about the change in our country,
and to communicate our voices through our work, capabilities and cooperation.
We must leave our own fingerprints in the process of change towards a better
country. Syrian women have proven that they are not weak. Just be yourself,
trust yourself and your powers and don’t be intimidated by anyone.”