Our Members

Amal Naem

Amal Naem, a lawyer and passionate feminist activist, graduated with a law degree from Damascus University. She is actively involved in the Syrian Women’s Political Movement and the Syrian Democratic Alliance, serving as the political committee coordinator. Currently residing in the Netherlands, Amal originates from the Syrian city of As-Suwayda, where she cherished her dreams and aspirations. Reflecting on her connection to As-Suwayda, she expresses, “My ties to As-Suwayda are woven with stories and dreams. I drew strength and resilience from its black stones. My dream was of a peaceful life with a beautiful family. However, my joy turned to despair when my husband was arrested just as we anticipated the arrival of our first child.” After enduring three difficult years, life smiled at Amal again when her husband was released. Despite this, her happiness was short-lived as tragedy struck with her husband’s assassination. His funeral turned into a protest against the oppressive regime—a dream he had hoped to witness. Left to mourn his loss and raise their children alone, Amal bid farewell to her dreams, embracing the daunting task of rebuilding her life and family.


“My fundamental principle in life has always been human dignity. That’s why I wholeheartedly embraced the Syrian revolution and decided never to stop fighting for dignity and freedom, especially for women’s issues and the violence they face.”


Amal was confident that change was inevitable in Syria. Reflecting on her involvement in the revolution, she says, “I followed the Arab Spring with the eagerness of a child longing for freedom. I was convinced that the night must end, and it wasn’t long before Daraa rose up and then became besieged. We were at the forefront of the few peaceful protests in As-Suwayda. Like all Syrians, our hopes were pinned on the revolution for freedom. A hidden joy filled our hearts as we dreamed of a secular state free from the manifestations of tyranny, governed by laws befitting us as Syrians.”

Amal dreamed of a dignified and secure life in Syria, with laws that foremost respected human dignity. She explains, “We suffered greatly in As-Suwayda, treated by the regime as a neglected city lacking in development. Poverty, youth migration, and corruption were rampant, along with oppressive laws, especially against women. I rebelled against everything from a young age, rejecting the regime’s policies that oppressed Syria, destroyed its youth and women. I refused to join any party or participate in any political movement under Assad’s rule, as these entities were mere puppets manipulated by the regime. Human dignity has always been my guiding principle, so I embraced the Syrian revolution with all my being, determined never to cease fighting for dignity and freedom, particularly for women’s issues and the violence perpetrated against them.”

Migration from Syria wasn’t part of Amal’s dreams. She was adamant about staying in her city, As-Suwayda, until threats from the authorities forced her decision to leave. She explains, “I arrived in the Netherlands a few months ago, after spending years of the revolution trying to bring about change through the Revolution of Dignity. I remained a resistor in Syria until the end, but I came to the conviction that I must protect my children from the threats we faced, especially as civil and political work became increasingly unsafe, and legal work claimed bits of our souls each time we entered the courthouse, seeing justice overridden by everything around us, even killed.”

Amal faced a challenging journey to a country unknown to her. She shares, “Arriving in Europe wasn’t easy, as forced exile is painful. Everything in the Netherlands was unfamiliar to me—the language, the expressions, the environment, and the responsibility of raising my children in a new country. I felt like I was born again, a child alongside my children, who carried memories of hardship and pain. We live in a refugee center, treated as numbers to be housed and fed, while I ponder what became of Syrians around the world, feeling the differences and identity struggles tearing at my heart. It’s a difficult and lonely beginning; I can’t blend in because everyone is a stranger, Arabs don’t accept my identity, and I lack the language to communicate with the Dutch.”


“Any action women take against stereotypes and oppressive authorities is political.”

Amal began her political work with the onset of the Syrian revolution and speaks about it, saying, “The revolution compelled me to engage in political work and be part of all dialogues and active blocs in Sweida. Previously, there was no political education in Syria, and there was no political life. The stereotypical image imposed on women kept them away from it. I was always involved in political sessions and dialogues, finding nothing convincing under authoritarian rule that controlled politics in a masculine manner, through the Ba’ath Party, which invested in directing politics centrally and oppressively.” Amal continues her discussion about the political challenges and how they differed after the start of the revolution, saying, “Simply overcoming regional complications and balancing between different interests cannot be achieved. In my opinion, no political work in Syria can succeed if it’s not built on transparency and realism to achieve the aspirations of the entire Syrian people. Even after the Syrian revolution continued for over a decade, political life remains distant for most women. Women’s quotas to increase access opportunities are missing in the electoral law. This is accompanied by women’s continuous efforts to secure decent lives for themselves and their families, making political life one of the essentials of life in light of the current Syrian circumstances.”

Amal talks about the challenges facing women, especially in political work, saying, “There are many challenges burdening women. They suffer in all aspects of life, socially, legally, and economically. They are subjected to patriarchal roles and authority, which limits their effective participation in political work and reaching decision-making positions. From my perspective, everything around us today is closely linked to politics. Any work women do in countering stereotypes and authoritarian powers is political work. Any decision women make in their lives is part of the social and political space.”

Regarding her motivations for joining the Syrian Women’s Political movement, Amal says, “The Syrian Women’s Political movement represents an important feminist movement in the Syrian cause. It is an essential feminist platform capable of proving the presence of women in the political arena. I found in it a channel through which women, including myself, can convey our voices to tell the world that we are capable of engaging in all fields, especially the political field. The Syrian Women’s Political movement is a fundamental supporter of women’s aspirations, solidarity, and their ability to participate in the political solution and follow the Syrian cause from a feminist perspective. I joined the Syrian Women’s Political movement because I expect it to bring about radical change in political life and continue the struggle to build the Syria we dream of.”

Amal continues her discussion about the Syrian Women’s Political movement and its role in the political arena and enhancing women’s participation in political work, saying, “The movement has an important role as a pioneering movement in political work and is an important and audible voice in presenting feminist political visions. Its establishment is a significant step towards achieving change and contributing to building a democratic Syria without discrimination between its citizens.”

Amal believes that the principles of the Syrian revolution have not changed despite all the crises and political fluctuations it has experienced. However, she sees that the political landscape has become more complex. She says, “The revolution has turned into a devastating civil war due to the intervention of international and regional parties, and the continued rule of a corrupt and criminal regime obstructs all political solutions. This has led to a deviation in the compass of the revolution, and Syrians are now preoccupied with seeking peace and security amidst fragmentation and conflict. The compass of revolutionary action can be redirected by recognizing the cultural and ethnic diversity in Syria and bringing people closer together. It is undeniable that Syrians are unfamiliar with each other’s cultures and identities, and this is an opportunity to clarify differences and introduce this cultural richness, in the hope of reaching a unified national identity after the implementation of a political solution, knowing the fate of the missing persons, and releasing detainees.”

“My dream of reaching the Syria we dream of has not stopped for a moment. A country of citizenship built on equality, freedom, and democracy. I will continue because there is still a dream for Syrian women and for my children and the children of Syria. Because we are the owners of a just cause that will not end until the demands of the Syrian people are achieved.”

“Syria is the most beautiful country in my eyes, and I have never stopped loving it or dreaming of reaching a stage where corruption fades away. We envision a Syria where individuals are equal before the law, and they have the right to equal protection guaranteed by the law without any discrimination. Equality is a humanitarian principle that breaks the cycle of poverty and grants women the opportunity to rise in the future Syria and address the root causes of conflicts and crises.”

Speaking about Syrian women, Amal says, “Syrian women are strong and resilient, whether inside Syria or in refugee-hosting countries. Despite all the setbacks, they have managed to show the world that they are capable of making a clear difference in the midst of ongoing conflict and making change. However, with the presence of the status quo authorities, they still target women who raise their voices to demand their rights.”
“The women in the SWPM  movement are remarkable Syrian feminists. We can build on their struggle and continue it to achieve a more just and equitable society for women.”

Amal shares one of her positive experiences during the years of the revolution, saying, “I never presented myself as a broken woman who lost both her parents and husband in one year. Instead, I lived with courage and ambition. I returned to school, excelled in high school despite my responsibilities at work, studied law with excellence and passion. Exploring the various branches of legal sciences was a gateway to my social and political activism. The most beautiful moment I harvested in the last ten years was the moment I took the oath to practice law. I represented the Syrian woman in those moments. Despite all the setbacks and violence against women, and despite the war, I stood in court, and my colleagues affirmed with their looks that I had contributed a lot to my work and my country with love and dedication. I see in the eyes of my children their joy that I was a successful mother who opened doors closed by societal challenges. The judges at the court would put the badge of advocacy on me and receive me cautiously as a (lawyer and activist for women’s rights).”

Regarding the painful experiences she endured, Amal says, “My experience was influential in a dream I had planned for a lot, which is to convey my experience to the wives and mothers of conflict victims in Syria. Women, my public cause, and wives and mothers of conflict victims, my private cause. I wished to approach them and help them. I heard women telling their stories of loss and documenting them so that no one would manipulate them. Their stories say to the world, ‘We are Syrian women. We faced all injustice, war, and loss. We screamed in the face of an unfair law and rebelled against Paternalistic authorities to build peace for our children and create a generation for the future of Syria.’ This experience affected me deeply, as the feeling of helplessness to change the reality of Syrian women is what hurts me the most.”

Amal concludes this interview by saying, “The only hope remains in our solidarity as women and in continuing the struggle for the women of Syria and for the future of Syria.”