Saba al-Hakim from Idlib, a graduate of Pharmaceutics in Damascus University. She worked as a pharmacist before the revolution and she also volunteered with an association for persons with special needs. She is living in Germany and she is a founding member of SWPM.
Since the very beginning of the revolution, Saba, with a group of pharmacists, doctors and university students, formed what they called the national gathering of youths and intellectuals. It staged and participated in demonstrations and sit-ins that took place at the beginning of the revolution. The gathering organized a campaign to support Homs when it was under siege, and Saba sent medications and food aid to distressed cities. When arrests became common place, Saba was among a delegation that visited Idlib governor demanding the release of detainees. The regime then invaded the city with tanks in 2012, started killing and shelling civilians and suppressing demonstrations. Saba was the only woman in the delegation that met the international observers at the time to demand the regime to allow demonstrations, withdraw the army from the city and release detainees. She started to receive threats of detention for her and her husband who left for Turkey, and she joined him with her children a few days later after her house in Idlib was destroyed. In turkey, Saba headed a medical office affiliated with a Syrian organization that was based in Gaziantep, providing medical aid, including the establishment of 6 dental clinics in Aleppo countryside, a strategic warehouse for drugs and many other achievements Saba is proud of. Saba lived in Turkey for 3 years, then she moved to Germany where she currently lives.
“SWPM fulfilled my aspiration to practice political work from a feminist perspective that helps women to occupy their true position in community and have their voices heard when it comes to determining the future of Syria.”
Saba says she was not content with the ruling regime in Syria, especially after Hama events in the 1980s. She rejected the dictatorship and policy of repression of the regime utilized against the people. Due to the absence of political life and the possibility of practicing politics, she fed her interest in politics with reading political books only. When the revolution started, she immediately participated in it with an aspiration for change and a better future that all Syrians deserve. She says that people had hunger for political work but had no political experience which caused a lot of mistakes within the opposition institutions. As for the challenges that faced women in politics, Saba says that there were so many challenges, on top of which comes traditions and the masculine community that tries to exclude the role of women and underestimate their abilities and achievements at all levels.
Saba joined SWPM, in addition to her membership in the Syrian Woman Network, because she felt the necessity to have a body that includes all these female capacities and expertise with a focus on one goal which is woman issues in addition to political work, following the marginalization and exclusion women suffered from through their work with other opposition institutions. Therefore, Saba says, SWPM fulfilled her aspiration to practice political work from a feminist perspective that helps women to occupy their true position in community and have their voices heard when it comes to determining the future of Syria.
Saba believes that SWPM has proven itself and managed to attract a lot of women and expertise available everywhere inside or outside Syria. Saba believes that because of SWPM members’ belief in their cause and sincere work, SWPM will manage to accomplish a lot in the future, including, most importantly, enhancing women presence in decision-making positions. Currently SWPM helps empowering women through political dialogues and meetings to have an effective role in determining the future and building modern Syria.
“I will continue working in public affairs until all of these goals are achieved, detainees are released, criminals and all the parties that harmed the Syrian people are held accountable and foreign forces that occupied Syria are expelled, in addition to the main goal which is toppling the corrupt dictatorial regime.”
Saba stresses the importance of a political solution to end the war in Syria, achieve the goals and principles of the revolution in freedom, justice, equality, the state of law, democracy with a new constitution, fair elections and the circulation of power. She will continue working in public affairs until all of these goals are achieved, detainees are released, criminals and all the parties that harmed the Syrian people are held accountable and foreign forces that occupied Syria are expelled, in addition to the main goal which is toppling the corrupt dictatorial regime.
Saba says to the women of Syria: “Do not accept the role of victims; you have great potentials, so we need to continue and cooperate with each other to return to our country and build it together. Syrian women are aware and they made great achievements that impressed the world and host communities during the years of war. Syrian women attract admiration whenever they are, thanks to their education, capabilities and accomplishments in all fields”