Suha al-Kasir, from Salamiya. She used to work in the X-ray department in the Salamiya Hospital. She left Syria in 2014 and is living now in the Netherlands. She is a member of SWPM.
Believing in the revolution’s goals, and the importance of changing the reality of the Syrian people who is living under a corrupt dictatorial regime, Suha participated in the demonstrations in Salamiyah since the beginning of the revolution in 2011. Her husband was arrested before the revolution. Suha also provided relief and medical aid for people who injured in protests.
Beside her being from a political family, as her father was a communist, and reading many political books, she joined the Union of Syrian Democratic Youth in al-Salamiyah area in the 1980s. That was her first practical step of political action. When she felt that the Union does not represent her aspirations, she formed another democratic group, along with a group of young men and women who belonged to different parties in the late eighties. The group lasted for about a year and was dissolved because it was fought off by other parties, and the founding members were busy studying in college. Thus, when the revolution started, Suha felt that her dream of change she always waited for, will finally come true.
Suha had to leave Syria in 2014, to avoid her husband’s arrest again by the regime, after he had already suffered the agony of imprisonment, with all the abuses detainees go through. During the revolution, he also received many threats, and was continuously pursued by security forces, so they had no other choice but to leave the country.
Suha says that the experience of asylum and being away from her country and family is very hard, especially that she lost a brother while she was in the diaspora. However, living in a country that respects human rights and dignity, where all citizens are equal in rights and obligations, mitigate the pain of expatriation, especially, seeing her children enjoying all their rights in the Netherlands, where she is currently living.
“I joined SWPM because it is a platform through which I can work for women issues, alongside political activity.”
Suha believes that challenges that faced political work in Syria were imposed by the tyrannical dictatorial regime, which has been keen to keep people away from politics, interested only in making a living, as well as because of the regime’s suppressive policy against anyone with an opposing opinion, causing Syrian people to fear engaging in politics.
In terms of the challenges facing women in particular in politics, she says that in addition to the masculine community, the main challenge is in women’s mentality, their will to confront the community and the pressures surrounding them to prove themselves and their abilities to realize that they can be strong and economically independent from men, having their own political opinions that must be respected and taken seriously.
Suha joined the Syrian Women Political Movement because she considered it a platform through which she can work for women issues, alongside political activity. She says that, SWPM includes well-versed political women who are well-educated, ambitious and powerful. That motivated her to be among them, to learn from their expertise and work with them to contribute to bring women to decision making positions, and ensure women’s political and civil rights in future Syria. Thanks to SWPM members, Suha expects that it will have a great role in such difficult and challenging circumstance Syria is going through in helping marginalized women inside Syria understand their rights, especially political ones, and realize the importance of their roles, regardless of their domains and positions, in building democratic Syria, that respects and defends women rights.
Suha says that despite 9 years of war, killing, destruction and displacement the Syrian people went through, in addition to being let down by all parties, we still need to put pressure on the international community to act to save the remaining people of Syria, topple the corrupt regime, hold criminals accountable, restore the rights of the martyrs and release detainees. That what keeps Suha insisting on working in public affairs, through being part of SWPM.
“Syrian women should be aware of all of their rights, especially the political ones, in order to be able to reach decision-making positions and realize their goals.”
Suha says that one of the nicest moments she recalls of the revolution, was when she managed to help a young man who was running away from a dispersed demonstration, after being admitted to the hospital with an injury. She helped him get out of one of the hospital’s doors minutes before the regime forces came in looking for him. Talking about the difficult moments she lived in the revolution, Suha says that they were plenty, such as the death of her cousin under torture after one week of his arrest in 2012, when the revolution was still peaceful, although he was not armed, but was only distributing water and flowers to protesters. Another hard experience she lived was when she saw a friend of hers who was miserable after his release from detention.
Suha dreams of a Syria free of sectarianism where citizens are equal in their rights and obligations, regardless of their gender, religion or opinion. A country where all forms of corruption and fanaticism disappear. She wishes women, in particular, to be aware of their rights and obligations and be up to the responsibility they have. She wants women to work hard, educate themselves and increase their political awareness, especially that many women were made to believe that politics is a field for men only. Suha also calls Syrian women to be one hand and support one another in all fields.