Syria's very own Woman fighter, fights to protect women's rights

Teacher and women's rights organizer, founder of Syria's first NGO dedicated to gender-based violence

Meet Munaa... since our last interview, the Law to protect women, passed in 2014, is now becoming known. Munaa wants to open projects for women to teach them how to self help and take care of themselves. She wants to get women involved in any financial projects, training them via a computer course, then helping them find a job afterwards in administration.
Unfortunately in 2017 there was a lot of violence towards women against the law raising the challenge that not all men in society accept ideas of protecting women. She has currently informed Christians, Armenians and Arabs of woman's rights and the law with the intention of generating awareness.
Munaa and her organization would go to Villages to educate about the law only leaving some men to only accept with fear. All the while, it is still allowed for men in some Arabic cultures to have have multiple wives. For example, with the Islamic Sharia men can have 4 wives. And as she tries and educates women on the law but they also don't accept the rights because of their fear from man. She is trying to be an active spoken voice for women in an unspoken environment due to the previous laws and rights of her culture.

Syria: What may seem 'Hopeful' is now looking 'Hopeless' for refugees

Thousands of refugees are looking to return back to Syria from the northeastern town of Arsal in Lebanon. Syria wants its Refugees to return home and rebuild the country, according to Lebanon's President Joseph Aoun he believes that keeping many refugees in Lebanon is an "existential danger". Making the return of the Refugees to Syria very hopeful and prominent.

Syria imposes a new housing rule called 'Law 10'

Ali Abdul Karim, Syrian ambassador to Lebanon delivered a letter from the Syrian foreign minister to Lebanon's foreign minister that responded to the questions and concerns about 'Law 10'

Al-Masdar News

Law 10 states that destroyed areas of Syria are to be redeveloped and reconstructed. To prove your claim to property, damaged or destroyed, Syrians must appear in person with newly appointed real estate documents by the government within a year. Meaning the millions of refugees who are still waiting to return might are at risk to lose their homes if they don't return within the year period.

UNCHR discourages refugees, Bassil speaks out.

Lebanon's foreign minister wants for the refugees to return to their country but feels as if the UNCHR, United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, has spread fear of returning. 3000 refugees in the town of Arsal were expected to return home however the UNCHR discouraged them by telling them about the poor accommodation and security problems upon return, according to Lebanon's Foreign minister Gebran Bassil.

'Unloved childhood is the cause of all evil in the world'

Cannes 2018 Jury Prize is about abandoned children and with young Syrian refugee in the main role

'Capharnaüm' by Nadine Labaki wins Jury Prize at #Cannes2018

Labaki's Capharnaüm is an Arabic-language film telling the tale of Zain, a 12-year-old boy born into poverty without a birth certificate in Lebanon, who is suing his parents for having brought him into the world without the means to care for him.

'Unloved childhood is the cause of all evil in the world,' says director Nadine Labaki

'Je voudrais vous inviter à réfléchir, parce que l'enfance mal aimée est à la base du mal dans le monde.' (Original quote in French)

'I would like to invite you to reflect [...] I hope this film will open a debate,' says Capharnaüm's director, Nadine Labaki.

Watch 'Capharnaüm' trailer

INTERIOR COURTROOM ZAIN, a 12-year-old boy, faces THE JUDGE. THE JUDGE: Why are you suing your own parents? ZAIN: For giving me life.

Dinner in Damascus

How a meal 14 000 kilometres removed from a conflict brought members of Australia's Gold Coast community together.

صار بيننا خبز و ملح

The Arabic quote "We share bread and salt" has a deeper message meaning "we are bonded now, as we shared a meal". By sharing a meal, you share not only food, but also your culture, your story, and your customs.

How a meal 14 000 kilometres removed from a conflict brought members of Australia's Gold Coast community together.

In March 2018, Syrian chefs took over the kitchen at a restaurant on the Gold Coast in Australia and guided their guests on a cultural and culinary experience to the old city of Damascus. Approximately 100 people attended the event, 'Dinner in Damascus'.

While Australia may be a country based on immigration, multiculturalism and diversity, it was the first time the majority of the guests tried Syrian food. The chefs made an immense effort to satisfy every taste bud, starting from the traditional aperitive, Tamir Hindi, that they replicated to taste just like in the Syrian markets. The chefs went out of their way to please the eyes with chopped parsley and fresh pomegranate decorating the meals and every aspect of the food presentation was carefully thought out because food presentation is extremely important.

لعين بتاكل

(it means "the eye eats")

Following the traditional Syrian buffet, guests engaged in listening to story-tellers with origins from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Greece, China and local Gold Coast artists and entrepreneurs. Guests went live to Damascus to hear from the Watad Educational and Musical Group, a scouting organisation utilising art as an educational tool to enhance the lives and provide psychosocial support to children in Syria. Guests also heard about local projects and organisations working together with displaced people and profits were raised to help refugees in the community through the Refugee Association of Logan.

The story-tellers showed immense courage, as did the chefs. It has been said that senses can restore memories and emotions and remembering the taste of Damascus, in a small, far away Australian city is not an easy task.

Some research has been done on the power-infused relations between hosting and being hosted, between giving and receiving, as well as the politics of food and hospitality and how food can create intimate environments, often in contrast to hostile realities, but more needs to be put into practice. The evening aimed to foster feelings of togetherness and connectivity, beyond borders and stereotypes, providing a platform for the people of the community (and far away) to share their stories and their individuality, which the Sheherazade Gold Coast Belly-dance Academy did so well. Guests jumped out of their seats at the sound of the dabkeh and embraced the food, the stories and the dance.

Dinner in Damascus provided guests on the Gold Coast with an intimate and enlightening experience from which everyone both gained something and gave a part of themselves as well. We hope to repeat this experience. Maybe in your city?

Jovana Mastilovic is a PhD Candidate @GriffLawSchool in Brisbane, Australia. Jovana's PhD research analyzes the impact of securitization on access to asylum in the European Union. Originally from Serbia, her passion concerning migration, mobility and security arose from a diverse personal and professional background. Follow her on Twitter @jomana_va

Programmatic Activism From Syria


Findings from our analysis of the ongoing tweet and retweet activity using the hashtag #saveGhouta help us understand programmatic behavior on Twitter in connection with the current war in Syria and the complexities of the information landscape.

This hashtag has been used in activist campaigns to bring the world's attention to Eastern Ghouta, an area on the outskirt of Syria's capital Damascus where armed rebel groups have been locked in a fight with the Syrian government forces besieging them. Both civilians and opposition fighters are entangled in this dense urban tissue, and civilian casualties from government airstrikes have been rapidly mounting. The tragedy of Ghouta is being promoted for fundraising purposes by groups based in the United States, such as the Syrian American Medical Society. The Society's Facebook verified page prominently features the hashtag on its cover photo and is currently holding fundraisers.

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Might come handy!

The new immigration policy implemented by the Trump administration is threatening the Hispanic community's way of life.

Families are being broken apart and some American dreams are coming to an end. Under the new rules, hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were previously protected from deportation are now fair game for federal immigration agents.

Shout! spoke with Juan Cartagena, president of Latino Justice, a New York-based national civil rights organization, earlier last year. He provided some practical advice for undocumented immigrants:

1. “You should carry documentation that proves that you’ve been living in the U.S. for at least two years.”

Photo by Nicole Harrington

In 1996, Congress passed a law that allowed the government to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who have not been in the United States for a long period of time without allowing them to see a judge.

Past administrations had imposed limits on immigration officers' ability to do it. For example, under president Obama, ICE officers could only apply that law when an immigrant was arrested within 100 miles of the border and had not been in the U.S. for more than 14 days.

But under the Trump administration's new rules, you must have been living in the country for at least two years before officers are required to provide you with due process protections.

2. “Immigration officers that require consent to enter a private home must obtain permission in a language spoken by the resident.”

Photo by Jordan Andrews

Because of a federal class-action lawsuit filed a few years ago, immigration officers that require consent to enter a private home must obtain permission in a language spoken by the resident "whenever feasible."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 22 latinos that ended in 2013 with a settlement in which federal authorities agreed to establish new policies governing the conduct of ICE officers during raids.

3. “You can deny access to your home if the officer does not have a warrant.”

Photo by Brendon Griggs

4. “You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.”

Photo by Patrick Tomassa

"They have the right to remain silent and ask for legal representation. The constitution holds that due process applies to any person, not only citizens or legal residents," Mr. Cartagena argues.

5. “You are not alone.”

Photo by Omar Lopez

"Latino immigrants are not alone. There are a number of organizations like ours who are prepared to help them. I encourage them to seek our help. President Trump is trying to terrorize our communities, he's trying to oppress people," the president of Latino Justice said.

Soon on Shout! News: #FreeThe20

#FreeThe20: Extended Coverage On Shout! News

In 2015, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, announced the #FreeThe20 campaign, with the goal of freeing twenty female political prisoners abroad. Shout! News wants to see where they are now. These women's stories are coming soon. Get ready to be inspired. Sign up for our newsletter on the top right of this page to be notified when our stories are released.