NESWA launches Act-1 project in Berlin

On Saturday, December 7, 2019, in the German capital Berlin, NESWA Association inaugurated its first session of the NESWA-ACT1 project who aims to help distinguished Syrian women to take leadership roles in political and societal work, and to obtain their real status in light of the current conditions, which is confirmed by the association slogan, “New Empowered society for Women Activism.”

Rajaa Banout from the co-founding team, held the first speech, providing her long experience in civil, humanitarian and cultural work in the service of achieving and developing the association’s goals, pointing to her early beginnings in public work, with the Cultural Renaissance Association in Damascus, passing through Hanin Choir, till the current project, NESWA Act-1, therefore, all this experiences brought by Banout through those years and how can be effectively harnessed to provide a more effective and powerful women’s product.

After that, Rahaf Salameh, NESWA’s administrative coordinator, starts to describe NESWA’s vision through Act-1 project, and the mechanisms through which the project seeks to create a Solid ground for women empowerment in leadership to engage and influence the political process and political decisions, as well as their importance in social and civic work. 

Project director Mey Seifan, in turn, emphasized the creative and artistic value that interferes with activist work to create different and effective resonances in the target communities, noting that the problem in our current world is to design it in a masculine way, commensurate with men and their needs and aspirations, starting from the simplest tools and ending with To the political construction.

She also talked about the need to start thinking outside the box and look at new points. She says: “The static and current political language often keeps us away from political action, so we have to work on the issue of language and style, which drives me to believe in the effectiveness of art as a political tool in turn.”

Noting that, in the Syrian context in particular, the domination of men over the political scene, especially after the shift from the stage of peaceful revolution to armed conflict, was a clear matter that led to the exclusion of women, which led many donors to believe that there are not enough qualified women, which is far from the truth, that is reflected in the absence of opportunities and the absence of real effort to support and empower women to reach decision-making outlets and influence them.

After NESWA’s team presented themselves, project objectives, the workshop’s plan, and the methodology.

Mr. Klaus Schmitz, the person responsible for the venue in Berlin/Wedding, where all workshops took place, introduced the history of the place and took everyone on a tour.