Afraa Hashem, one of the main characters in the award-winning documentary ‘For Sama’, joined the discussion to tell her personal story to underscore the necessity of seeking full and comprehensive justice in Syria. “Me, my family, and my people have certainty that justice is inevitable for us. And for the future generations that follow us. We will not lose hope for our real freedom. This is Syria, this is our legacy. We will not stop.”
On 24 September 2021, the Permanent Missions of Germany, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Qatar and the United States to the United Nations co-hosted a virtual side-event on the margins of the high-level week of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on “Raising the Bar: Working towards Comprehensive Justice for Syria". PAX partner Afraa Hashem joined the discussion among representatives from over 15 states, the European Union, various UN agencies, and other key civil society organizations.
During her intervention, Ms. Hashem utilized her own personal story to underscore the necessity of seeking full and comprehensive justice in Syria and holding all perpetrators to account. She also raised the unique perspectives of displaced and detained women, highlighting the importance of ensuring women’s participation in seeking justice, including for crimes related to forced displacement, Housing, Land and Property rights violations, and the use of sieges and hunger as a weapon of war. She also noted that though the discussion focused on seeking justice, all of these crimes are ongoing in Syria, and many, like her, still suffer the trauma related to these heinous crimes. Refugees and the displaced cannot return to Syria until there is peace, but there can be no sustainable peace without comprehensive justice.
Please find her full statement here.
For more information on these important issues please see a recent report in partnership between PAX and Women Now for Development entitled “Perspectives of Forced Displaced Syrian Women on their Conditions, Rights, and Demands”.
More information on Afraa Hashem:
Afraa Hashem is one of the main characters in the award-winning documentary, "For Sama", which tells the story of Waad al-Kateab's life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo. Afraa is a revolutionary Syrian woman and political activist. She has worked in the humanitarian and educational fields, including opening a series of schools in Aleppo and working as a school director and a supervisor in psychological support centers. She chose to remain in the city of Aleppo with her family during the war to help those around her. Afraa believes in the principles of her revolution, in freedom, dignity and social justice. This is what motivated her to continue the peaceful movement. Afraa now dedicates her time to raising awareness about the situation in Syria and participates in advocacy campaigns that contribute to alleviating the pain of the innocent civilians affected by the war. One of these campaigns is Action For Sama, which was set up to turn the worldwide reaction to For Sama into positive action for Syrians.