Panel discussion

Tuesday 19 June 2018, 12:00 - 14:00

Civil Society: Hope in the Syrian Disaster?

Panel debate and poster exhibition

Auditorium A2
Maison de la paix, Geneva

Seven years and no foreseeable end to the conflict, the plight of the Syrian people continues. If there is any hope to stabilize the country, restore basic services and engage in peacebuilding and reconciliation, it largely relies on Syrian civil society organisations within and across partition lines.  Civil society in Syria is a complex and controversial issue including a large diversity of civil organizations, local power structures, tribes and the private sector. Hundreds of active Syrian organisations have been created since 2011, across government and opposition controlled areas, in order to provide people with basic services. The scale and capability of the local response to the crisis, yet largely unknown, is remarkable given the limited support it receives. Today, that glimpse of hope is threatened by the reluctance to support civil organisations at a time when their capacities are reduced as a result of the proxy war power struggles. How can the International community act to preserve the spirit and enhance the capacity of Syrian civil society, despite the complexity of the challenge? This round table will explore avenues for action.


  • Ms Jelnar Ahmad, Citizens for Syria 
  • Mr Ahmed Haj Asaad, Geo Expertise / The Graduate Institute
  • Mr Omar Chamali, Geo Expertise
  • Prof Hussein Almohamad, University of Giessen, Germany
  • Dr Mohamed Al Dbiyat, French Institute for the Near East
  • Prof Ronald Jaubert, The Graduate Institute

NB: A poster exhibition, Water for Resilience and Recovery in Syria, will be hosted at Maison de la Paix from 19-29 June, documenting the Graduate Institute’s ongoing research programme on in-and post-conflict water management challenges.