The Channel Foundation, Global Fund for Women, and the World Affairs Council Seattle are co-hosting a lunch focused on women in Syria catered by a Syrian-Lebanese restaurant Mamnoon. $15 ($25 non-member).

Speakers: Rula Asad is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Syrian Female Journalists Network (SFJN) and Anna Fleischer is Advocacy and Communications Manager at Women Now for Development, the largest Syrian women’s organization.

Moderator: Sara Curran, Professor of International Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

News stories about Syria in the international media often feature the voices of aid workers, UN policy-makers, and academics; rarely do we hear from Syrians themselves unless they are victims of bombings or refugees fleeing the war. Seldom do we hear first-hand about the hard work Syrian human rights advocates and organizers are doing to strengthen their country. The voices of Syrian women are particularly absent.

Yet Syrian women are powerful leaders in advancing their rights and the rights of their communities. It is critical that they themselves participate in the conversations about—and solutions to—the protracted violence on the ground. Join us for a panel discussion to hear how Syrian women are organizing to gain ownership of their lives, their rights, and their futures as well as those of their communities. Activists Rula Asad of the Syrian Female Journalists’ Network, and Anna Fleischer, of Women Now for Development, will share with us the realities and priorities of Syrian women-led organizing for human rights and justice in Syria. This panel discussion will shed light on the context of organizing for women’s rights in Syria as well as among displaced Syrian women in Lebanon and Turkey.

Speaker Biographies

Rula Asad is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Syrian Female Journalists Network (SFJN). She was born in 1983 in Damascus and holds a degree in journalism from the University of Damascus. She is a freelance journalist and reporter on women and human rights, as well as culture and civil society’s issues from  Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Additionally, Rula Asad has worked as a reporter for Deutsche Welle, Germany, and Radio Netherlands among other media outlets. She is a committed independent journalist/researcher/trainer with special interest and experience in the field of women rights, gender equality in media and development issues in the Middle East.

Anna Fleischer is Advocacy and Communications Manager at Women Now for Development, the largest Syrian women’s organization with a specific focus on participation, empowerment, protection and advocacy. Previously she worked as a regional manager at the German Near and Middle East Association and project officer at elbarlament in Berlin for different projects in Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. She holds a Masters degree in Arab World Studies from Durham University and studied in Germany, the United Kingdom and Egypt.


Tickets: $15 for Global Fund for Women and World Affairs Council supporters and $25 for non-members.
Tickets can be purchased here. For questions about registration or to change your RSVP, call 206-441-5910.