Single title

Preserving an uncensored history of life in pre-war Syria

KAS and Sharq continue documentation of pre-war life in Syria

For decades, the Assad regime has controlled the dominating cultural and social narrative of Syria. As a consequence of the ongoing war, millions of Syrians have left the country. As in 2016, the KAS Syria/Iraq office in 2017 again supported the NGO Sharq for citizen development in compiling the stories of life in Syria before the war. Interviewing displaced Syrians from different ethnic, confessional and social backgrounds, the oral history project “Syrian Voices” aims to draw an uncensored history of Syria and its people and to thereby lay the foundation for future reconciliation efforts.

In partnership with KAS, Sharq for citizen development conducted more than 60 interviews in 2017. The participating Syrians were at the time residing in Turkey and contributed to the project with a diverse collection of audio and video recordings, photographs, as well as written articles in English and Arabic. The final database provides a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of Syria and the life of its people.

The oral history project “Syrian Voices” started in 2016 with Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The results are published in a virtual library and provide a comprehensive compilation of first-hand accounts through the eyes of refugees. As such, it serves as a base for information and knowledge to academia, media and the general public.

In 2018, an additional 60 interviews with Syrians in Jordan are planned.