The Conflict in Syria, A Personal Story

Dr Haytham Alhamwi is the Chairman of the Syrian British Consortium, a London-based advocacy body for British Syrians. He is also a co-founder and the manager of Rethink Rebuild Society, a charity established in Manchester in 2013 to support Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

Dr Husam Haj Omar, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Oxford will chair the event (introducing Dr Haytham Alhamwi and and moderating the audience Q&A.)

Dr Alhamwi will draw on his personal experiences to explain the story of the conflict in Syria. Through his personal story as a previous political prisoner, he will start by describing the situation in Syria before the Arab Spring in 2011, followed by how the Syrian uprising began, and his personal involvement in the non-violent movement. The presentation will cover how Assad’s regime reacted with lethal force to organised movements asking for change. The uprising escalated to a military conflict causing the death of approximately half a million people and the displacement of over half of the population. The presentation will highlight the involvement of different rebel factions (including perceived Jihadists and other terrorist groups) in the Syrian conflict, the heavy military-cum-financial support of the Syrian regime’s allies including Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and the inadequate action of regional and international actors to support the Syrian uprising and the aspiration of the Syrian people. Finally, there will be an explanation of the current de facto partitions of Syria and a discussion on possible avenues for reaching a political solution in the near future.

After Dr Alhamwi’s presentation there will be an opportunity to ask questions during the audience Q&A.

Dr Haytham Alhamwi graduated from the University of Damascus’ Medical School in 1999. He was detained in Syria as a political prisoner from 2003 to 2005 for his civic activism in his hometown Daraya. He came to Manchester in 2007 to do his PhD, and upon graduation in 2012 he helped to establish Rethink Rebuild Society, a Manchester-based charity supporting Syrian refugees and asylum seekers. In 2019 he co-founded the Syrian British Consortium, a political body amplifying the voices of Syrians in the UK and advocating for an inclusive and democratic Syria.

All welcome, please join us if you can. We look forward to having you with us.