Bi-monthly Newsletter

Assalam Alikom

Dear all,
As we reflect upon this past year, we are very proud to note the achievements that we have made as the British Syrian community of Manchester, including assisting dozens of refugees settle into their new life in Britain, opening a school in Syria in the name of our community, hosting a conference on Syria on a national scale and advising politicians on Syria-related issues. We would like to wish you all a happy new year, complete with happiness, success, and peace for yourselves and for our beloved Syria.
As we approach the upcoming 7 May general elections in the UK, we are reminded of the importance of political participation and engagement, a notion that hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fought and died for. We will be actively involved in the election process, both in conveying Syrians' demands to politicians but also in ensuring that our voting power is maximised. We hope that you will all engage with us in this and other efforts to continue to ensure that Syrians' voices are heard and accounted for in this country.

Best regards,
Haytham Alhamwi

Meeting with Sir Paddy Ashdown

Meeting with Sir Paddy AshdownRR met with Sir Paddy Ashdown, Chair of the Lib-Dem 2015 General Election Team, during a fundraiser event for John Leech MP on 27 November. We stressed that the UK government should put more pressure to stop the bloodshed in Syria and that ISIS is only one part of the larger conflict.

'Rebuilding Syria' Seminar at Cheadle Mosque

RR, in cooperation with Cheadle mosque, organised a seminar about educating children in the Syrian crisis, delivered by Dr Mohamed Kara Mohamed and Dr Mustafa AlKhalaf on 29 November. The Cheadle community pledged another £20K this year for the educational project of Syria Relief.

Meeting with National Union of Journalists

RR staff met with Chris Rea, the Chair of Manchester's National Union of Journalists, on 2 December. We were given extremely helpful advice on dealing with the media and formulating a media policy.

Seminar: Dreams after the Revolution

RR organised a lecture on 23 November delivered by Dr. Basil Hatahet. Dr. Hatahet discussed how we would like Syria to be after the revolution and how we can work to make our dreams a reality.

Candle Light Vigil for Syria's Forgotten Cities

Candle Light Vigil for Syria's Forgotten CitiesRR organised a candle light vigil on 20 December in coordination with a national campaign organised by the Syria Solidarity Movement. As shoppers were crowded in the city centre doing last-minute Christmas shopping, our presence was a reminder of the horrible situation in Syria's forgotten cities.

Social Gathering and Annual Meeting

Social Gathering and Annual MeetingRR organised a social gathering for the Syrian community on 25 December. Over 150 Syrians gathered to socialise and enjoy falafel sandwiches. Half an hour of the social was devoted to the RR annual meeting, in which we updated the community about our work.

Bag Packing at ASDA Hulme Fundraising

Bag Packing at ASDA Hulme fundraising RR organised a bag-packing fundraiser for Syria Relief at ASDA Hulme on 27 and 28 December. The total amount of money collected from the event was £2356 which will help the educational projects inside Syria.

RR Advises MEP Afzal Khan on Syria Speech

RR Advises MEP Afzal Khan on Syria Speech RR advised MEP Afzal Khan on a speech that he delivered on 16 December to the European Parliament on the shortage of funding to the World Food Programme aid scheme to Syrian refugees. Afzal stressed that Assad is the root cause of the problem in Syria. See his speech here.

RR Hosted on BBC Radio 5 Live

RR appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live on 10 December. In discussing the issue of foreign fighters, we reminded listeners that the Syrian conflict cannot be resolved until the root of the problem, namely the Assad regime, is addressed. Listen to the interview here (begins at 25 mins).

Greater Manchester Campaigns Bazaar

RR participated in the Greater Manchester Campaigns Bazaar on Thursday 27 November. Over 30 organisations were represented in this bazaar, and it was a great opportunity for us to network with other organisations with similar activities and interests.

Women Gathering at RR Office

On 5 December Syrian women held a gathering at the RR office to socialise and to explore what they can do to help in the organisation. Some ideas have been put forward including helping new female refugees.

Platform for Peace of Syrian Organisations in the UK

RR took part on 4 December in a workshop run by International Alert aimed at creating a platform that incorporates all Syrian organisations operating in the UK. The platform will be formally launched on Wednesday 18 February.

Statement: Assad Regime Continues Assault on Civilian Areas, Raqqa

Statement RR issued a press release condemning the Assad regime's assault on the city of Raqqa. We called on the Government to take more robust measures to prevent the Assad regime from engaging in further atrocities.

Statement: British Syrians Condemn Israeli Aggression on Syrian Territory

Statement RR issued a press release condemning Israeli aggression on Syrian territory. Syrians in the UK most strongly condemn the Israeli aggression that occurred against Syrian territory on Sunday 7 December 2014 in the afternoon. Read statement

Islamophobia Event at the BMHC

Islamophobia Event at the BMHC RR attended an event on Islamophobia organised by MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development) at the BMHC on 28 November. This event discussed the worrying rise of Islamophobia within the UK and stressed the power of the Muslim vote in the upcoming general election.

Collaboration with MEND to Promote Policy on Syria

Collaboration with MEND to Promote Policy on Syria RR has been working with MEND to explore whether and how we can incorporate specific policy suggestions on Syria into MEND's national election strategy. We submitted a briefing on 15 December which includes policy proposals on humanitarian aid work, foreign fighters, and others.

Lecture about Assimilation by Shiekh Judaie in Bradford

Lecture about Assimilation by Shiekh Judaie in Bradfordyria RR attended a lecture by Shiekh Judaie on 30 November organised by the Syrian Association of Yorkshire on the Fiqh of assimilation in British society. The Sheikh provided very useful insights on living in Britain without losing one’s identity.

Rethinking Radicalisation Workshop

Rethinking Radicalisation Workshop RR attended a workshop about Rethinking Radicalisation organised by the Foundation for Peace on Tuesday 25 November at BMHC. This workshop discussed issues surrounding the government's PREVENT strategy and community cohesion.

MEND Politics and Media Mastercourses

MEND Politics and Media Mastercourses A number of RR representatives attended a two-day politics and media mastercourse by MEND at the BMHC on 6 and 7 December. This course offered critical insights on navigating the political and media frameworks in this country.

New Board of Directors

A new Board of Directors for RR has started its work last month. The board will begin its work by adopting a code of conduct and by appointing a Board of Governors. We wish the directors the best of luck and hope that RR will be strengthened through them!

Upcoming Events


Monthly Seminar
RR Multi Purpose Room


Social gathering


Monthly Seminar
RR Multi Purpose Room

Middle Eastern Restaurant

24 Ashley Road , Altrincham
Manchester , WA14 2DW

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