Local NGOs are delivering humanitarian aid, treating the injured and ill, educating children, and helping to keep Syrians employed where possible amidst the chaos of the Syrian conflict. In spite of desperate hardships, Syrian civil society activists remain engaged in the country and from across borders, working to help their fellow citizens survive.
The Middle East Institute (MEI) was pleased to host leaders from three such NGOs working in non-regime regions of Syria. Reem Alhaswani (Basmeh & Zeitooneh), Hivin Kako (Bihar Relief Organization), and Mohamad Katoub (Syrian American Medical Society) discussed the on-the-ground realities of Syria's humanitarian crisis and the state of relief efforts. Ibrahim Al-Assil moderated the discussion.
Reem Alhaswani, co-founder and program manager at Basmeh & Zeitooneh, an NGO based in Lebanon and Turkey that works directly with marginalized Syrian communities to meet urgent relief and development needs
Hivin Kako, executive director of Bihar Relief Organization, an NGO providing aid to vulnerable people in northern Syria
Mohamad Katoub, advocacy manager of the Syrian-American Medical Society based in Gaziantep, Turkey
Ibrahim Al-Assil, moderator, Middle East Institute fellow