Levant & MesopotamiaSyria

Values Disintegrate Civil Society Coalition in Syria

© Image: Syrian Cvil Coalition
©Image: Syrian Cvil Coalition

On Friday, 5 February 2016, a group of Syrian civil society organisations issued a statement; MPC Journal got a copy of it, announcing their withdrawal from the Syrian Civil Coalition “Tamas”. The withdrawal owes to reasons related to the coalition’s management, its procedural rules and lack of transparency.

The Syrian Civil Coalition “Tamas” was founded in Beirut in May 2014 after several meetings of representatives of more than 50 Syrian civil society organizations and dozens of independent activists. The foundation of “Tamas” aimed at creating a solid nucleus of a civil society through promoting the role of these organizations in shaping the future of a Syrian government.

The goal is to build a government based on the principles of good governance stressing the need to preserve the Syrian social fabric. The coalition is also aimed at creating opportunities for all allied organisations through the exchange of experiences, participation and equitable distribution of grants.

Hakim Khatib

Hakim Khatib studied political science of the Middle East, European Studies, journalism and linguistics. He has been lecturing at different German universities since 2011 on issues related to ideology and the interplay of power thereof in socio-political life, and religion and its relationship to contemporary politics in the regions of West Asia and North Africa, especially Egypt and Syria. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Mashreq Politics & Culture Journal (MPC Journal) since 2014 and has published over 100 articles in different languages, academic and otherwise, in a wide spectrum of on-line and printed newspapers, journals and think tanks. His current research focuses on Islam-inspired political ideologies such as Islamist extremism and Salafism, radicalisation, de-radicalisation processes in Germany as well as peace and conflict in the Middle East.
Hakim Khatib

According to the statement issued by ten civil society organisations, which had participated in the coalition “Tamas”: “Some did not realize our understanding of the coalition as a part of a cumulative cultural building that needs believers in teamwork and cooperative behaviour to be activated. It is not possible to establish a coalition based on the moods and individual control of a person or group of persons, who surpass the ‘administration’ and ‘procedural rules’ turning ‘Tamas’ into a private company.”

The statement also referred to the coalition’s failure to address the issues they faced when organising the second year’s conference such as having to postpone the conference and the absence of dozens of invitees.

The biggest issue was the lack of financial transparency, which has been systematically ignored. The statement accused the coalition of not addressing issues related to “financial files” and the adoption and implementation of new projects.

The statement also pointed out that the proposed representation of civil society organisations in Geneva 3 was an important reason to bring the exploitation of “Tamas” by specific people to the surface again. Persons in “Tamas”, according to the statement, have repeatedly been violating the procedural rules of the coalition.

Previous to this statement, three members of the governing body of the coalition, including the Vice President of the Commission and a number of independent members resigned from “Tamas”.

The retreating organisations are: “Bergav Centre for Liberties and Media, Committees of Kurdish Spring in Syria (Komîtên Bihara Kurdî li Sûriyê), Mardin Hasaka Association, Khabour Forum, Hayat Salam Organisation, Rocher Network for Business and Development, Dem Foundation, Hero Organisation for Women, HiFi Association and the Centre of Development and Civil Society.”

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