Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

'Raqqa House': refugee shelter turns into cultural espace

Features | 2014-11-14 00:00:00
'Raqqa House': refugee shelter turns into cultural espace
   Zaman Al Wasl photo

Reporting by Faris Al Rifai; Translation by Yusra Ahmed

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Activists from al-Raqqa, who live in Turkey, have founded an educational house to be a station for activists and social bodies for inside and outside Syrians from all ideologies and ethnic backgrounds, they Called it “Raqqa House”

Raqqa’s House in Urfa aims to enable Syrian youth to participate in building the developed civil democratic Syria, beside communicating with all governmental and non-governmental inside and outside Syria to reach to a collective vision for new Syria. They aim to power the Syrian youth and activate women’s role in community besides supporting children emotionally and psychologically.

Khalaf al-Mohammed, a contributor in the initiative told Zaman al-Wasl that house was founded in 2013 by many activists “wanted” to the Islamic State in Raqqa, to accommodate them and enable them to practice their revolutionary and civil activities.

“It is a-two-level house of 5 bedrooms and two halls, beside a big meeting room and a kitchen and three bathrooms, beside the office of ‘al-Harmel Magazine, the house accommodate 14 activists and 50 people from Raqqa’s rebels, and only one woman live in the house”, al-Mohammed detailed.

The activist explained that "the house" supervised many political and social activities related to Raqqa, beside training sessions for Psychological support skills and media courses.

“In Raqqa’s house the Interim National Authority was founded as a political authority. The house aimed to found a council for the province overseas” continued.

Other activities of the house according to al-Mohammed was “Nawafiz” association which had performed many educational performances like plays besides establishing two drawing workshops for children, where paintings were sold and their prices were donated to a Turkish Charitable association.

“However the most important achievement of the house is al-Harmel magazine, which is fortnightly political educational but not news magazine” said.

The activist confessed of the financial difficulties the house faced, and explained that in the beginning it was supported by a Norwegian relief organisation and donations from some Raqqa’s people and a German newspaper called “Coz”.

He confirmed that National Coalition and the Interim Government had not supported them at all, moreover they pressurized them because they the house did not support the Coalition and preferred to stay as independent body.

He detailed that Raqqa’s members in the Coalition and the Muslim brotherhood in particular fought the house because they found in it a threat for their power and influence in Urfa.

Khalf al-Mohammed, a 51 activists, writer and political researcher, was a member of the Syrian Communist Party, he spent 10 years in the Syrian regime’s prisons.

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