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Looking Ahead – Hoping for the Power of the Syrian Diaspora?

Final episode of the five-part online event series „Syria – The war on Europe’s doorstep“



Before the war, around 18 million Syrians lived abroad in foreign countries. As a result of the recent refugee movement, the Syrian diaspora is today larger than the number of Syrians remaining within the country. Since dignified life will not be possible in Syria in foreseeable time, there are more and more voices claiming that the future of the Syrian society lies within the diaspora. What role for the Syrian diaspora? What forms of organizations already exist? What is the common theme within the diaspora and what self-image is cultivated? What leverages do the Syrian diaspora have to impact on the situation within Syria or on the Syrian policy of European countries?




Mittwoch, 15.07.2020
17:30 Uhr
moderated discussion

Kristin Helberg

Bassma Kodmani

Presentation: Thomas Müller-Färber


all participants


Kristin Helberg
is a journalist and political scientist. For seven years she reported from Damascus for German, Austrian and Swiss media. Now she lives in Berlin as an author and Middle East expert. Helberg wrote three books about Syria (all published by Herder) and is currently investigating the Syrian diaspora in Germany as a fellow of the Mercator Foundation.
Bassma Kodmani
is a scholar and university professor in France. She is currently a member of the negotiating team for the UN-led peace talks on Syria and a member of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. She is the co-founder of GLOBAL SYRIA, launched by the Syrian diaspora to connect and leverage its skills and assets for the reconstruction of Syria. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Sciences-Po Paris. She is author and editor of many publications on conflicts, governance and civil society in the Middle East.