Dawlaty is a nonprofit foundation that believes in nonviolence and peaceful resistance, working towards a democratic and peaceful transition in a state that upholds human rights, equality, tolerance and diversity. Dawlaty strives to support civil society to become an active participant in Syria’s transition towards a just democratic state. It promotes knowledge of civic values, life skills and transitional justice to Syrian youth, with the aim of enabling them to better engage in their communities and state. In addition, Dawlaty works on the ground and online to document, advocate and build capacity for marginalized groups, civil society groups, young people , and women. To realize its objectives and amplify diverse Syrian voices, Dawlaty works in partnership with numerous Syrian organizations and activists.

As a part of these endeavors, Dawlaty built an archive of oral testimonies shared by Syrians, Palestinians, and other constituting groups of the Syrian society, with the aim to document their experiences during the Syrian uprising; the following war; migration; forced disappearance; and human rights violations. The current archive focuses on women's testimonies and the multifaceted sufferings within different contexts and locations. To communicate these testimonies to the public Dawlaty has worked to interpret them through various artistic forms that sought to reintroduce the Syrian oral narrative, which long has been excluded by all parties to the conflict. The archive aims to convey the experiences of civilians and women in particular from a victim- and gender-centered perspective, and their experiences of violations and events that occurred in the years after the revolution.

The objectives of creating an oral history archive

  • To raise the voices of marginalized groups and segments in Syrian society, especially youth and women, so they can take active part in resolving conflict, achieving democratic transition, and be directly involved in setting the agenda for peace processes and transitional justice.
  • To build a collective memory of the Syrian revolution, to commemorate it and gain a better understanding of the following conflict. The archive can contribute to immortalizing memory, revealing the truth, discovering the manifold details of each event that occurred, pushing for effective accountability mechanisms and overall support pursuing transitional justice, entailing increased potential for social reconciliation and lasting peace in Syria.
  • To identify patterns of institutional oppression by state agencies such as the police, the judicial system, etc.. Accordingly, we can formulate recommendations and potential roadmaps to reform these institutions for future transitional processes.
  • To create spaces for Syrian artists and other creators to celebrate and immortalize Syrian cultural memory through interaction with the collected oral testimonies.

Who can benefit from the SOHA Platform?

The SOHA Platform was designed to preserve the testimonies of Syrians during the years of conflict. It can, among others, be used by researchers, writers, artists, journalists, academics, human rights organisations and observatories, and other bodies working in monitoring and documenting human rights violations, etc.

The Syrian Oral History Archive

The Syrian Oral History Archive is an initiative launched by Dawlaty as an attempt to present Syrian narratives on what happened in Syria from the beginning of the peaceful movement in 2011 until today, collecting oral histories and building an archive that any Syrian from current and future generations can access.

The Archive

Oral history is a method of historical research that uses recorded interviews between informed interlocutors and narrators who have first-hand experiences of important historical events.

The Archive

Request access

Requesting access you can access the complete recordings from the archive by a submission form.