The Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD) held its annual meeting in January 2018, in Adana, Turkey. The meeting was attended by 71 members of CCSD’s team from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as members from seven provinces in Syria who participated online. On the first day of the meeting, the achievements of 2017 for each of CCSD’s departments were discussed and practical plans for 2018 were developed.
In addition, CCSD’s Co-directors honored 14 members of the team, of whom five were women, for their efforts over the past five years. Each of those 14 members spoke about their experiences at CCSD and the challenges they had overcome, as well as CCSD’s contribution to increasing their experiences on a personal and practical level.
For example, Razan Burghal, one of the women honored by CCSD during the meeting, spoke about her experience in CCSD and thanked her colleagues who supported her during the difficult times she experienced while in the city of Idlib. She also thanked CCSD for providing her with the opportunity to meet people who later became great colleagues and real friends.
Zaidan Mukhbat, one of CCSD’s staff members talked about his experience. He said he did not expect his commitment to CCSD to last for more than five years, and he expressed great satisfaction at working with the team, as he was able to achieve personal fulfilment by actively contributing to support Syria.
In addition to honoring a number of CCSD members, the co-directors Ms. Rajaa al-Talli and Mr. Renas Sino were honored for their cooperation and contribution to enriching the team’s experience. In return, the co-directors thanked the team and spoke about the developments CCSD underwent during the course of their work.
Ms. al-Talli expressed her gratitude and pride at having been in CCSD and for the quality of work provided by the team. She wished that CCSD would serve as a miniature example of the Syria that its citizens dream of, as well as a small nucleus for achieving freedom, justice, and coexistence.
Mr. Sino shed light on the challenges CCSD had encountered since its inception. “The right path is sometimes the toughest, yet we chose it because we are not only working for ourselves but for future generations as well,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Sino cited one of the lessons learned “We thought that women generally are not interested in the political life, but through CCSD’s recruitment process, we were surprised that there are so many qualified women who applied for a job in CCSD. This is a small indication that shows that women, just like men, can participate in the political life, but they need the opportunities.”

On the last day, the team celebrated the sixth anniversary of the establishment of CCSD, which has been continuously working to achieve change by promoting democracy within Syrian society, as well as to raise civic awareness.

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