At the end of 2013 while working to recover schooling in Aleppo city a new project was born out of the suppression Syrian were suffering from by the Syrian authoritarian regime and extremist groups in Syria. In Orem Al-kurab village in the north-west Aleppo countryside, the “A Country’s Identity” idea was born. The essence of the initiative was articulated to be run a number a (minibusses) caravan or buses between Syrian cities and villages.
The initiative was developed to be in the form of a local center in the city of Orem where awareness campaigns and capacity building courses were being held targeting local stakeholders. Through its efforts in the center, Kesh Malek aimed to counter the Assad regime as well as ISIS ideology and propaganda that they had similarly worked to cut Syrian individual relations as citizens to Syria. The centers worked to revive- throughout many cultural activities, workshops, and courses- the idea of citizenship and belonging to free Syria.
Before establishing the centers, Kesh Malek ran its projects on a small scale inside Eastern-Aleppo before launching its first center in Orem Al-Kubra, followed by Kafarnaha and Abzemo centers, and finally in 2018 Marea. The idea crystallized throughout the first few months of work and encompassed later new initiatives that were developed by the locals themselves such as, early marriage, literacy, computer skills, capacity building, accelerated education and so on.
A Country’s Identity id Kesh Malek’s vital element in the Ngo’s long term vision to change and develop the Syrian society. The renewed projects underscored the future vision of free new Syria where freedom prevails be practice and citizens enjoy equality and equity. The centers were working to scale-up a pattern of freedom of expression breaking the old inherited stereotyping and inequality against women. Instead of being subordinate to men and neglected from the social change progress, it had worked to enable females to be the center of the action and represent their own agent.
The centers held activities in the village where local residents come to attend different capacity building courses. “the local participation expectation figures during our preparation to launch the project was not very optimistic, however, locals impressively showed and took part in the projects that the center continuously introduced.” Khaled is one of the founders of A Country’s Identity centers.
Women participants in different projects were always on demand by females to encompass, extend and develop the ongoing activities and workshops that help them to learn and accelerate individual development to become a community leader community leaders and learn moreAbd Alkhaled – Co-founder of A Country’s Identity Centers
The center focused on citizenship empowerment and building a confident understanding of what are the rights we are entitled as citizens to which Assad and ISIS have been trying to conceal from Syrian.
A Country’s Identity designed various range of public capacity building to the locals, such as first aid, dropping off schools, children’s rights, women’s rights, school drop off. “The high quality and beneficial interactive nature including people in the change-makers of the society making them centrist.
The range of activities was planned to include marginalized groups such as youth-enhancing their capacity and knowledge. “We aimed to boost the participants’ work to spread among their families, friends and the society as a whole.” These plans came to light with (Youth citizens’ Club) and (Women Citizens’ club) This made the energy and knowledge circulate within larger numbers of people who later to the center increasing the number of members and participants in the activities held in the center.
The centers had brought the local community to band together and made it a home for everyone in the city to spark new revolutionary ideas and activitiesAbd Alkhaled – Co-founder of A Country’s Identity Centers
It acquired people with new tools that made them more open to change, discuss and bring different sides into group discussions or reading of different books in the center in order to bring together locals’ perspectives.
Throughout speaking and engaging with one another the center could recover the social contract that Assad and ISIS have always worked to shatter. A Country’s Identity task is to fight the indoctrination of the totalitarian authoritarian regimes and their extreme ideology. “From 2013 until 2020, the centers succeeded to restore the liberty value and loyalty to the Syrian citizenship and employ the individual initiatives to best of the collective social and development.” Said the center founder.
Before the displacement in February 2022, the centers in Ourem, Kafarnaha and Abzemo had to stop and close its door fearing deliberate bombardment and civilian casualties. In a few days following the regime militants’ advancement in Aleppo rural, the villages lost its people in a couple of days before joint Assad and Russian militants occupy the city after bombarding the city with a wide arsenal of internationally prohibited weapons.
Kesh Malek may have lost one of the main change-making spots in northern Syria; however, the people holding the ideas and power
The ideas and values people have survived with will never dieAbd Alkhaled – Co-founder of A Country’s Identity Centers
Our mission will carry on spreading the ideas and knowledge of liberation, freedom, and dignity which is what Assad is trying to abort.