Monday, June 29, 2009


Anas in charge - summer event


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Points for the media

Active citizenship: young people participating in positively shaping our society and world. Active citizenship is when members of a community take steps to shape their own circumstances and future, and contribute productively to building their country. It requires a spirit of participation, initiative and responsibility. It is the shape of Syria’s future.

Massar was created to inspire and empower young people in Syria to explore their world, develop life skills and make a positive contribution to their community.


Responsibility: young people taking on a duty of care or leadership on behalf of themselves and others. Young people are taking responsibility in all sorts of ways eg: leadership of a sports team or youth group, a child looking after an ill parent, a young person taking the personal decision not to smoke cigarettes or to eat healthily

Volunteering: young people giving time and capability to help for the public good. Volunteering is an effective way in which any individual can make a difference, by giving their time to help a charity, a project or an organisation working for the public good.

In Massar: blood donor database project, Lattakia marathon, teaching IT skills to blind, old

Creativity: young people developing artistic, technical, physical and thinking skills. Young people have extraordinary potential to contribute in a variety of ways. Their innate creativity may form the basis of a possible career, or a lifelong interest. In particular, young people are encouraged to develop thinking and learning skills which will equip them to succeed throughout a lifetime of change.

In Massar: music composing, Amwaj choir, touring programme, ICT applications

Connection: young people linking productively to others in Syria and worldwide. Building links with other individuals and communities worldwide helps to build cultural understanding, spreads positive impressions of Syria, and enriches Syria’s tradition of tolerance. Creating such links within Syria builds connections between people of different regions and encourages the celebration of Syria’s diverse cultural heritage.

In Massar: e-debate programme, collaborative learning projects


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Hard times

A fraught few months, one way or the other. I am preparing to divide my time more equally between the UK and Syria, so changing my role somewhat, which is causing some complicated knock-on effects. Work pressure is sky-high, recently augmented by the sudden expansion of a simple ceremonial to mark the start of the construction of the discovery centre into a major national event, all to be organised within a month - including finding the money for it. Massa has said she plans to leave later in the year, which is making me look again at the organisation structure. Budget allocations for this financial year are incredibly (as in horriby) tight: we are looking to fundraise around $3 million if we are going to achieve this year's plans. We have raised over $1 million already, but the hill is getting steeper by the day. Ironically, all the funding has suddenly arrived for another project which we had put onto the back-burner as it had previously gone so cold. So, as often happens, we have too little money to do the things we were planning for, and all the money needed for somehing we weren't planning for. The office is now working seven days a week and long hours each day just to keep up.


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