Young Syrians are working to rebuild their society by advocating for civil marriage

After seven years of war in Syria, in which greed and hatred have thoroughly devastated the country, Syrians are searching for safe zones where they can rebuild their lives again. Rebuilding Syria doesn’t simply mean rebuilding homes and cities—it also means rebuilding peoples’ spirits through love and peace.Civil marriage, meaning the ability to marry anyone you choose regardless of their religious identity, is one way that Syrians hope to reunite their society. A group of young Syrian men and women have created a Facebook group so that they can work together toward the allowance of civil marriage in Syria, which is currently illegal.

Syrians for optional civil marriage: who are they and what do they want? Here’s what Yazan, a young Syrian advocating for civil marriage, has to say.

We are a group of individuals who wish to fulfill our dream of being able to build a life with the person we love without transgressing the law or fearing the judgment of society. We also hope to reduce the trauma of war by allowing people to love whoever they want freely.We are calling for the legalization of optional civil marriage in Syria and we are conducting a campaign to raise awareness on this issue and to avoid the spreading of false information.Our goals include:

  • Solving the problems of children who belong to couples in a Syrian civil marriage, which is prohibited by law. Currently, the children who belong to mixed marriages in Syria are deprived of their rights and education.
  • Solving housing issues. People of different religious traditions are not allowed to live together without a legal document because of the inability to marry someone of another faith.
  • Breaking sectarian restrictions in Syrian society through mixed relations and civil marriages, which will help foster the cohesion of society and reject divisiveness.
  • Supporting young people in choosing their life partners without sectarian restrictions so they will not be deprived of their dreams to marry the person they love regardless of their religious identity.

The Facebook group has set up an event on January 1, 2018 in the hopes of making progress toward these goals. The group is seeing its engagement gradually increase and it aims to obtain the necessary licenses to create a legal awareness campaign on the subject of civil marriage. Its objectives do not conflict with the freedoms of people who desire inter-religious marriage.The campaign organizer has met a number of political figures in Syria’s People's Assembly, some of them heads of parties. A number of well-known artists and celebrities have also supported this project. We seek to mobilize support from various quarters of society on the need to legislate optional civil marriage through a document signed by all parties to submit to the government.We also want to let the world know that there are lives and dreams in Syria in spite of the destruction that has taken place.