In September, Dima Moussa, hailing from Homs, Syria, was elected as the Vice-president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), serving as the deputy to Hadi Al-Bahra. As a Christian and Assyrian woman, her election adds significant value and a unique perspective to the SOC. Dima’s amiable nature and extroverted personality are assets that will aid in navigating challenges and unlocking new opportunities for the coalition.
Dima stands as a testament to the power of resilient and principled leadership in the face of Syria’s complex political challenges. Born in Aleppo and originally from Homs, her journey from a dedicated lawyer in the United States to a leading figure in the Syrian political opposition embodies her commitment to democracy, human rights, and especially women’s empowerment. A founding member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, Moussa’s advocacy and efforts have not only highlighted the plight of Syrian women under the Assad regime but also significantly influenced the international discourse on Syria. Living in Turkey since 2013, her work continues to bridge Western and Middle Eastern perspectives, making her an indispensable voice in the struggle for a democratic and equitable Syria.
Early Life and Background
Born in 1978 in Aleppo, Syria, Dima Moussa comes from a family originally from Homs. Her early life in Damascus, a city known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, played a significant role in shaping her perspectives. Moussa’s upbringing in a Christian family in a diverse society instilled in her an understanding of the complexities of Syrian culture and society.
Seeking higher education, Moussa moved to the United States, where she embarked on an academic journey in engineering and law. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. This technical background provided her with analytical skills and a methodical approach to problem-solving. Later, she pursued a Juris Doctor from DePaul University in Chicago, shifting her focus towards law, a field that would become central to her later activism and political involvement.
Legal Career in the United States
After completing her education, Moussa worked as an attorney in the United States. Her volunteering work also showed a commitment to human rights and advocacy, particularly focusing on issues related to Arab women’s rights. Her work in the U.S. laid a strong foundation for her future roles in the Syrian political opposition.
Political Awakening and Involvement
The onset of the Syrian Revolution in 2011 was a turning point in Moussa’s life. She became actively involved in the movement, aligning with the aspirations of the Syrian people for democracy and freedom. Moussa co-founded the Syrian National Council, an early opposition group, marking her entry into the political landscape of Syria.
Role in the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
In October 2016, Moussa joined the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (Etilaf), taking on significant responsibilities within the Foreign Affairs Department and the Legal Committee. Her legal expertise was crucial in these roles, particularly in navigating the complex international aspects of the Syrian conflict. In May 2018, she ascended to the position of vice president, demonstrating her leadership and commitment to the Syrian opposition’s cause.
Advocacy for Women’s Rights and Humanitarian Issues
Moussa has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights in Syria. Her participation in the Conscience Convoy and her role in speaking out against the Assad regime’s human rights violations highlights her dedication to bringing global attention to the plight of Syrian women. She has actively participated in international platforms, using her voice to advocate for change and justice.
Founding Member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement
As a founding member of the SWPM in October 2017, Moussa has worked tirelessly to ensure that women’s voices are heard in the political sphere. Her involvement in SWPM underscores her belief in gender equality and her commitment to ending discrimination against women in all spheres of Syrian society.
Life in Turkey and Ongoing Involvement
Since moving to Turkey in 2013, Moussa has continued to leverage her expertise in supporting civil projects and initiatives in Syria. Her relocation has allowed her to be more directly involved in the Syrian civil and political domains, bridging her experiences in the West with the realities of the Middle East.
International Recognition and Impact
Moussa’s work has not gone unnoticed. Her advocacy and efforts in highlighting human rights abuses in Syria, especially during the siege of Homs and in the face of oppressive laws, have earned her international recognition. She has become a symbol of resilience and a source of inspiration for many, both within and outside of Syria.
Recent Perspectives on Syrian Politics
In her recent interviews and statements, Moussa has provided insightful analyses of the current Syrian political situation. She has commented on the regional and international implications of ongoing conflicts and has been critical of the Syrian regime’s tactics in negotiations and political processes. Her views on the need for a comprehensive political solution, grounded in international resolutions like 2254, reflect her deep understanding of the complexities of the Syrian conflict.
In summary, Dima Moussa’s journey is one of courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy, human rights, and gender equality. Her multifaceted role as a lawyer, feminist, and politician in the Syrian opposition highlights her as a key figure in the ongoing struggle for a free and democratic Syria.