Bi-monthly Newsletter

Assalam Alikom

Dear all,
We are happy to launch our new website which is mobile friendly and aims to keep you updated on all our work and activities. Please take a few moments to have a look at:

As you can see from the website and from the headlines below, we at RR have been working tirelessly to ensure that your interests are represented and that your demands are heard. We have been particularly affected by two major happenings in these past two months. In Syria, Douma has been subject to continuous massacre reminding us that the major perpetrator of mass atrocity crimes is in fact the Syrian regime.

Within the UK, we saw the adoption of the 2014 Counter Terrorism and Security Bill into law which is expected to erode a number of human rights guarantees that we enjoy in this country. In light of the increasingly hostile environment within the UK towards asylum seekers, Muslims, and aid work to Syria, we hope that you will all engage with us for the upcoming 7 May general elections in the UK to ensure that our voices are represented.

Best regards,
Haytham Alhamwi

Syrian Platform for Peace Launch

Meeting with Sir Paddy AshdownRR was a key organiser of the Syrian Platform for Peace launch in London on 18 February. This Platform, overseen by International Alert, will work towards peacebuilding in Syria. We were represented in the panel discussion in which we spoke of the Syrian diaspora's role in contributing to peace in Syria.

MEP Afzal Khan Policy Advice

Meeting with Sir Paddy Ashdown RR Met with MEP Afzal Khan on 20 February and conveyed to him some of our concerns regarding domestic and international policy towards Syria. RR advised MEP Afzal Khan on 13 February regarding his speech on Syria in European Parliament and he took on board many of our suggestions and included a quote from RR in his press release.

Press Release: Assad Interviewed by Jeremy Bowen on BBC, British Syrians are not Happy

Press Release RR issued a press release and a joint statement on behalf of Syrian groups and organisations in the UK regarding Assad's interview on BBC. The press release was picked up by BBC Radio Manchester, who invited us to a live interview. Download the interview or listen to the interview here at 2 hours 17 minutes.

Press Release: HSBC Helps Wealthy Evade Taxes but Discriminates against Vulnerable Communities in the Name of 'Risk Assessment'

Press Release In light of HSBC's most recent scandal of helping its wealthiest customers evade their tax obligations, we issued this press release to shed light on HSBC's deplorable treatment of its Syrian customers.
Our story was featured in this news article.

Inquiry into Closure of Syrian Bank Accounts will be Hit by General Election

Press Release RR was approached in early January by Parliament's Treasury Committee to provide evidence of Syrians' negative experience with banks. However, as seen in this press release, we have declined to engage with the Committee's request because it has declined to explain to us how our evidence will be used or how the investigation will proceed. We will continue to campaign on this issue and will reinvigorate our efforts post-elections.

Meeting with Dr Abbas Khan Family

Meeting with Dr Abbas Khan Family RR met with the family of the late Dr Abbas Khan on 18 February in London. We conveyed solidarity from the Syrian community and assured the family that Syrians will never forget those who sacrificed their lives to help the Syrians.

Freedom of Speech and Religion in a Future Syria

Freedom of Speech and Religion in a Future Syria Our January monthly seminar focused on the ideas of freedom of speech and religion in a post-conflict Syria. The seminar was presented by Dr Haytham Alhamwi on 23 January.

The Future of our Region between the Nation State and the Minority Enclaves

The Future of our Region between the Nation State and the Minority Enclaves RR's February monthly seminar was delivered by Mr. Mazin Younis on the 22nd. He spoke of the future of the states in Syria and Iraq between nationalism and sectarianism.

Syrian Women Organise a Charity Event

Syrian Women Organise a Charity Event A group of Syrian women, with the support of RR office, organised a charity event on 20 February at Didsbury mosque. They raised over £1800 which will be used to purchase caravans for Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Syrian Women Hold Meet and Greet for Syrian Refugees

A group of Syrian women held a meet-and-greet in the RR facility room on 23 January with new Syrian women to the UK. They enjoyed coffee with each other and agreed to hold such coffee mornings on the last Friday of each month.

MARIM Refugee Forum

RR attended MARIM's Refugee Forum on 4 February. This event networked various organisations within Greater Manchester that work with refugees, allowing us to see what resources are available within Manchester for this group.

Article in The Times about the Syrian Refugees

RR was featured in an article that appeared in The Times on 2 January titled "Syrian refugees are 'grateful, but we didn't want to come here'". The article speaks of the experiences of a number of local Syrian refugees.

Training of Trainers Workshop

Training of Trainers Workshop RR hosted a 'Training of Trainers' workshop in collaboration with SYAN on 14-15 February in the RR facility room. The training was delivered by Mr. Manhal Al Dakhlallah and provided valuable information on the important skills of professional trainers.

Citizens UK Training

Citizens UK Training RR hosted a training for Citizens UK in our office on 24 February. Training focused on negotiation strategies and campaigning. A group of RR members have joined Citizens UK's campaign to resettle 50 Syrian refugees in Manchester.

BMHC Meeting to Campaign Against Counter Terrorism Bill

RR attended a meeting at the BMHC on 14 January to discuss community-wide campaigning against the Counter Terrorism Bill. We have also been involved in other initiatives to counter this Bill.

Manchester City Council's 'Under One Roof' Event

A group of RR members attended an event on 12 February hosted by Manchester City Council which was aimed to raise awareness about local services for children and young people. We networked with other organisations and learned about initiatives available for children in Manchester.

Egypt Demonstration in London

Egypt Demonstration in London RR attended a demonstration in London on 25 January with our Egyptian brothers in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.

Wafa Relief Charity Event

Wafa Relief Charity Event RR attended a charity event hosted by Wafa Relief on 17 January . This event focused on the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

New Volunteers

New Volunteers We welcome on board new volunteers with RR, both Syrian and non-Syrian. We are excited that their involvement will help us to achieve yet more work at RR. If you are interested in volunteering with RR please email us your CV and statement of interest. Alternatively, you can fill in the volunteer form on-line on our website.

Upcoming Events


The Syrian Woman: Conflict and Peace
Manchester 7:00-10:30pm
Join us to share the pains and hopes of Syrian women across conflict and peace. Dinner, entertainment, and witness accounts all part of the programme. To book your tickets please call 07769704656 or visit


Syrian Revolution Anniversary
London 12:30pm
Join us on 14 March for the annual demonstration in London. Tickets are £25 for transportation and food. To book your place in the bus call 07730194083.


Morrisons Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run
Manchester 9:00am
We have started advertising for the 2015 Great Manchester Run and need your involvement and support. Our goal is to raise funds to cover expenses for the school that we are sponsoring in Syria.

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Rethink Rebuild Society
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Longsight Business Park
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