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Letter to our readers: Syria Direct is back 

Our aspiration is to provide space for Syrians to tell their stories in the belief that a more just and democratic future is possible in Syria. 

By: Syria Direct’s Board of Directors 

BERLIN — We are proud to report that for Syria Direct, last year was an award-winning, record-breaking year, but sadly it was also the year we shuttered our offices in Jordan and moved to Germany. 

Almost exactly a year ago, in March 2021, the Syria Direct website had an all-time monthly record for views. In May, Syria Direct was awarded first prize in Free Press Unlimited’s Syria Co-Production Fund 2021 for our report, video, and photo story on bridge reconstruction in Raqqa. In July, our Facebook page broke the milestone of +150,000 followers. And in October, Syria Direct’s Housing, Land, and Property (HLP) rights documentary series, “Losing Home,” was selected for the Kurdistan International Independent Film Festival (KIIFF).

Syria Direct began operating from Jordan in 2013, and until last year, was able to work relatively freely and successfully. By the time we left Amman, we were a team of a dozen Syrian, Jordanian and international reporters working in an office with a garden, and many friendly cats. 

Whether it was training over 200 Syrian journalists, working on in-depth and investigative reporting or engaging with the Syrian diaspora on new podcasts and video stories, Syria Direct has always remained committed to independent, ethical reporting and sharing the story of Syrians inside and outside of the country.

In May 2021, we faced an unexpected turn of events, and Syria Direct was given little choice but to close its operations in Jordan. 

As local and international human rights and media watchdogs have reported, the overall enabling environment for the media has deteriorated in Jordan. Our ability to operate without harassment and interference was compromised. This has come amidst a broader crackdown on political and civil rights in the country. Syria Direct affirms its unwavering stand for human rights and freedom of expression and condemns all forms of media repression.

While we are now spread across the diaspora, in Europe and beyond, Syria Direct’s mission remains the same: to provide high-quality, locally-driven reporting on the economic, political, and social forces at play in Syria while training young journalists through a collaborative, hands-on approach. 

Even as one chapter has ended, we are committed to continuing our reporting from Berlin and working with many talented Syrian journalists in Europe and the Middle East to tell Syria’s story to the world. 

In central Berlin, we have opened an office and already connected with like-minded civil society organizations, journalists and the larger Syrian diaspora.  

We promise our readers our continued commitment to our same values and our editorial identity. We remain committed to reflecting the social diversity and the plurality of viewpoints of Syrian society in all our journalistic content. 

Our aspiration is to provide space for Syrians to tell their stories in the belief that a more just and democratic future is possible in Syria. 

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