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Message from Tawfik Lbebidy on the death of their mother Salam Shanan

Deutsch: Eine Botschaft ihres Sohnes, Tawfik Lbebidy, im Namen seiner Familie

Wir trauern um Salam Shenan, eine Mutter und revolutionäre Aktivistin des The VOICE Refugee Forums.
We mourn the loss of Salam Shanan, a mother and revolutionary activist of The VOICE Refugee Forum

A message from her son, Tawfik Lbebidy, on behalf of his family:

Dear friends and comrades, our beloved mother and wife of Ghassan Lababidi, Salam Shanan, will be buried on 02.06.2022 at 13.00. The funeral will take place at Viehhallenweg 1 in Winsen (Luhe).
Afterwards we meet for coffee and cake at Kreisstr. 27 in Wulfsen.

A mother, a democratic and atheist Syrian political activist in Germany has left us.

My dear mother passed away at the age of only 68. She died on Friday, May 20, in her exile at the hospital in Kiel, Germany.

She was born on April 13, 1954 in Aleppo, Syria, the daughter of a lawyer and a housewife/worker. Her parents were members of the Syrian Communist Party.

In the late 1960s, she joined the Syrian branch of the Syrian Democratic Youth Federation and the Syrian Communist Party. She left both organizations during the Syrian uprising in the 1980s after her marriage
and the birth of the first of her three children, and during the rise of Islamist terrorism, to which the Syrian regime responded with repression against all political movements, including Syrian communists.

During the first years of Bashar Al-Assad's presidency, she joined the "Civil Society Rebirth Club" and faced repression from the Syrian regime. This time she left the country and applied for political asylum
in Germany after losing faith that returning to Syria could be dangerous for her and our lives.

We arrived in Germany in November 2002 and were taken to Jena Forest. Living conditions in the camp were poor. The isolation andtransportation, the small portion of food that is not healthy at all. A group from VOICE Refugee Forum organized a spontaneous food strike. They refused to take away portions of food. My mother joined the refugee protest delegation to talk to the administration. She and my father met with Osaren Igbinoba in Jena, and a few days later Mbolo Yufani, a Voice activist, invited us to a meeting, which we attended. Since then, my mother has been involved in refugee work. Her first action took place in the early months when she participated in a conference in Berlin about the situation of political prisoners in Syria, supported by activists from the VOICE Refugee Forum.

Since 2002, she participated in all actions for refugee rights in Germany within VOICE Refugee Forum, Caravan, No Lager and No Lager Feminists. Many struggles and grassroots activism were stations in her
life, like the fight against deportations to Togo, the Syrian Kurds (The Syrian-German Return Treatment) and Otto Felix, against racist police violence in the Oury Jalloh case, as well as the fight for the
successful closure of the Katzhütte and especially the Gehlberg camp in Thuringia, where she had lived. And for the right to stay of our family and a Roma family of Sultan and in the deportation of Sultan from
Gehlberg to Kosovo.

Her positions were always clear that democratic change should be for all people, regardless of nationality, religion or gender. She has been a radical secular and atheist activist, while her background as an Arab woman drives her.

In parallel with her work as a refugee activist, she worked politically for a democratic Syria. For many years, she was elected to the board of the German section of the Damascus Declaration. She was also elected to the Europe-wide platform of the Syrian opposition in 2010. With the beginning of the popular movement in Syria in 2011, the dominance of Islamist groups and pro-imperialist powers, she left the official Syrian opposition platform and joined the anti-war movement against Syria. She organized weekly protests against the war with the support of caravan activists. Despite her own opinions about the so-called Syrian revolution, she supported many Syrian refugees in her new city of Kiel.

In recent years, she was no longer able to participate in the group's political work. Her heart problems limited her ability to travel far or to demonstrate.

My mother was not only a political activist in various fields. She was also a beloved wife and companion to my father. She was very present in the lives of her daughters and son, as well as her grandchildren. She was a teacher to us. She taught us in different classes in Syria. She was an electrical engineer for many years.

I and my sisters are proud to have her as a mother and as a person, the strongest woman we have known in our lives. We are in deep mourning for our loss. We cry, loudly and silently.

Tawfik Lbebidy, on behalf of his family

We mourn the loss of Salam Shanan, a mother and revolutionary activist of The VOICE Refugee Forum

Salam Shanan political Activities in The VOICE Refugee Forum