Naame Shaam is an independent campaign group focusing on the Iranian regime’s role in Syria. It is also a source of independent and reliable news and commentary on the Syrian revolution and the Iranian regime’s role in suppressing it. We are a group of Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese activists and citizen-journalists. The group’s Campaign Director is Fouad Hamdan from Lebanon. The Head of Research and Advocacy is Shiar Youssef from Syria. The other members of the group wish to remain anonymous for the time being for security reasons.
We carry out peaceful, real-life actions and protests to put pressure on the Iranian regime and to influence the public narrative about the Syrian revolution.
Our first action was in Berlin in April 2014, coinciding with a German-Iranian business conference there. It was followed by actions in Vienna ahead and during nuclear talks between the P5+1 group of nations and the Iranian regime in May 2014.
In April 2014 we published an open letter to Syrian opposition leaders and activists, asking them to talk to the Iranian public in Farsi. The reaction was positive, and the narrative of the Syrian revolution about the Iranian regime’s role has started to change.
More actions and campaigns followed…
On Friday, 8 November 2013, like every Friday since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, anti-regime protests were held in various neighbourhoods and towns in Syria. The name given to this Friday was “The Friday of No to the Iranian Occupation of Syria”.
As we watched the pictures and videos of the protests, we realized that Iranians knew so little about what’s actually happening in Syria. Most of their information comes from biased state-controlled media.
Moreover, it struck us that there was actually little concrete and reliable information about Iran’s role in Syria and in Lebanon:
– How much is the Iranian government spending from Iranian public money on arming and supporting the Syrian regime in its bloody war against the Syrian people?
– How many Sepah Pasdaran members are fighting alongside Syrian regime forces in Syria, or are they really only acting as “advisers”, as they claim?
– What is the extent of Hezbollah Lebanon’s involvement in Syria?
– Why is the Iranian regime spending so much money on its adventure in Syria? What is it aiming to achieve there?
Change of focus
When Naame Shaam started in late 2013, hardly anyone in Syria and Iran was focusing on the Iranian regime’s role in suppressing the Syrian revolution. There was little reliable information, beyond general clichés, on the extent and nature of Sepah Pasdaran’s and Hezbollah Lebanon’s involvement in the war in Syria. So we launched Naame Naame as an attempt to fill this gap.
Now that this involvement is no longer a secret (even Sepah and Hezbollah commnders are now bragging about it) and many mainstream and independent media outlets are covering this issue extensively, there seems to be less need for our news and information production services.
Our intention from the beginning was to combine news and information with campaigning work, but the former inevitably took a big chunk of our time and energy because we thought it was necessary at the time. This is no longer the case now.
So, in July 2014, we decided to focus mainly on campaigning and actions, with the hope that our small contribution will help end the bloodshed in Syria and bring those responsible to justice. And ‘those’ here includes, first and foremost, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who are the ones running the show in Syria today.
We have talked the talk; now it’s time to walk the walk!
The Campaign Director is Fouad Hamdan from Lebanon. The Head of Research and Advocacy is Shiar Youssef from Syria. The other members of the group wish to remain anonymous for the time being for security reasons.