Current Affairs Team

PAX Current Affairs Team aims to involve Syrian voices in the public debate. We do so by writing journalistic articles that deal with current and other affairs. By this we hope to create a better understanding of the war in Syria and peacemaking processes in general. We will also write about our refugee experience and that of others. We follow the journalistic code of conduct.

Current Affairs Team

Becoming citizens for the first time

Met plezier gelezen? Doneer via Blendle! As a Syrian refugee in the Netherlands, I had to experience the unexperienced....

On my way from Syria

Mohannad Sharrouf vluchtte uit Syrië. In een serie artikelen beschrijft hij hoe zijn tocht naar Nederland verliep. I just...

How a little girl kept me in Libya

I’m standing on the shore outside Zuwarah city in Libya. The salty smell of the sand mixed with seawater is...

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Linda Belal (35) lives in Haarlem in The Netherlands since 2016. Before she fled she worked  as a broadcaster in a radio station in Aleppo since 2004. In 2006 she specialized in writing about woman, children and human rights. In The Netherlands she wrote for De Correspondent and De Volkskrant. She studies Dutch and is looking forward to learn about the differences between Arabic and Dutch reporting methods. 

Mohannad Sharrouf (42) is a Syrian refugee in The Netherlands since 2015. He holds a bachelor in English Literature, Aleppo University, Syria. Mohannad is a volunteer with PAX since 2016, where he participates in het ‘Verhaal van Vluchtelingen’ project, and is a member in PAX current affairs team. In addition, he works now as an intercultural trainer with various Dutch organization and trains on topics like how to deal or work with newcomers. Mohannad was an English teacher, freelance interpreter and tour guide. Previously he owned a language centre in Swaida’a, Syria. Besides keeping himself up to date with news from Syria, he likes swimming, running, surfing the internet and most importantly spending time with his wife and daughter where he lives in the city of Bunnik.

Bashar Alkatrib (35) studied English Literature at Damascus University. In 2014 he studied international corporate communication at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE), in 2015 he was a lecturer at CHE where he lectured about communication in crises. Bashar is learning Dutch and is busy working as a volunteer with PAX. In addition, he is a board member of a newly established organization aimed at improving democratic values in The Netherlands. His eyes are on Amsterdam University to do a master on Conflict Resolution and Governance. Bashar likes cooking, music, partying, walking and socializing. His motto is "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

Aiham Jabr is a Palestinian Journalist who was born and raised in Syria as a refugee. He studied a different field in Tourism and Airlines Management, and he became a Political and Humanitarian activist. He fled from Syria to Russia in 2012 as a result of the Syrian Revolution, and worked in Moscow as TV Correspondent. He later on fled to Netherlands in 2015.

Shevan Afandie (28) is a translator, writer and public speaker for GroenLinks, Tweede Kamer, Amnesty International and Anne Frank Museum. He fled from Syria in 2013 after a period of detention. The Utrecht based LGTB activist and former Human Rigths Watch volunteer runs half a marathon in 1.47, wearing a chemical mask and wrapped in a rainbow coloured flag to attract attention for his cause. Shevan is currently volunteering at PAX and his writings focus on the LGTB community and his own experiences and that of others living as a newcomer in the Netherlands

Moutayam Altaweel (39 years) graduated from economic faculty in Damascus-Syria, worked in Human Resources/training and development since 2006, lives in Amsterdam-Netherlands since 2015. He was a Syrian activist and aims to write about activism abroad in relation to the Syrian case.

Jaber Baker is a Syrian journalist and political refugee living in France, main Researcher for the Syrian case in (THE SAMIR KASSIR FOUNDATION) in Lebanon, former prisoner in Sydnaya prison-Syria,since 2004 worked with different newspapers, magazines, and websites as independent journalist, working now on his first novel that documents the massacres in the famous military hospital in Syria (601 and is studying social solidarity in HUA university- France. 

Ola Khalaf (28) lives in Zaandam in the Netherlands since 2016. She came to the Netherlands alone when she was eight months pregnant. Before she fled she worked as an Arabic teacher at the university of Raqqa and as a media-officer and director of international & cultural relations at the same university. Ola is now a volunteer with PAX since 2016. Besides this she also does voluntary work for Vluchtelingenwerk in Zaandam and for a nursing home in Zaandam. Last but not least she also helps Dutch students who are studying Arabic literature and culture. She also is busy writing columns for the magazine Vriendin. Ola likes to read and spend time with her family