Founded in 2001, Etana was a pioneer within Syria’s civil society, in an environment where civil society activity was heavily oppressed. With a vision to support grassroots change towards democracy, Etana attracted community leaders, intellectuals & members of civil society to form a hub for civic engagement.
Focusing on human rights, from the grassroots, it took the lead to gather information & advocate for change, working with citizen journalists, women’s rights groups & activists to become a facility for advocacy to the international community.
In 2009, Etana established a Community-Based Library in the heart of Damascus, to act as a resource centre for social justice & build the capacity of local actors to affect change: facilitating their access to information while providing them with a space to meet, discuss & collaborate.
At the start of the 2011 revolution, Etana was naturally engaged within opposition circles & drafted necessary documents, including a roadmap for political reform, for the first ever Syrian opposition conference, held in Damascus in 2011. It has played a supportive role to opposition bodies during negotiations in Geneva & continues to support initiatives which will lead to change in Syria that will meet the aspirations of the Syrian people.
Inside Syria, Etana works at the grassroots level with local stakeholders to create change within the fabric of society. It mobilises networks, empowering community leaders to develop mechanisms to solve local conflicts, by adhering to the principles of good governance. Creating a channel from the ground to the international community, Etana believes information is a powerful tool to advocate for change in Syria. In this way, it is constantly monitoring developments while maintaining close relationships with the international community & national level opposition figures to brief & advise them on policy options to support the Syrian people.