Nuon organization

30 July 2013

Nuon (it stands for “Towards a model home”) is a civil organization, based on the principles of nonviolence, that was established in February 2012 in Beirut. The founders, two young men and a woman, seek to train groups of Syrian youth in the skills of conflict resolution, negotiation techniques and other civil work focused on peaceful transition in armed conflicts.

The group had its first joint activity on March 3, 2013, in the form of a training session in Beirut, for civil society activists inside Syria.  Some of the trainee activists later became trainers and gave workshops inside Syria for activists banned from traveling, especially in the cities of Sweida and Latakia.

They have produced three documentaries, where Lebanese warlords present their experience in the Lebanese civil war. They are now working on an initiative called “Young Syrians Want Peace,” which includes young Syrians from all political orientations with one goal: to ​​stop war and live in peace.

Their goals are summarized as:

  • To launch campaigns, hold seminars, conferences, meetings and workshops regarding the issues of nonviolent transitions in armed conflicts
  • To spread awareness about civil work and cultural heritage of Syria through movies and publications
  • To provide moral and material support for youth groups engaging in civil work
  • To communicate and cooperate with other MENA organizations with similar goals
  • To communicate and cooperate with international organizations that carry the same message, and find ways to take advantage of their expertise

The organization’s long term goal is to form a civil body that includes all civil organizations born on the sidelines of what is happening in Syria, so that this body is able to exert political pressure.

Nuon doesn’t work alone, for it’s a coordination of groups and other organizations, such as the Arab Network of Human Rights, in addition to Unity is Our Salvation network, an old Lebanese network of civil activists.

They face many obstacles, as one activist said to Syria Untold. "The funding is often conditional, and we do not accept any conditional funding. Also, it is extremely difficult to communicate with funders, and security and logistical issues are endless.”

When asked about the most beautiful moment they have shared in Nuon, she answered that it was the release of a group of detained activists, some friends among them. As for the most difficult moment, it was when a group of activists were arrested on their way to Syria after attending a training course in Beirut.

“The absence of a civil society has had a negative effects at all levels”, she adds. “We need to start building a real Syrian civil society, based on the grounds of national agreement and with contributions from countries that  have experience in the field of civil society building."

In the light of political polarization and division, Nuon believes that joint civil work will attract young people of all political orientations and ideologies to work on effective political action and protect Syria’s cultural heritage.

Find out more about Nuon on their website and Facebook page.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad