Radio Alwan FM ("Colors") was born out of necessity, which is the mother of invention. Bombed by the regime and left without electricity and communications infrastructure, the majority of the population of the liberated areas have been virtually isolated from the rest of the world. Within this context, local media projects like Alwan FM provide a much needed means of communication, as one of its co-founders said to SyriaUntold.
The radio was founded on April 2013 by Ahmad al-Qadour, a student at the Damascus Law School. An active participant in the demonstrations that swept throughout the country after March 2011, al-Qadour was arrested and imprisoned by the regime in late 2011. He abandoned his studies and continued his contribution to the uprising as soon as he was released.
Al-Qadour, with the aid of a small group of friends, started broadcasting with a small radio transmitter from the city of Saraqeb, Idlib. The team has since grown into 28 active members who currently cover most of the northern liberated areas of Aleppo and Idlib.
The project is defined by its co-founders as “a community radio that aims to spread a message of love and co-existence, and contribute to civil society building.” They provide a positive, optimistic approach, that aims to draw their audience away from the harshness and gloominess which surrounds them, as well as from thoughts of revenge.
The team has offices in Damascus, Aleppo and Idlib, and correspondents all over the country. They act as megaphones of the community’s issues and concerns, and try to make them heard by groups and organizations in charge of providing basic services and relief. They also have a special focus on women and children.
Alwan FM is funded by a Turkey-based NGO. The team is currently searching for more sources of funding so that they can expand the scope of their coverage and increase the impact of the project. A project that was born of the womb of suffering to provide a message of hope, from the community to the community.