On March 11, 2013, the Syrian Military Intelligence arrested Dr. Rania Abbasi, her husband and six children at their home in Damascus. A dentist, social activists and national chess champion of Syria, Abbasi disappeared along with her entire family, their fate and whereabouts remain unknown. Today, activists highlight the struggle of Rania Abbasi through a chess championship that bears her name.
Launched by the the Public Authority for Youth and Sports and the Basma (Fingerprint) Foundation, the championship took place in Aleppo, on December 25, 2014.
The tournament, which lasted three days, was organized for young children, adopting sports as therapy for the psychological trauma that violence has had on Syrian children.
The event also aimed to draw attention to the issue of the disappeared champion and her family, and to stress their immediate release.
The Public Authority for Youth and Sports had previously launched a campaign to demand freedom for Adnan Qassar, captain of the Syrian Equestrian team, who spent more than 20 years in prison.