Lubna Alkanawati

Deputy executive director Syria NGO Women Now for Development

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Lebanon, Syria, Turkey
Based in France

Lubna Alkanawati (@LubnaAlkanawati) is Deputy Executive Director of Women Now for Development, the largest women-led feminist organization operating in Syria.

She has been an activist leader in (@WomenNowForDev) in Syria, Turkey and now from France. Women Now for Development works to protect and empower Syrian women and foster their full participation in political and economic life.

Lubna led design and management of a two-year project to produce a Women Now for Development 2021 position paper Perspectives of Forced Displaced Syrian Women on their Conditions, Rights, and Demands. The paper highlights the brutal crime of forcible displacement and sheds light on women’s opinions and demands, which are often overlooked.

She represented Women Now for Development at the launch in 2021 of the Global Public Policy Institute research The Last Straw: How Chemical Weapons Impact Women and Break Communities. Lubna testified as a witness to a deadly Russian chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, in August 2013. She nominated female medical assistants to provide their testimonies and provided background information and contextual analysis on how women were affected.

She is one of four women featured in the documentary film Syria, Women in War, which premiered in France in October 2021. The film is inspired by the book 19 women: Tales of resilience from Syria by the novelist Samar Yazbek, founder and president of Women Now for Development.

Lubna participated in the political movement for change from the first days of demonstrations against the Assad dictatorship in Syria in 2011. She led several humanitarian aid efforts in besieged areas and lived under siege in Eastern Ghouta for more than 2.5 years, ensuring the services of the local Women Now center. She escaped Syria in 2014 and has stayed with the organization since.