Syria’s Rebellious Women is a series of short documentary films made by award-winning journalist Zaina Erhaim. Far from being hapless victims of war, Erhaim’s series shows that Syrian women are fighters in the struggle for a free Syria and their own liberation. They battle not only the devastation wrought by the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia but also the patriarchal attitudes and practices of rebels, activists, civilians, and even their own families.
Ahed was at the vanguard of demonstrations in Aleppo against both the Assad government and Islamic State (ISIS, or Daesh). Despite beatings and humiliation meted out to her by both forces and known as “the troublemaker” by her friends, she left Aleppo but continues to do relief work..
Zein Al-Sham was forcibly displaced from besieged city Aleppo at the end of 2016 and was one of the latest to leave. She was released after 14 months in a regime prison where she was tortured only to find her home completely destroyed and her family displaced. She became a paramedic and worked in the Dar Shifaa field hospital alongside her friend Ahed before it was destroyed by the regime.
Community activist Ghalia Rahal has faced repeated attacks in her hometown in Idlib governate. She founded a series of centers that provide vocational training to local women and remains committed to trying to improve their lives. Ghalia lost her son Khaled after the film was made but she still runs the Mazaya centers in Idlib’s countryside.