Education Activism in the Syrian Civil War:Resisting by Persisting

Academic article

This article analyzes education activists’ resilience in emergencies, building on life story interviews with Syrians who engaged in civil society initiatives for schooling in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising. It investigates the meaning that education acquires under extreme adversity and how it inspires individuals to act. Finding that these activists think of education as a means to resist authoritarianism and transform society, the article brings the change agendas of local education actors to the fore. It concludes that resilience can be the extension of political purpose. The article conceptualizes education as a vehicle of resistance, foregrounding how temporal projections enable individuals to maintain belief in their capability to enact changes. The activists make connections between their own experiences in school, thoughts about the future, and the reasons they mobilize for education. Working with time is a potent enabler when, objectively, the situation is deteriorating.