Fadwa Soliman or Fadwa Suleiman (Arabic: فدوى سليمان) is a Syrian actress of an Alawite descent who also became known for leading a sunni-majority protest against the Bashar al-Assad's government in Homs. She has become one of the most recognized faces of the Syrian Civil War.
Born in Aleppo, Soliman moved to the capital Damascus to pursue an acting career where she performed in numerous plays, Maria's Voice and Media, and in at least a dozen TV shows, including in The Diary of Abou Antar and Little Ladies. She also played an art teacher at an orphanage in "Small Hearts," a television series that helped raise awareness about human organ trafficking and was broadcast by several Arab channels. She also acted in an Arabic adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" at the Qabbani theater in Damascus.
Role in Syrian uprising
Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising on March 15, 2011, Soliman has been one of the few outspoken actresses against Assad's government. Knowing that her fate would be either death or prison, Soliman still wanted to participate in the demonstration to dispel what she said is a perception that all the Alawite community, which makes up around 10 per cent of the population, supports Assad's government. She said she also wanted to dismiss the government's narrative that those who participate in protests are Islamists or armed terrorists. She has appeared at rallies demanding Assad's removal, sharing the podium with soccer star Abdelbasset Sarout, one of a number of Syrian celebrities who have backed the revolt.
Soliman has also delivered impassioned monologues to camera, calling for peaceful protests to continue across the country until Assad is overthrown. “Sectarian violence in Homs would be worse if it weren’t for Fadwa Soliman,” says Peter Harling, Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, the think tank. “She has tried to contain the damage among Alawites who have been hijacked by the regime.” In one video message in November 2011, Soliman said security forces were searching Homs neighborhoods for her and beating people to force them to reveal her hiding place. Soliman cut her hair short like a boy and moved from house to house to evade capture.
- Basma Atassi (23 Nov 2011) "Q&A: Syria's daring actress", Al Jazeera.
- Khaled Yacoub Oweis (Jan 5, 2012) "Syrian actress treads new stage in Syrian protests", Reuters.
- Amrutha Gayathri (March 31, 2012) "Fadwa Suleiman: Actress And Alawite Icon Of Syrian Revolt Warns Of Sectarian Violence", International Business Times.
- Deborah Pasmantier (March 30, 2012) "Actress icon of Syrian revolt warns of sectarian warfare", Agence France-Presse.
- Mohamed Abi Samra (16.02.2012) "Fadwa Suleiman : une pasionaria syrienne", Courrier International.
- Hala Kodmani (24 décembre 2011) "Fadwa Suleiman, pasionaria de Homs", Libération
- "Fadwa Suleiman et ses espoirs pour la Syrie", Euronews, March 27, 2012.
- "Message to Canada by actor Fadwa Soliman from inside Syria.", YouTube, Dec 2, 2011.
- Roula Khalaf (March 21, 2012) "Alawites trapped in existential struggle", Financial Times.
- "Fadwa Sulayman syrian actress announces a hunger strike", YouTube, Nov 14, 2011.
- "Täuschungsversuch mit kleinen Freiheiten". qantara.de. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
- Media related to Fadwa Sulaiman at Wikimedia Commons