Iman Hashim is a former school principal, and the first woman to be elected head of an opposition-run local council; the Local Council of Aleppo. Born in Aleppo in 1980, with a degree in Arabic language and literature, she was a teacher in UNRWA schools before the revolution.
At the beginning of the revolution, in 2011, she worked in a field hospital to support caregivers, named the Quneitra hospital, until it was destroyed by Assad warplanes. After that, she actively participated in educational actions and was head of the Aleppo City Council’s Office of Educational and Social Affairs from 2015 to 2016. Actions in which she participated included the opening of schools and a teachers training center in Aleppo’s Old City, campaigns to encourage children to return to school, and the supervision of centres dedicated to empowering women. Iman Hashim also represented Aleppo in a diplomatic mission to France to set up a sister-city agreement between Aleppo and Metz.
After being displaced from Aleppo, she went to the western countryside where most civilians were displaced and set up a school. She previously wanted to run for the Local Council of Aleppo in 2013-2014 but was advised not to do so out of fear of Daesh (ISIS). When Daesh was expelled from Aleppo’s liberated areas, she was elected as a member of the council in which she actively participated until she was elected in July 2018 as its president.
Iman Hashim’s action plans included organizing and supporting civil society, through long-term development projects focusing on education, women’s empowerment, strengthening civil society as a whole and job creation.
Besides her hard work and achievements, Iman Hashim is an inspiring example of the central role played by women in the Syrian revolution. In an interview, she said she believes that “the largest barrier in front of a woman is herself” and that her election “will get rid of the doubts women have in themselves and show that we are able to take part in decision-making.”