Islam Dabbas was a peaceful Syrian activist from Daraya. Born in 1989, he was a third year architecture student from the Damascus suburbs when the revolution started. Of enthusiastic character, Islam was learning business management and Italian alongside his university studies when he joined the first batch of protests in Damascus.
Islam Dabbas belonged to the Daraya cadre of activists including Ghiath Matar and Yahya Shurbaji. With them, Islam staunchly believed and held to the tenets of peaceful protests. He held that the regime only understood brutality, and hence non-violence was the gamechanger they would not understand. Together with his fellow Darayans, Islam launched an initiative that became famous, distributing flowers and water to regime soldiers in the hope of peace and a just Syria.
Islam was arrested on 22 July 2011 by the Air Force Intelligence. He was transferred from a branch of the Air Force Intelligence to the notorious Sednaya prison. His family saw him there on their second and last permitted visit in November 2012.
As reported by his brother, Islam was to cross paths with his father Khayro during imprisonment within sentencing courts. Arrested for partaking in the protests, Khayro is currently imprisoned in Adra prison for 15 years. On seeing his father, Islam hurried to apologize, worried his activitism was the cause for his imprisonment. Khayro assured Islam he was not, exclaiming pride for his son after a warm embrace.
Islam’s family was notified of his passing six years later in mid-2016. He was registered as executed on the 15th of January 2013. This was the same date of execution for three of his fellow Darayans: Yahya Shurbaji, Abdul Sattar and Majod Kholani. He is survived by his sister Hiba, an activist with the Families for Freedom campaign demanding release of all prisoners from regime detention.