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Syrian actress and icon of revolution Fadwa Suleiman dies

Fadwa Suleiman continued to rally in support of the Syrian revolution in Paris [YouTube]

Date of publication: 17 August, 2017

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Syrian actress Fadwa Suleiman has died at the age of 46. Hailing from Assad's minority Alawite sect, she became a hero for taking a stand against the family's decades-old rule.

Syrian opposition groups say Fadwa Suleiman, a Syrian actress who took centre stage at anti-government protests in the early days of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, has died. She was 46.

The Syrian National Coalition opposition group said on Thursday that Suleiman passed away in Paris after a long struggle with illness. Friends confirmed she had passed away from a chronic illness.

Suleiman, who hailed from Assad's minority Alawite sect, became a hero to many for taking a stand against his family's decades-old rule. 

She often appeared at peaceful protests in the city of Homs, the centre of resistance, giving speeches to inspire the crowds.

"Come and see reality, see your brothers in blood peacefully demanding freedom," Suleiman told her fellow Alawites in a video recorded from Homs.

She also delivered impassioned monologues to camera, calling for peaceful protests to continue across the country until Assad is overthrown. 

Before the uprising, Suleiman was known for her roles in television, radio, cinema and theater, playing 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.

She fled to Paris in 2012, fearing for her life as security forces intensified their crackdown on dissent and killed and jailed opponents.

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