Syrian Dreams

Syrian Dreams Foundation / RSIN 856674576

Amstel 232, 1017 AK Amsterdam 

The objective of Syrian Dreams is to organize exhibitions, seminars, theater events, documentaries, with cartoonists, writers, artists, singers and musicians, especially from Syria. And acquire fundings and resources for realization. 

The board has three members: Ronald Bos, chair; Willy Smits, secretary; Mais Katt, treasurer

The board members are volunteers and unpaid.


Policy plan 2017-2018


Syrian Dreams is founded for the organization of an exhibition of Syrian cartoonists. To achieve this goal we had to find cartoonists to participate, look for galleries and raise funds.   

Short term policy

Our goal was to have an exhibition and a book with all cartoonists in spring 2017. For fundraising we received a little financial support (from PEN Nederland) and we applied for several fundings. At the same time we talked with society Arti & Amicitiae in Amsterdam to host the exhibition in April – May 2017,  and with publisher Jurgen Maas we agreed on the book.


Since 1999 the chair of Syrian Dreams, documentary maker Ronald Bos, was involved with the life of a Syrian poet in prison. He visited Syria in 1999 and again after Faraj Bayrakdar was released in 2001. They became friends and were continuous discussing the situation in Syria. After the revolution and later civil war in Syria Ronald Bos wanted to raise attention and awareness about the complicated situation in Syria by showing the images of Syrian cartoonists. Never before an event like this was organized and all Syrian cartoonists were very enthusiastic.  


Unexpectedly the political cartoons seemed to fall between two stools: several foundations did not consider them as a form of art, and not as journalism. As the biggest part of fundraising turned out negative, Syrian Dreams decided to find financial means by a crowd funding. And luckily the City of Amsterdam promised to pay the travel expenses to invite some of the cartoonists at the occasion of the opening.


To raise attention for the exhibition Syrian Dreams was advised by an experienced journalist and contacted local and national newspapers. For the crowd funding we made a short video presentation.  

Finally, in the week of the opening, we were happy the crowd funding was successful. Moreover we received fundings from Amsterdams Fonds vooor de Kunst and Gravin van Bylandt Stichting. The book was published and the exhibition could go on.


After Arti & Amicitiae we started travelling with the exhibition:

-the City of Lillehammer Norway thanks to a support of the International Cities of Refuge Network (Stavanger) and the Norsk Literature festival (Lillehammer). 

-the City of Edam thanks to a local initiative of the Groen Links party

-Arabic Bookshop Pages (Amsterdam)

-the City Middelburg thanks to the City Council


Many newspapers published articles and interviews, several  tv en radio programs paid attention.

Future events

Autumn 2017 the book will have a revised edition with more articles and more cartoonists.

For 2018 we are preparing more exhibitions in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia) and North America (Pittsburgh, New York, Toronto, Montreal).