Randa Kassis

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Randa Kassis
Randa Kassis (cropped).jpg
Randa Kassis in 2018
Personal details
Born (1970-10-08) 8 October 1970 (age 51)
Damascus, Syria
NationalitySyrian, French
OccupationPolitician and a leading figure of the Syrian opposition
Known forLeading secular female figure

Randa Kassis (Arabic: رندة قسيس) is a Franco-Syrian politician and a leading secular figure of the Syrian opposition.[1] She is the President of The Astana Platform of the Syrian[2] opposition and the founder of the Movement of the Pluralistic Society.[3]


She was a member of the Syrian National Council until August 2012. Randa Kassis is the former president of the Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians and member of the Syrian National Council.[4][5] The Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians, the nucleus of a secular and democratic Syrian opposition, was created by the union of a dozen Muslim, Christian, Arab and Kurdish parties, who called upon minorities in Syria to support the fight against the government of Bashar al-Assad.[6] Kassis believes in the power of minorities and their role in society, especially in Kurds and highlighted in 2013 the importance of involving Kurds in any political process in Syria.[7]

Kassis is no longer a member of the Syrian National Council, having been excluded due to her many declarations alerting the Syrian opposition about the rise of Muslim fundamentalists.[8][9][10]

Kassis is also an anthropologist and journalist.[11] She has also published a book called "Crypts of The Gods", which is a book on religions, their origins, and their ways of functioning.[12] Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War on March 15, 2011, she has become a leading commentator on the Syrian Conflict and the wider complexities of the Arab Spring and the future of the Middle East region.

Randa Kassis initiated the Astana platform in 2015 after her request to the President of Kazakhstan[13] to form a platform that could assemble moderate Syrian opponents.[14] The first round of the Astana platform was moderated by Kazakh Ambassador Baghdad Amreyev and the opening session was chaired by the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erland Idrissov.[15] The second round was moderated by Fabien Baussart, President of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs (CPFA).[16]

Randa Kassis participated in the 2016 Geneva Peace Talks under the banner of the Moscow/Astana groups.[17] She is Co-President with Qadri Jamil of the Syrian secular and democratic opposition delegation.[18] She is criticized by other opposition members for her advocacy to a political transition in cooperation with Bashar al-Assad's regime and her support of the Russian intervention in the civil war.[19]

In 2017, Kassis invited many members of the Syrian opposition, academics and constitutionalists with the help of French constitutionalist expert Xavier Latour, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Yasar Yakis and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Giulio Terzi,[20][21] in order to start drafting a new constitution for Syria.[22]

On 30 January 2018 Randa Kassis, along with other members of the Astana platform, participated in the Syrian National Congress as President of the Astana platform.[23][24] Kassis emphasized the importance of creating a constitutional committee in order to facilitate the peace process in Syria,[21] which the UN and Astana troika – Russian, Iran and Turkey – later agreed to create.[25]

October 2018, Kassis worked to include many political factions of the opposition to reach a road map to peace. The document drawn up by representatives of the opposition invited to Rome by Sant’Egidio, an organisation closed to the Vatican.[26][27]


  • Crypts of the Gods, Randa Kassis, Editions E- Kutub, 2013 (EN)[28][29]
  • Le Chaos Syrien, printemps arabes et minorités face à l'islamisme, Randa Kassis and Alexandre del Valle, Editions Dhow, 2014 (FR)[30][31]
  • Comprendre le chaos syrien, des révolutions arabes au jihad mondial, L'Artilleur, coll. Toucan essais, 2016 (FR)[32]
  • La Syrie et le Retour de la Russie, Editions des Syrtes, 2018 (FR)[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, Jay (2016-11-23). "Donald Trump Jr. Held Talks on Syria With Russia Supporters". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  2. ^ "Astana Platform". astanaplatform.com. Archived from the original on 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  3. ^ "Randa Kassis, Geneva Peace Talks 2014 | UN Web TV". media.un.org. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  4. ^ Irish, John (2011-09-16). "France hails Syria council, develops contacts". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  5. ^ "Entretien avec Randa Kassis, opposante et intellectuelle syrienne porte-parole de la Coalition des Forces Laïques et membre du Conseil National Syrien", France Soir, 11 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Les partis d'opposition laïcs syriens unissent leurs forces à Paris", Agence France-Presse, 18 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Randa Kassis – PeaceTalks". Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  8. ^ SPIEGEL, DER. "Opposition Group Leader Randa Kassis on Islamist Fighters in Syria - DER SPIEGEL - International". www.spiegel.de. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  9. ^ "Sectarian Jihad in Syria: Made in the USA?". Institute for Policy Studies. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  10. ^ "Un nouveau parti d'opposition laïque". L'Humanité (in French). 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  11. ^ "Randa Kassis". www.lesinfluences.fr. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  12. ^ "Speakers". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  13. ^ Putz, Catherine (29 May 2015). "Why Was Syria's Opposition in Kazakhstan?". The diplomat.
  14. ^ "L'opposition syrienne suggère de tenir des consultations à Astana pour résoudre la crise en Syrie" (PDF).
  15. ^ May 2015, Malika Orazgaliyeva in International on 29 (2015-05-29). "Syrian Opposition Meeting in Astana Makes Tentative Headway in Finding Way Forward for Peace Process". The Astana Times. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  16. ^ October 2015, Malika Orazgaliyeva in International on 6 (2015-10-06). "Representatives of Syrian Opposition Meet in Astana". The Astana Times. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  17. ^ UN Media (March 2016). "Moscow-Astana Group - Media Stakeout".
  18. ^ "United States to press Russia on Syria's Assad". Reuters. 23 March 2016.
  19. ^ Borger, Julian; Jalabi, Raya (23 November 2016). "US Syria policy: signs of shift as Trump son meets pro-Russia Damascus figure". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Expert Meeting on Syrian Constitution – Giulio Terzi" (in Italian). Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  21. ^ a b "Сирийская оппозиция предлагает проект унитарного государства из 14 регионов". www.forbes.kz. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  22. ^ "The Astana Process - Problems and Prospects by Leonid Gusev". The Market For Ideas. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  23. ^ "Russia's Syrian peace conference teeters on farce". the Guardian. January 30, 2018.
  24. ^ Болдырев, Олег (2018-01-31). "Сирийский конгресс в Сочи: диалог без ясных результатов". BBC News Русская Служба.
  25. ^ "Сирийская оппозиция предлагает проект унитарного государства из 14 регионов". 2017-12-05.
  26. ^ "La oposición siria presenta un proyecto de transición avalado por Sant'Egidio". Alfa y Omega (in Spanish). 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  27. ^ "Una road map per la ricostruzione della Siria presentata oggi a Sant'Egidio | NEWS | COMUNITÀ DI SANT'EGIDIO". www.santegidio.org (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  28. ^ "Speakers | Secular Conference London 2014". www.secularconference.com. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  29. ^ Kassis, Randa (2013). Crypts of the gods. London: E-Kutub. p. 224. ISBN 978-1492880608.
  30. ^ "Articles en rapport avec : Le chaos syrien". Atlantico.fr. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  31. ^ Kassis, Randa (2014). Le chaos Syrien. Paris: Editions Dhow. p. 320. ISBN 979-1093501031.
  32. ^ Kassis, Randa (June 8, 2016). COMPRENDRE LE CHAOS SYRIEN DES RÉVOLUTIONS ARABES AU JIHAD MONDIAL (TOUC.ESSAIS ed.). France: L'artilleur. p. 438. ISBN 9782810007318.
  33. ^ Randa., Kassis (2018). La Syrie et le retour de la Russie. Genève. ISBN 978-2940523634. OCLC 1027055736.

External links[edit]