From Fighting for Peace to Finding Inner Peace. Member Spotlight: Nariman Hamo

Nariman Hamo is a meditation teacher and peacebuilder from Syria, whose mission is to empower people to find inner peace as a path to social change. After spending years working as an activist, Nariman decided to transform her approach to peace after a period of burnout led her to realise that “individual wellbeing is the solution.” She now aims to “change the world by teaching people how to free themselves from the pain of the past and the fear of the future.”


Nariman’s journey into peacebuilding began in Syria, where she was born and raised in an activist family. After graduating with a degree in artificial intelligence, Nariman was displaced to Turkey in 2012 as a result of the conflict in Syria. There, she took on a leadership role in a Syrian NGO, developing it from one project based in Turkey, to a large-scale, multinational organisation. where she was responsible for managing peace projects, training activists in strategic nonviolence, facilitating women’s empowerment workshops, and campaigning internationally to amplify Syrian women’s voices in peacebuilding efforts.

However, this intense work eventually began to take its toll on Nariman, leading her to a period of intense burnout. She explains that the intense pressure of her responsibilities, as well as the psychological burden of her experiences, simply became “too much”. After relocating to the Netherlands, Nariman embarked on a year of recovery, where she found respite in meditation, yoga, and nature – realising their profound power for healing and resilience.

Teaching Meditation, Cultivating Peace

After training to become a meditation teacher, Nariman now imparts this hard-found wisdom to others through daily guided meditations, as well as multi-day courses on developing a meditation practice. She explains how she finds great meaning in helping others to “become their best self,” saying this brings her “maximum happiness.” Nariman also offers coaching services to activists on self-care, asserting that “wellbeing is the number one priority” in effective peace work. She explains how peacebuilders need to be equipped with techniques for self-care and finding inner peace, stressing that “you cannot give to other people if you don’t give yourself a break.”

While embracing this inner work, Nariman remains committed to transforming society, seeing teaching mediation as her way “to bring peace and freedom to myself, to people around me, and to the world.” Importantly, however, this is in a way that is both sustainable and aligned with her values. She reflects that “it was so tiring and consuming to be an activist in the traditional way. So now, here I am trying to change the world by teaching meditation.”

A New Path to Social Change

For Nariman, the path to true social change is individual wellbeing. She explains that “I’ve done the traditional activist thing, lobbying conferences, capacity building, and I still think it has value. But personally, I want to do it in a different way. You know, for me, this is true peacebuilding. I am building peace by teaching people how to free themselves from the pain of the past and the fear of the future, because if you are stable, then you can bring something to other people’s life, to your society, to your community and eventually, to the world.”

Nariman Hamo embodies a compassionate yet powerful approach to social change, exemplifying how peace in the world starts from peace within. In so doing, Nariman urges that we can each contribute to social change and peace in the world in ways that are aligned with our gifts.

Article by Natalie Dewar, MBBI Writer