Dear colleagues,

This is our second newsletter for SIBA since its inception and we apologize for the delay. We had planned that our newsletter would be more frequent but have been busy building our internal structures, our by-laws, the relationship with the chapters, the official registration, trademark protection, and the IT systems to handle our internal and external communications such as a central contact database, addresses, emails and phone numbers etc.

We have formulated a Communications Strategy which had been adopted by the Board. The main thrust of this is to build up our community and to communicate with you as well as develop and keep open channels with our supporting organizations and sponsors.

The Board has set itself a goal of finishing these internal tasks and structures by the end of this year by using funds donated by Board members. All this to make sure that we start the new year as functioning organization and prepared for another conference meeting sometime in February 2018.

Meanwhile, members of the SIBA board have been working individually and collectively to further the goals of SIBA by attending meetings and conferences, with Ambassadors and other officials of various Governments that impact our community. We have held several meetings with the Turkish Embassy in Beirut to try and reduce the visa applications waiting times which currently take up to 9 months! They have promised to review it and hopefully will advise us soon of its reduction to 2 weeks. We are very encouraged that SIBA has generated a lot of interest from the International Community and is viewed as a very positive development which we hope to build on.

Last but not least, we kicked off a road-show in Dubai with the aim of meeting members of the Syrian business community; the goal being to introduce SIBA and gain insights on the local market requirements. We hope to visit a number of cities over the course of the following months and look forward to meeting you and members of your community.