The Festival’s Theme

Syria’s Cultural Days

Soon - Istanbul

Syria is the cradle of civilizations, the origin of many religions. In that spot of the world, every stone and atom of dust speaks history.
There, the first alphabet came to life.
In the third millennium BC, Syria connected between Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley. In the first millennium BC, it formed a bridge between the Mediterranean Sea and the Far East through the Silk Road.
When the Islamic civilization started to grow and to flourish, Syria became its beating heart. It became the center as the capital of the prosperous Omayyad State.
In that ancient geography, in Syria, history had and has a voice. Soil holds a mixture of smells belonging to various civilizations.

Syria is a miniature of the world’s memory of humanity and humans’ struggle through time to be.
In Syria, the natural scenery breaks the repetitiveness of the surrounding because it stands as a witness for the birth of civilizations, their interaction and humanitarian achievements, which people today are still enjoying. They enjoy what have been committed to the limitless memory of the place.
Syrians, experienced as they are today, know that they hold huge responsibilities. They necessarily know that their achievements and futuristic prospects have to own the same power of their antecedents' which spread in every corner of their deep-rooted land.

Syrian people recognize that their country has witnessed many wars, which history preserves a record of. They also know that similar to the battle they have been running to defend their land; they have to run another to rebuild it and develop it. There, in Syria, factories and dams stand side by side with historical ruins and cultural establishments. There, the future extracts its power from a splendid history.

The Festival’s Objectives

  1. Introducing the Syrian cause and its corresponding crises to the world and the mainstream.
  2. Contributing to the display of the Syrian civilization and values, which history attests for.
  3. Playing a part in shedding the light on the Syrian catastrophe and Syrians’ pain.
  4. Creating outlets for communication with other nations and enhancing positive interaction between Syrians and other people around the world.
  5. Inviting governments and international establishments to embrace the Syrian cause and to support Syrian people’s prospects.

Introduction

The Syrians who walk thousands of kilometers in woods and desolate roads, those people who have been carried by their dreams as lifeboats desiring to reach safe countries where they can exist and excel  in learning, innovation and work, do they really need compassion?

 Yes! They might be tired, so very tired. Nonetheless, they carry, in their genes, the burden of the beginnings, the beginning of the alphabet, the beginning of agriculture, the beginning of animals’ domestication, the first planned cities in history, the first decision to settle down in a certain land and make a home of it. For more than eight thousand years B.C. Syrians have been carrying the responsibility of discovery, they practiced the act. We wonder; do these people need compassion?

In reality, the festival is our attempt to sympathize with ourselves, a few days to break the ice of exile coiling around our escaping tired legs, a few days to revive the life in the different classes of the Syrian society. These days are about music, theater, cinema, art, handicrafts and traditional industries. These days are our strife to support these variable domains, to set our voices free out of politics’ grip. In that space, we will present our true voices; we will present Syria, the reality we have faith in.  

The festival is a huge workshop which aims to create a bridge between the Syrians inside the country, Syrian refugees and host communities. The festival is a call for communication and a demand to deny the illegitimate distance made by military powers between these three parties; it is a call to erase the invalid differences setting them apart from each other  and to maneuver all the invalid circumstances turning them to face each other as strangers.

The Festival’s Theme

We aim to organize an annual festival to create a trend which will contribute to introducing the coming generations to the culture they belong to.

The event will be an attempt to give the immigrant Syrian families which feel estranged away from their homeland a sense of stability. In the same time, it will help these families in their struggle to integrate in the host society depending on the common factors which bring all humans together in a connection made of culture, music, arts and knowledge.

The festival will be a space for entertainment and benefit in the various domains of sport, art, literature, and traditional industries. The event seeks to live up to the prospects of the Syrian community including children, young people and families.

The festival utilizes the advantage which Syrian children are enjoying today; they might surprise the person listening to them by using, in a single sentence, vocabularies which belong to two foreign languages at least. The festival’s organizers will use this new ability to come up with activities which join them and their Turkish peers in joint activates. These activities will create a connectedness between the Turkish people and Syrians, a channel to communicate, and pave the way for a smooth integration.

The Importance of the Festival

For the past six years, many international reports and surveys have been preoccupied with the psychological and daily life related circumstances under which Syrians struggle to survive in host countries, in addition to the conditions of the Syrians who are entrapped in the warring country.

With a special regard to the state of affairs which these studies describe, the festival offers a range of activities to introduce Syrians, in their forced or chosen exile, to each other. During the event, they will have the chance to form new relations which will help them overcome their deepest fears and suffering.

The festival also addresses Syrians’ desire to be alive again, to be creative once more. The event’s activities aim to resurrect culture and arts among Syrians to prove this mixture’s ability to enhance people’s social life.

The festival is a loophole in the Syrian status quo through which the achievements from inside the country will be able to cross the borders to the outside world. The event is a unifying project which will combine Syrian innovators inside the country and abroad to introduce an integral image of Syria to the world, the reality of their country which totally differs from the one presented by media.

A Step to Spread the Syrian Culture

In spite of all the harsh conditions witnessed by the developing countries around the world in general and Syria in particular due to the current war, many Syrians, such as Saadallah Wannous, Malek Jandali and many others, managed to reach the world depending on their literary, artistic and scientific innovations.

The current crisis might be a barrier preventing the members of the new generation’s voices from becoming universal or having the chance to represent their Syrian culture using their own particular tools. The festival, accordingly, is keen on spreading Syria’s culture and the sublime values it contains and uses to face all the stereotypes about war-affected people and refugees.

Turkey is the first country to host the events of the festival. “Syria’s Cultural Days” in its aim to be a recurrent event will visit other countries which hosted Syrians to introduce them to the Syrian culture in a modern manner worthy of the people who inherited it from their fathers and forefathers and who faithfully carried it through the roads of diaspora.