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Syrian Art a Means of Resistance

"Syria has a rich history and holding cultural activities in the country aims at sending a message of peace and love from Syria, the cradle of culture and civilization, to the entire world and at stressing the fact that art and culture are also means for the Syrians to challenge their enemies  who want to undermine Syria’s history”,  Sculptor Ali Mu’alla, Director of the 4th Sand Sculpture Forum “Ugaro 2018”, recently held in Lattakia province under the patronage of Tourism Mnistry, said in a statement to the Syriatimes e-newspaper.

The event is held within the framework of supporting young talents, creativity and innovation as well as exchanging experience in the area of plastic art, sand sculpture as well as sandstone sculpture, according to Mu'alla.

On his participation in the forum, Mu’alla made it clear that he has chosen the  phoenix to embody Syria’s condition after the seven-year unjust war imposed on the country.

 "As a phoenix rising from the ashes,  Syria will challenge destruction, killing and difficult circumstances and rise again to construct the future on the basis of peace, freedom, stability and security," Mu'aala said.

Mu’alla added that artists should reflect reality and history in their works, stressing that the Syrian history and archeology are present in the forum through building an Ugarite gate for entering the forum square.  In addition, Mu'alla said, the sculptors participating in the forum  have dedicated their works to shed light on the bad circumstances Syria has faced under the crisis and to highlight the steadfastness of the Syrian people.

Mu'alla was the first to practice sand sculpture in Syria. Since 2009 he has participated in several forums held in Arab and foreign countries and he won the first position in the world sand sculpture festival held in Abu Dhabi in 2011. His dream was to hold such sand sculpture forums in Syria and his dream came into reality by holding the sand sculpture forum for the fourth year in a row.

Art a mean of resistance

Artist Yasser Al-Hakim, from Mesyaf district in Hama province told the Syriatimes e-newspaper  "Though we are not in the battlefield fighting alongside our brave Syrian Army Soldiers against the takfiri armed groups, we are supporting them through our art, which indeed is a means of resistance and has a great moral and spiritual message”.









Al-Hakim stressed the importance of such forums to express the artistic and innovative message of plastic art and sculpture, pointing out that sand sculpture has a specialty as sand is a highly sensitive material not like stone.

"We, as artists, couldn’t ignore the bad circumstances Syria has passed through over the past years. Before the crisis, our sculpts used to reflect the beauty of states, but now we are sculpturing destruction, suffering and pain” Al-Hakim added.

 He said his sculpture work within the forum depicts Syria as a mother carrying on its back an embryo, which is a symbol of future, and embracing her children. These children embody all components of the Syrian society who kept steadfastness in confrontation of the terrorist war on their country.

On his part, sculptor Imarosh talked about his participation, saying “I found in sculpturing a crocodile devouring a horse a reflection of the brutal and savage acts carried out by terrorists against the Syrian people during the crisis in Syria”.

Imarosh stressed the forum is of great importance to spread the spirit of optimism and hope and to express the Syrians' spirit of confrontation and their insistence to rebuild their country.

From Dar’a province, artist Sa’d Shawki, who is also participating in the forum, said ”this wonderful forum reflects Syria’ history and civilization, which have been targeted by a foreign-backed terror war. It is also an opportunity for artists to enrich their knowledge and expertise," he added, pointing out that his sculpture work embodies the large ancient Roman theatre in the city of Bosra in Daraa province.









 Shawaki represented Syria in a number of Arab and foreign countries. Before the eruption of the crisis, he was busy building a "small village" for artists in his area in Dar’a province. He had built a big hall and a library which contained very valuable books, references  and paintings, that he had collected from the world's famous museums, before the armed terrorists groups attacked the area and destroyed everything."

He affirmed “I will start again and the terrorist war imposed on our beloved country won't break the Syrian people’s will to fight as to preserve Syria’s culture and heritage”.

Sahar Hmeisheh , Head of the National Association for Tourism Development which organized the event,  stressed the touristic and cultural importance of this annual artistic event as it is the forum of art, innovation and civilization .

Holding such an event in Syria at such a level of profession is an achievement by itself  as it coincided with the victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army.

Hmeisheh asserted the need to invest fine arts forums in disseminating cultural awareness in society and in reactivating internal tourism, noting the participation of artists from all Syrian provinces.

In parallel with holding the forum, concerts, art exhibition, theatrical shows were held in addition to entertainment activities and workshops for children, who are the hope and future of the country, to discover their talents and enhance their skills.

 Interviewed by Rawaa Ghanam