Cultural Festivity held in Lattakia to Honor Creative, Talented Syrian Children

"Caring about Syria’s children is a very important issue that necessitates collective efforts by the family, the society and the government as Syria’s children are the future generation who will take part effectively in rebuilding Syria, the cradle of civilizations and the land of peace, culture and art,” Assistant Minister of Culture, Eng Sanaa Al-Shawwa, said in a statement to the "Syriatimes" e-newspaper on the sideline of the “Childhood and Innovation” festivity held recently at Dar Al-Assad for Culture in Lattakia province.

The event, held by the Child Culture Directorate of the Culture Ministry, aimed to honor the winner children from Lattakia who had participated in the ministry’s annual artistic and culture competitions. Participants in the competitions were children aged 7-17 years representing all the Syrian provinces.

Among honored winners from Lattakia province were children of martyrs as well as some children with special needs.

 Al-Shawwa pointed out that these competitions are held annually starting from the Ministry's keenness on supporting children’s artistic, cultural and innovative skills and on crystallizing their talents.

She made it clear that the competitions covered the art of painting, calligraphy, in addition to story, poetry and essay writing as well as photography.

Malak Yassin, Head of the Child’s Culture Directorate at the Ministry of Culture, on her part told Syriatimes that "this festivity is of great importance to send out a strong message to the entire world that Syria’s children are still creative, skillful and talented and are determined to overcome all the hardships they have faced during the long years of the sever crisis.”

 She clarified that the works of the winner children’s are printed and published within the ministry’s publications, adding that children’s paintings are showcased in exhibitions to be held around the year.

Miss Yasin hailed the unremitting efforts exerted by the ministry of culture within the program of the Culture Team for Building Life Skills to encourage children to use their abilities fully and effectively, with focus on children in the areas liberated by the Syrian army from terrorism.

On the sidelines of the cultural festivity, an interactive art exhibition was held by the Culture Team for Building Life Skills in Lattakia to showcase the works of winner children.

Head of the team, Mrs. Amal Tobal, praised  in a statement to the Syriatimes the cultural and educational establishments’ interest in supporting children's outstanding talents and potentials to learn and develop their skills, stressing that honoring the winners of the ministry of culture’s competitions contributes effectively to supporting the creative skills of children, especially martyrs’ children and those with special needs.

Mrs. Tobal indicated that this year witnessed launching the first edition of the periodical cultural bulletin by the Ministry of Culture.  According to her, the bulletin includes the works of the children and youths who joined the Culture Team for Building Life Skills in Lattakia province.

She added that the first bulletin was dedicated to prominent Syrian writer “Hanna Meneh” as a greeting of love and appreciation from Lattakia’s children to this great Syrian intellectual and cultural figure  .

Syriatimes also interviewed a number of winners to talk about their participations in the competitions.

Lamar Yasin a ten-years old girl from Lattakia province, who won the first position in photography, expressed happiness as it is her first participation in these contests."

She said “I am very interested in old heritage so I chose a very old house to photo in my home town in Lattakia countryside . I was confident that this house will enable me to get the first position because my grandparents used to tell me interesting tales about this old house."

Moreover, the special needs of some children were not a barrier preventing them from participating in the competitions and presenting their talents.

Seraj Adnan Waqqaf is one of the children with special needs who won the first prize in painting contest. He painted the sea, boats and sunset to express his psychological condition.

“Sam Ali Yousef, who won the first position in writing poems, said "I wrote a poem on the importance of art in our life , the role of artists in building society and spreading culture”.

 Ritta Shehadeh, a winner in short story writing, said "my real suffering motivated me to write a short story and take part in the competitions. My mother was injured in an explosion in “Jableh” hospital while she was carrying out her duty in the hospital”, Ritta Shehadeh a winner in writing short story said.

She made it clear that her story, titled "a Wounded Homeland and a New Hope", expressed the suffering and bad impacts of the crisis, but, at the same time it highlighted the Syrians’ hope and insistence to shake off the dust of war."

The winner children expressed determination to have achievements at the world level starting from their sense of responsibility to serve their homeland.

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam