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Engraving Exhibition Opened

Minister of Culture, Dr. Lubana Mushaweh,  recently opened the Syrian retrospection engraving exhibition, which was held in cooperation between the Department of Fine Arts at the Ministry of Culture and Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus.

The exhibition included some works, produced by artists during the past ten years, of different engraved techniques.

“This exhibition is important since it presents the techniques used by professors in the Faculty of Fine Arts and now it is the time to show them to the public, teachers and the students of the Faculty, hoping that it will be the beginning of a new cooperation between them.” Dr. Mushaweh said

Regarding the importance of showing the treasures of the Ministry of Culture Dr. Mushaweh said: “we are keen to re-show the production of arts which the Ministry of Culture had by archiving and printing them to be available to the people, then we will upload them on the website to be the first step to create a Museum for the modern art in Syria”.

For his part, the advisor of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Fawaz Boukdosh, said that hosting the exhibition by the faculty shows that it will not ignore the moral and aesthetic meaning in their students, pointing out that raising these ethical meanings are made through the relationship between  art and society.

Ibrahim Zaaboub

First Porcelain Gathering: Dialogue between Man and Mud

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Deliberations of the first Gathering of Ceramics entitled “Porcelain Dialogue” was launched recently at the Damascus Citadel. The event was held by Directorate of Fine Arts and Higher Institute of Applied Arts with the participation of twelve potters.

The forum began with a press conference in which Head of the Union of Plastic Artists, Dr. Haider Yazigi, described the gathering as a historic moment that ceramic has a special forum interested in such a noble material, by creating a dialogue between man and clay to produce a beautiful creative form.

“The gathering is a first step to rehabilitate this article, especially all historical finds in our country were of this substance that they bear the stamp of permanence far more than other materials” Mr.Yazigi said.


Director of the Higher Institute of Applied Arts, Tariq al Sawah, said that the goal of this gathering is to reviving this art which is closely linked to the Syrian civilization which focused, throughout history, on clay and cuneiform writing.

He pointed out that the reason for choosing the name “Porcelain Dialogue” as a title of the gathering comes from the importance of dialogue to achieve the development of ideas and leads us to promote new cultures of original nature.

He pointed out that the expertise of the Syrian professional potters’ expertise will be integrated into the expertise of the students of the Higher Institute of Applied Arts to develop their aesthetic and plastic vision.

He noted that the workshop will continue until the end of March, pointing to participation of porcelain students in the Institute of Applied Arts to gain more experience and learn to work in all stages where a documentary film will be screened telling the stages of the forum and how the ceramic material is changed from a clay piece to an art form.

Head of Porcelain Department at the Institute of Applied Arts, Wa’il Al -Dahhan spoke about the mechanism of the artists’ work in the gathering, pointing out that each artist began offering his own vision after ensuring all required materials where they will work within 10 days on the implementation of the ceramic figure to enter the furnace.  After the end of this stage, artists will be given time to color and configure their work of arts.  At the end of the gathering there will be a special exhibition to be distributed at the garden of Al -Assad Library and Opera House.

Mr. Al -Dahhan, spoke about the difference between the work on ceramics and other arts, noting that porcelain needs several stages, both in the formation of mud or dealing with ovens and every stage of the work needs to a special oven. He pointed out that the artists will use within the gathering a new way in the work such as newsprint, metal and RACO technique to design creative forms.

At the workshop, the artist, Sariha Shaheen, was working on the early stages to complete its work of art that carries a special character. She said that the substance of mud carries flexibility and beauty which makes it to be changed to the most beautiful works of art and the formation of pottery.

And her participation in the forum, she said that she will achieve a great work of about 120 cm height in an unrealistic bird shape, indicating that work begins in forming clay to fit with the idea to come after that stage of cleaning mud from the impurities from inside and outside, then the material is entered into the oven and baked to turn into pottery and then the work of art acquires the color and baked again until it is ready.

Mrs. Shaheen said that pottery work requires patience and dealing with love, adding that the gathering is actually a dialogue between man and mud and the forum is a first step to rehabilitate the porcelain.

Artist Mohammed Kfouzi, who booked his own corner in the workshop, said that he worked in ceramics ten years ago and participated in many fairs in this domain.

He added that the work in ceramics is tiring, stressing the importance of the forum for artists to brief on techniques of other potters at work.

The artist Raafat Sa’ati said that his participation in the gathering will be through a aesthetic plastic work of art, of120 cm height.

“The relationship with porcelain is old” Mr. Sa’ati said. "I am fond of ceramics being of personal and public benefit and considered that his exercise of ceramic art is a thing for the amusement." he added.

Sh. Kh

Regional workshop: ways to preserve Syria’s Heritage under crisis

Under the title "Regional Training on the Syrian Cultural Heritage: illicit trade",   a workshop was held in Amman on Feb 10 - 13 at the invitation of UNESCO.

According to a report by the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, the participants proposed measures to protect Syrian cultural heritage, under the current crisis, as it has been exposed to acts of theft and vandalism by the armed terrorist groups.

The program of the workshop included; legal international framework to combat illicit trade, the current situation of Syrian antiquities and regional and international cooperation to protect the Syrian cultural heritage.

Recommendations adopted by the workshop included an international plan provided for UN Security Council to adopt a resolution preventing trading with Syrian cultural properties looted during the current crisis and calls for international cooperation to restore back  stolen Syrian monuments and benefiting from the experience of the Syrian General Directorate of Antiquities in preserving Syrian museums, in other parts of the world.


Khaled falhoot

ALECSO Warns of Risks Threaten Arabic Language


Marks the first day of the month of March of each year as the Arab Day to celebrate the Arabic language, which was based on the decision of the Executive Council of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, (ALECSO) in 2009.

On this occasion ALECSO confirms the importance of working to enhance the status of Arabic in various spheres of life in education, media and advertising by various means, since that Arabic is the nation's identity and the address of its unity, also it renews its warning of risks that threaten the Arabic language, especially the continuation to rely on foreign languages to teach in the majority of Arab universities and even beyond that to the stages of public education in some Arab countries, as well as crowding out the use of local dialects in television, radio programs and advertising.

ALECSO calls on all those concerned in the educational, cultural and media for working to upgrade the status of the Arabic language through its use in education, media and advertising in various media daily dealing. It also calls media education and institutions and bodies concerned to celebrate this day through cultural events and programs that focus on the importance of the Arabic language as a symbol of identity and the base of the Arab and Islamic nation unity.

ALECSO has renewed its call to all Arab countries to elevate the file of Arabic language to the forefront of its concerns as fortified fort for unity. It also asserts that in cooperation with the concerned ministries and agencies in the Arab countries and Arabic language academies will work to support teaching the Arabic language and its use in various media and advertising and publishing in implementation to the decision of the Damascus summit in March 2008 to revive Arabic.

ALECSO also hopes and calls for Arab states to provide financial and technical support to Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros to develop teaching the Arabic language in these countries, and calls for enhancing the movement of localization, translation, and improving the standard of teaching Arabic language and teaching of their literature in all levels of education , and using Arabic extensively in the areas of modern communications.

Sh. Kh.

Arab Intellectuals Debate 'National Dialogue for Syria'


Recently, Damascus hosted a two-day symposium entitled "National Dialogue for Syria" with the participation of prominent Arab intellectuals and authors from Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, and Egypt.  

During his meeting with the intellectuals and authors who took part in the symposium which kicked off on February 24th at al-Assad Library in Damascus, Prime Minister, Wael al-Halqi stressed the intellectuals key role in unveiling the conspiracies hatched against the Arab nation to fragment it and plunder its wealth.

Al-Halqi added that the Arab intellectuals' participation in the symposium reflects their support for Syria and their understanding for the US-Zionist fierce attack against the last steadfast and resisting fortress in the Arab region.

Al-Halqi, who praised the transparent atmosphere prevailed in the symposium, said the event brought together Syria's lovers and supporters to discuss ways of saving the country and restoring national unity, security and stability.

He stressed that the government is keen to attain security and stability nationwide and to confront the cultural and media invasion which disseminates killing and distorts facts.   

For their part, the Arab intellectuals stressed that they are confident that "Syria will win victory over its enemies and will remain the beating heart of Arabism."


Following the meeting, Arab intellectual, Yahya Abu Zakariya, told reporters that Arab intellectuals across the Arab world realize the challenges facing the (Arab) nation and its message.

"The crisis in Syria unmasked conflicts in the region and produced a comprehensive vision about the choice of either joining the camp of resistance and real Arab message, or the camp of being loyal to Zionism and its interests," Abu Zakariya said.

He indicated that the Arabs, who are interested in halting bloodshed in Syria, must support dialogue based on the principle of preserving the Syrian national identity. 

"The steadfastness of the Syrian state and its victory over the conspiracy and its tools is a victory to all Arabs… The terrorists' attempts to spread fear through blasts and the West's plans to hinder any civilized Arab project prove the bankruptcy of conspirators," Abu Zakariya added.

Belongingness and loyalty

 Additional comment about the crisis in Syria was made by Member of the Lebanese al-Marada Movement's Politburo, Vera Yammine, who said: "The culture of belongingness to the homeland has contributed to enhancing the Syrians' steadfastness and to creating a spirit of being ready to sacrifice to preserve Syria's identity and dignity at any price so as to keep the country united and to emerge from the ongoing crisis stronger."

Spokesman of the Palestinian Popular Liberation Front-General Command- Anwar Raja referred to the intellectuals' pivotal role in enhancing the culture of resistance and loyalty to the homeland, in consolidating a popular situation in the Arab world that reconsiders priorities of the conflict and in confronting the plots targeting Arabs' existence, civilization and identity.

Another viewpoint raised by the Egyptian intellectual, Ashraf Bayomi, asserted that launching dialogue in Syria at all levels renews hopes for attaining an immediate solution to the current crisis.

He indicated the importance of studying the situation in the Arab countries in the past two years and of focusing on how certain political mentalities were developed in some Arab societies.


The symposium issued a statement including several recommendations and proposals stipulating for the reactivation of the Syrian intellectuals' role in rebuilding moral values and upgrading social awareness through enhancing national belongingness and adherence to national unity and identity.

The statement also underlined the need to confront the fanaticism and exclusion mentality in order to keep national fabric strong and immune, so as all the Syrians could work hand in hand for the good of the homeland and its citizens.

Moreover, the statement considered scientific research as a national priority, so it called for avoiding past mistakes and holding special symposiums for Syrian youths.

The statement warned the Syrian youths against the dangerous effects of foreign-funded organizations and the false slogans of some media. It also called for reactivating youths' role in providing useful ideas that benefit comprehensive national dialogue.

Among the recommendations was also a call for focusing on the important role of the armed forces in protecting the country's security and borders.

Further steps

Culture Minister, Dr. Lubana Mshawah, in her speech at the conclusion of the symposium, said "by love we save our homeland, and by wisdom we can propose positive points on which decision-makers can depend to end the crisis in Syria."

She added that the symposium aims to define intellectual's role in national dialogue and in building minds," noting that the symposium is a step to be followed by further ones on the right path.

Principle of dialogue

Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, who took part in the symposium said: "Our enemies are those who neither feel proud of their belongingness to Syria nor respect the country's heritage."

On the symposium's topic "National Dialogue's Role in Supporting Our Existence", the minister said common points could be reached through dialogue and when "we depend on the principle of dialogue this means that we reject the principle of fighting".

He underscored that the political plan recently proposed by President Bashar al-Assad to resolve the crisis in Syria is wider than a political initiative as it also includes key dimensions connected to economy and reconstruction.

"The principle of dialogue is not the creation of the Syrian leadership. It is as old as history. Besides, it can't be stopped so long as it is connected to the core of human beings, and  now it is being invested in political work," al-Zoubi said.

He pointed out that pre-stances adopted by opposition forces abroad towards any proposal to surpass the crisis was because they didn't read or understand President Bashar al-Assad's speech and political plan.

The minister said: "laying down weapon is not cowardice or surrender, and it can't be described like this except when it is done during a battle with Israel or with other foreign enemy."

In the same context, Journalists Union's Head, Ilyas Murad, stressed that political solution is the only way to foil the Zionist plot and aggression on Syria.

Basma Qaddour