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Wathiqt Watan Honors the Winners of "Hikayati "Award

Wathiqt Watan Foundation held the 2021 Hikayati Awards, which is an annual award for the best true story in Al-Assad Library.

The award aims to spread awareness of oral history and enrich the institution’s archive with oral narratives that tell facts witnessed by the writers themselves.

The ceremony was attended by a number of official, intellectual and media figures, representatives of the community and business sectors, volunteers of the Foundation and its interested guests from inside Syria and from Arab and foreign diplomatic and cultural missions in Damascus.

The ceremony included the screening of an introductory film about the work of the  Wathiqt Watan Foundation, in addition to honoring the arbitrators, who are writer Hassan M. Youssef, Dr. Malik Sukour, Dr. Amal Dakkak and Dr. Ensaf Hamad.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wathiqt Watan Foundation, Dr. Buthaina Shaaban, indicated that the participating stories are from people’s experiences, suffering, dreams, unlimited ability to give, patience and determination to reach the facts as they are despite all challenges.

Dr. Shaaban also emphasized that the history of the war on Syria is  in the most difficult circumstances in all sectors and on every patch of Syrian land, noting that theWathikt Watan records a societal history written by the people of Syria in all their regions and with all their segments to be a true tributary to the official history that ignored  these treasures in the past.

Dr. Shaaban concluded that the next project will be an interactive map for every city, town and neighborhood in Syria so that each address will be available through this map with all its history, culture, heritage, customs and food, and to be available on the internet and registered internationally.

There were hundreds of Syrian stories participating in the competition, which was evaluated by a specialized jury.

The jury divided the prizes into three age groups.The golden prize was won by Nibal Ftimah  from Lattakia, while the silver prize went to Aya Agha Al-Ayoub from Raqqa governorate.The bronze prize was won by  Wiam Al-Dakhil from Al-Hasakah.

As for the second age category, the golden award went to Osama Al-Haddad from Tartous Governorate, the silver award went to  Hatem Suleiman from the Hama Governorate, and the bronze award was for Diana Al-Salamah from Homs Governorate.

The prizes for the third age category, the gold went  to Al-Waleed Al-Mufleh from Daraa, the silver   to Mayada Shaiban from Lattakia, and the bronze to Amer Al-Mardini from Damascus.

Muhammad Shahoud, who saved the real estate records in the city of Homs, Rastan, and Palmyra from terrorism, was honored also.

Nibal Fatimah  one of the winners said to Syria times about her Award:

"Today I am happy to be honored  because my message has arrived and  it will not be forgotten  in the future. And it will be kept by next  generations to  teach     heroism ,steadfastness and adherence by the homeland and the Syrian identity".

Syriatimes interviwed Dr. Buthaina Shaaban 'Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wathiqt Watan Foundation'

Syriatimes :Can Hikayati be considered as historical documentation ?

Shaaban said 'In wathiqt watan we are trying to introduce the social history of Syrians in all parts in all specialities. We are the first documentary story in syria. These stories were lived  by the  people themselves '.

She added 'We interviewed these people from all the governorates of syria.

Hundreds of people every year write to us and we give awards  only for a few of them while in fact hundreds of them deserve  awards '.

'Therefore what we are doing is going to be a very important part of writing our history.

In the past few historians would set and write the history of our country but now we hope to write it and preserve the identity of syria.It will include  documentary craft ,archeology,food,customs .So we hope that we will contribute to documenting  the bright side of Syria's identity.

Besides telling the real story about syria which  has been destroyed by our enemies and by those who write just for their purposes rather than tell the truth about our country, we want our own stories written by our words.

Syriatimes asked Dr. Shaban whether the winning stories can be translated to other languages ?

Dr. Shaban answered : Ofcourse, that is our plan once we announce the award .This is our coming stage.

All this data that we are collecting we are going to analyze and to write properly.They may be turned into films ,drama ,books,and all these will be translated to other languages so that the world will see syria in our own eyes "syria is the land of civilization".

Syria Times interviewed  Hassan M Youssef, one of the judges who talked about The foundations and rules they have adopted for the winning stories.

"We divided the participants into three sections with different prizes. I noticed that the language of the youth is more intense and goes directly to the idea without 'creating' a storyline because this era does not accept creation and it is a big mistake in the language.

The common denominator among all stories is the use of realistic language and all stories are  told by the people themselves because they are the heroes of the story.

By this way, we prevent the past from passing undocumented and we keep our memories.

Aristotle said that  "people who tell stories rule societies"

Thus, we must tell our stories ourselves so no one controls our history or our identity".


Reported and interviewed  by Sanaa Hasan