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Activites of The Ministry of Culture's national translation project 2021

Under the patronage of Mrs. Lubana Mshouh, Minister of Culture, last Thursday, the Syrian General Book Organization held a press conference to lay down the operational plan for the National Translation Project 2021.

The meeting was chaired by Dr. Thaer Zain Al-Din,the Director of  the General  organization of Books, in the presence of number of members of the committee, Professor Hussam Khadour, Director of  the Translation at the Organization, and Dr. Nora Arisian, Director of the Authoring Directorate in the Organization.

In a statement to reporters, Dr. Zain Al-Din stated that since the launch of the national project for translation 5 years ago, it worked on developing a plan with the participation of the best translators, so the committee chose 67 books from different cultures and languages such as English, French and Russian.

“Our Kids Draw Stars That Light Up”in the Fifth Ugarit Festival

Under the title of (Our Kids Draw Our Stars That Light Up) the Fifth Ugarit Festival was held yesterday at The Iraqi Cultural center in Damascus.

The ceremony included drawings, poetry and songs. 

The drawings were made by children from Fairuz Gallery, while poetry was written by a number of Syrian poets and songs were sang by singer Rober Wahid. 

The famous Syrian actors Bassam Lutfi and MazharAl- Hakim besides that intellectual Dr. Ali al-Qaiem and others were honored during the activity. 

Dr. Al-Qaiem told the Syria Times e-newspaper that he is very happy for being honored because it means appreciation for the efforts he exerted during his life, noting that it is very important to honor the creative characterswhile they are still alive. 

For her part, artist Fayza Al- Halabi displayed drawings made by50 kids in this festival. She said: “Wdisplayed the works of the kids to get as many people as possible to see the works of the Syrian kids who are able to develop their talents despite the difficulties they face”.

The second honey festival in Damascus

With the participation of 34 beekeepers from the public and private sectors, the activities of the second Syrian Honey Festival were launched on the grounds of Al-Jalaa Sports City in Damascus. The activities of the festival will continue until the twenty-second of this month,

The festival is held by the Arab Beekeepers Union (Syria Municipality) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform under the title “Honey ... Food, Medicine and Cure”. It includes the products of the Syrian beekeepers that are quality-assured in addition to production requirements, wooden beehives, medical and food industries from the materials produced by bees.

Ahmad Qaso, who participated in the exhibition, told Syria Times e – news paper that his second participation in this event is to acquaint people with honey and its benefits in our country.

Director of Ugarit Antiquities : The Ugaritic language deserves the International Linguistic Medal

The Ugarit excavations presented  important collections of cuneiform tablets which revealed  the usage of cuneiform script to write various different languages . This wide diversity of languages indicates the richness and nobility of Ugarit  among the nations of the old world particularly in terms of communication, commercial interaction and cultural openness.  

Yet, the greatest role of this city was the way its people thought and the development of the first ever phonetically based script.  The people of Ugarit developed their own writing system and changed the cuneiform script to represent the sounds of their spoken tongue. 

They  abbreviated hundreds of cuneiform syllables into the 29 letters representing sounds used in the  spoken language of the people of Ugarit . Thus the first alphabet was created and the history of writing was transformed.    

“The Ugaritic language was the most important language spoken by the people of Ugarit, in addition to other languages including    Acadian,  Hurrian , Hittite , Lofty , Egyptian , Cypriot ,  Sumerian , Babylonian and Aegean” Director of Ugarit Antiquities Dr. Ghassan Al-kayem  said in an interview with the Syriatimes e-newspaper.  

The alphabet of Ugarit was found transcribed on some small tablets in the royal palace of the city which was discovered in 1948. This tablet is read from left to right and its letters are ordered phonetically in a manner which we later find in the Canaanite, Aramaic and Arabic written letters.  

He underscored that  as for the most important language that Ugarit residents used to speak is the Ugaritic language so it deserved to  get the medal of the international linguistics. 

Dr. Al-Kayem  added this language, which was deciphered after a great effort by scholars and linguists, revealed its alphabetical character  thanks to the  French scientist "Charles de Ferriol  who first  published the first texts  and  Edouard Dorm , who worked on deciphering its scriptures, and nearly twenty letters were known.

The bid to Turkify Northern Syria

On August 2016, the Turkish occupation forces and their affiliate of Syrian armed groups launched the so-called ‘Euphrates Shields Operation’ and occupied towns and villages in north and northeast of Aleppo.

After the Turkish military occupation, Turkey applied its plans and agendas to Turkify the occupied Syrian towns and villages.

Syrian journalist Khrshed Delli said that “ Sulmyan Soylu,  the Turkish Interior Minister and Deputy of the Justice and Development Party believes in the now obsolete Ahd i-Milli ( the National Pact) which considers the people of north Syria and Iraq as Turkish citizens.”

“The Turkish government gave about 94000 Syrians the Turkish citizenship. This is the official number but I think the real number is more,” Delli said during an interview with Syria Times.

“The Turkish regime is practicing systematical Turkification plans in the Syrian occupied lands in all walks of life, including education, mosques, police stations, charities and everything,” Delli said.

Turkification of Education: 

Turkey established branches of its universities and schools in the so-called “Euphrates Shields” towns of A’zaz , Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab and others.

Syrian students are being forced to study in Turkish in addition to Arabic. Turkey markets this issue as a must if students want to move to Turkey in the future.

Turkey runs the schools and universities and gives the teachers and administrative staff their salaries in Turkish liras via the Turkish Post Office (PTT) which opened offices in all big towns of the so-called “Euphrates Shields” such Azaz and Al-Bab.

According to local sources, the Turkish Ministry of Education runs about 700 schools that teach about 200.000 students in the so-called ‘Euphrates Shield Region’.

“The Turkish regime enforced its educational curriculum and language in all schools. Our children are forced to learn from these Turkish curricula which have different information and culture from the Syrian curriculum,” Abu Mohammad, 40-year-old father of two sons lives in Azaz town.

“I prefer to not send my children to the Turkey-run schools and learn from Turkish books. It is a national stance. There are many students who go to the schools and today they speak Turkish language and learn the history of Turkey not the history of Syria,” Abu Mohammad said to Syria Times.

Turkification of currency:

The Turkish government gives the Syrian militants, policemen, teachers, Sheikhs, scholars of mosques, doctors , nurse, employees and workers in municipalities monthly salaries in Turkish lira so, making the Turkish lira a de-facto issue, instead of the Syrian national currency.

It has become normal to pay with the Turkish lira for anything, monthly rent, buying a truck or a car, buying foodstuff- everything. Turkey encourages Syrian traders and sellers to deal with the Turkish lira.  

On June 25, 2020, Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Dr. Samer Khalil stated that “the Turkish occupation is taking serious measures to Turkify the economy sector in northern Syria and enforce the Turkish lira on the trade deals and this hurts the Syrian national currency.”

Minister Khalil said that “the Turkish occupation  fabricates videos and propaganda on the deterioration of the Syrian economy at the same time with the American Caesar Act.”

“Turkey works to merge the occupied Syrian region’s economy and trade with its national economy. Turkey links roads and routes between Turkey and all occupied cities and towns. Turkey is building a big industrial zone in Al-Bab town to hire the low-salary Syrian professional workers and employees to work in its run factories,” Delli said.

“The Turkey-run local Syrian authorities prevented dealing with the Syrian pounds, specially the 2000SP note, in the Turkish occupied cities and towns in north Syria,” Delli