"Hand in Hand to Build New Hope"

DAMASCUS, (ST)-Under the slogan "Hand in Hand to Build New Hope", the First Damascus Countryside Festival for Culture, Heritage and Arts opened recently in the city of Jaramana with a message that life and invention continues in Syria despite the terrorist takfiri aggression which aims to destroy the Syrian state and break the will of the Syrian people.

 The 5-day festival, held under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, includes diverse artistic and folkloric performances, flower and book shows in addition to cultural and economic exhibitions displaying handicrafts, traditional industries, clothing, food, gifts, beauty products, accessories, and paintings. Besides, a ceremony to honor martyrs of culture and the excelled workers in the cultural field will be held.

According to organizer of the event, the Administration of the International Festivals and Carnivals (Telematch Syria), the festival, which will last till May 6th, aims to activate interaction between the public and the cultural and artistic life in Syria, and therefore, invitations were sent to craftsmen, the book commission, cultural institutions and civil society associations to take part in the event.    

Revenues of the activities will go to displaced families staying in Jaramana, said Manal Khalifa, member of the Board of the organizing side in a statement to the "Syria Times" e-newspaper. She added that the administration decided to hold the festival in Jaramana because it is the place where a large number of displaced families from different Syrian provinces are staying.

The message

"The Syrians are life-loving people who stand united against challenges and the festival is a message to the entire world stressing that the Syrians, despite all difficult circumstances caused by terrorism in the country, are still able to be creative, and that they can steadfastly resist the Wahhabi takfiri thinking through culture and through disseminating awareness about this extremist mentality which is so strange to the Syrian society," she said.

"Our goal is to work hand in hand with concerned parties to enhance cohesion and confidence among the Syrians and to provide opportunities for assisting and easing the suffering of the displaced families who were compelled to leave their original areas because of terrorism?" Mrs. Khalifa said.

"We are keen within the festival on creating a suitable environment through which we can help displaced people to benefit from their abilities and skills by promoting and selling their works." She added.

About the Administration of the International Festivals and Carnivals, Khalifa clarified that the administration was licensed 8 years ago under the name "Telematch Syria" with the aim to contribute to building healthy Syrian family through non-aged sports. However, she said, because of the crisis in Syria, the administration began to focus on organizing cultural festivals and heritage reviving activities in addition to social events in support for martyrs' families and displaced people.

Hamda Mustafa