Syrian Wheat is the Soul of the Syrian Land

Food security refers to people’s ability to get secure access to food without any obstacles whatsoever. It is the availability of enough healthy food that contains nutritionally valuable substances so as to survive and be able to live in a healthy manner.

Wheat has a sacred symbolism due to its food security, economic stability, beloved social customs, unique religious rituals and immortal legends.

 Syrians dealt with the grain of wheat in their own way, according to their regions, local environments and popular cultures, to turn it into a symbol of unlimited intellectual and material giving. The Syrian wheat grain, with its universal spirit, was a symbol of the Syrian  pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

 

The story of wheat began when  man discovered wild wheat in Syria, and   relative stability began near its  fields, feeding on wheat grains  and storing the others.  The book “ Ishtar Mystery”  by the great Syrian thinker Firas al-Sawah reviewed  that the cycle of nature has become of greater importance for human’s  life after his discovery of wheat, so bread entered his diet and changed  his social habits.

The book confirmed  that the life of the Syrians  and  their  economic systems centered around the succession of seasons and the annual agricultural cycle.

The Syrian farmer grew  the first grain of wheat

Returning to the documents, we find that in the eighth millennium BC, agriculture was discovered, and archaeological missions found that agriculture first appeared in the interior plains and valleys irrigated by rain in  Syria, which was mentioned in the book “The Rise of Civilization from the Early Farmers to Urban Society in the Ancient Near East” by Charles for Redman.

In 1965, a French archaeological mission  carried out emergency excavations at the site of  “Tel Al-Maribit”, about 100 km west of Raqqa, which was threatened with flooding by the waters of the Euphrates Dam.

Thousands of important archaeological artifacts  were discovered  which expressed  the beginning of human settlement and the emergence of agriculture in this area, and  spread  to all over the world . That stage was decisive in the history of humanity.

Ugarit is the food port for the peoples of the world

Among the ancient cities of Syria, Ugarit played a very influential role in the cultivation, storage and distribution of wheat in the region, as confirmed by the translated written documents.

In this context, the Syrian researcher Dr. Ghassan Al-Qayyem , who is specialized  in Ugaritic   civilization  said  “ the translated  documents revealed the great role  played by  Ugarit city in  supplying Anatolia with foodstuffs, especially (wheat and barley), especially in the eras that witnessed a deterioration in the international situation as a result of wars and invasions.”

The first information revolution that Ugarit knew about, as confirmed by Dr. Al-Qayyem, showed  that it was not just  the birthplace of the alphabet but rather  a source of the first agricultural wealth.

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city discovered a group of grains (wheat, lentils, chickpeas, beans and barley), which indicated  that the  human beings of Ugarit  possessed the ingredients of civilization and  they transformed from a negative exploiter of nature into a positive product.

Between yesterday and today

In a comparison between the past and the present, specifically during the unjust terrorist war that affected the Syrian people and their source of livelihood in the past ten years,  targeting Syrian wheat and  threatening national food security, was not purely a coincidence, but rather was systematic.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO in Syria stated that wheat production in Syria before 2011  reached nearly 4 million tons, and the surplus was exported to neighboring countries and Europe due to its high quality.

The decline in wheat production during the years of war is due to many reasons, including drought, where the Turkish regime played a major role in it, specifically in Al-Jazzira  region  by cutting off water .

This according to international laws is considered genocide, crimes against humanity and fires committed by terrorist organizations at every harvest and theft of wheat crops by  the  US  occupation and its conspirators in an attempt to put  pressure on the Syrian government, which constituted a new stage in the economic war against this peaceful people.

Syrian wheat is the soul of the Syrian land

Despite all that this important strategic crop has been exposed to, the Syrian man’s view of wheat is the same since he planted his first spike  until today, because he believed in it and loved it .

wheat and culture

The wheat spike and its spirit were a source of inspiration for Syrian plastic artists who portrayed nature with their paintings through different art schools by drawing the harvest season, either directly in expressive or symbolic paintings.

The photographers  transmitted skillfully different stages  of this unique Syrian season, and it also appeared in children’s stories.  The wheat grain was manifested on the Syrian stages through  theatrical performances the latest of which was the show that was presented at the opening of  “ Jarih Al-Wattan” the (Wounded Homeland) sports tournament directed  by NajdatAnzour.

The grain of wheat, with its generous spirit, tops the pavilion of the Syrian Arab Republic in the UAE today through the Expo Dubai 2020 with a message to the whole world that Syria, which was the reservoir of the old world with its wheat and its goodness, is today the spirit of the new world with its people who cultivate creativity and beauty in their homeland and spread knowledge and action  around the world..

 

Rawaa Ghanam

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