Syrian civil society.. survival amid war


Syrian children attend a class at a school in the Saif al-Dawla district in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. File photo

ARA News

Qamishlo, Syria- Under the current crisis, the city of Qamishli in northeast of Syria witnesses nascent activities. Many cultural fora and associations were established “to look at people’s cultural needs and bear the responsibility of raising their awareness on different cultural, social and political levels”, according to Mohammed Delli, the manager of Roshen Badr Khan Forum for Kurdish Culture and Folklore.

Talking to ARA News about the Forum, Delli said: “It was launched in October 2012 specializing in the Kurdish folklore. One of the Forum’s tasks is to introduce people to the Kurdish culture and folklore and to document them systematically and scientifically. We hold lectures, exhibitions and conferences in collaboration with other civic society organizations, such as Sobarto Association for Kurdish Heritage, to introduce these themes to our youth.”

Delli pointed out that the Forum held other civic activities “where they taught, for free, the Kurdish, English, Turkish and French language as well as other subjects in the curriculum.”

“We also teach music, art, nursing and sewing to help young people get jobs. We also hold psycho-educational programmes and familial communication conferences,” Delli stated to ARA News.

Warshin Ibrahim, an English teacher in the Forum, told ARA News “the Forum is a milestone for civil peace culture and education as it comprises a diversity of sects not related to politics. All members are volunteers and are dedicated to their work to provide the best for people.”

Ibrahim clarified his being volunteer in the Forum saying: “It is an independent humanitarian work not related to politics or any political or material gains. We host all societal factions of Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Armenians and Syriacs with no discrimination, and we communicate with all CSOs.”

Amal al-Imawi, a frequent attendee to the Forum’s activities, talked to ARA News saying: “I made many friendships with Kurds for the first time and was introduced to the Kurdish language.”

“What makes this Forum unique is the dedication to work despite of the free tutoring,”

Hadya Ali, one of the Forum’s attendees told ARA News: “It facilitates learning, especially with the cheap prices that do not exceed 500 Syrian Liras. I had Kurdish and English language courses as well as nursing which made finding a job easy for me.”

Evlin, another participant in the Forum’s activities, said: “This kind of bodies complies with the celestial religions’ values as they put an end to some chaotic phenomenon in the society. They have an enlightening role, and they will constitute the basis for healthy society away from war.”

There are several Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac cultural and civil centers in Qamishli, which provide training and awareness services for citizens either for free or in cheap prices.


Reporting by: Ivana Abd al-Halim

Source: ARA News

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