Kurdish culture and art highlighted in Urfa’s March Cultural Festival


From March Cultural Festival in Urfa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey– The Civil Society Forum of Khabur organized earlier this week the “March Cultural Festival” on the Municipality Stage of the Turkish city of Urfa. 

Kurdish folk music, literature, drama performances and cultural dances were among the main activities of Urfa’s festival, which started on Tuesday and continued over three days.

The festival started with a welcome speech and was followed by presenting a short movie about the activities of the Civil Society Forum of Khabur. Afterwards, the young musician and composer Harth al-Mihdi ascended to the stage to present several folk pieces and performed oud and violin solos.

Music artist Mahmoud Bozan from the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane also participated in the festival’s activities by singing different Kurdish folk songs, accompanied by playing tambour instrument. 

Subsequently, school children of the Syrian schools of Jan presented Kurdish folk dances and several drama performances, in addition to songs and poems. Meanwhile, Syrian musician Hassan Barzanji impressed the audience by performing songs about homeland, children and women both in Kurdish and Arabic.

Speaking to ARA News, member of the board of directors of Khabur Forum, Abdulhafiz Kalash, said: “This festival is the first of its kind, as it brought together all the spectra of the Syrian society on one stage in the Turkish city of Urfa, to emphasize harmonious coexistence in an artistic and civilized way.”

Ibrahim Muslat, a Kurdish dramatist who participated in the activities of Urfa’s March Cultural Festival, told ARA News that the festival was meant revive various aspects of Kurdish culture and art.

“The Syrian community in Urfa was provided a platform to present its talents in different artistic domains,” Muslat said. “My crew performed a drama scene concerned with the suffering of Syrians under the current war conditions. Hunger and fear were the main topics handled during the performance under the title ‘Loaf of Bread’.”

In an interview with ARA News on the sidelines of the festival, Majid Hamdon, chief of the Syrian National Bloc, expressed his happiness for attending the festival saying: “The festival brought me from the language of murder and destruction to the language of peace and love. I have learnt that Syria is a colourful flower with its social spectra which revive hope and optimism for a new Syria.”

Chairman of the Free Syrian Writers Union, Mohammed Iqbal, recited several poems entitled “War and Peace”, “to the Moon we Offered our Houses”, “After the Departure of the Revolution” and “A Statement issued by a Syrian”. 

Dr. Adib Hassan from Qamishli city followed by reciting a poem about homeland and another tragedian one in which he addressed God, impressing the audience with a sorrowful tone.

Mariyam al-Assfar, a poet from Idlib, recited a poem entitled “I educated you, my child” and other poems about homeland, and one about expatriation in the Syrian Coastal dialect. Afterwards, writer Abdul Ghani Hamada read aloud several short stories entitled: “Ibn al-Waleed”, “Constraint”, “Modernistic Democracy” and “My Spoiled One”. While Mohammed Saeed al-Ghorabi, a poet from Hasaka city, talked about himself as a poet amid the Syrian crisis and his suffering of emigration from his district Ghueran in Hasaka city which he allocated several poems for: “To my City”, “You are my Damascus”, “My Neighbourhood” and “A Nabataean Poem”. Miqdad Darwish from the House of Raqqa in Urfa city also recited some of his poems. 

The audience received the poet Khalaf Mwan al-Wadi with warm applauses who entered the stage reciting popular poetical phrases and which was followed by a lyric poem recited in a style which is a feature of Hasaka province. Al-Wadi recited more poems about the love of his mother in his different life stages and his sufferings after losing her, in addition to poems about his city, the Syrian unity and the different Syrian Social Spectra, “Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs and Assyrians”.

The administration of the festival finished the events with rewarding five winners in the poetry and short stories competition.  

Notably, the Civil Society Forum of Khabur was founded on the 13th of January 2014 in Urfa city by a group of Syrian intellectuals and is a cultural, social and civil forum supported by the Assembly of Syrian Businesses.   


Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar 

Source: ARA News


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