ALEPPO COUNTRYSIDE, Syria (North Press) - The cultural week for the displaced people of Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo continues for the 8th day in a row. The festival has presented folk songs and dances in addition to organizing a special activity to prepare traditional foods in Barkhwadan camp on Monday.
The cultural week, organized by the Golden Crescent (an institution that organizes cultural and artistic events), included various cultural and artistic performances, with the participation of many groups who performed traditional folk dances and songs, showed plays about the suffering of the IDPs, recited poems, and organized showings of handicrafts made by Afrin’s women.
“The goal is to preserve the heritage and private customs of the Afrin region and prevent it from disappearing, especially since we are subjected to forced displacement from our homes,” said Rozan Hamo, a member of the preparatory committee.
Hamo noted that they presented performances on the ancient heritage of the region, pointing out that the presentations were made in the camps of al-Awda, Sardam and Barkhwadan, as well as in the town of Tal Rifaat and the villages of Ahadath and Babennis in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
During the cultural week, women wore folkloric costumes, and types of handmade carpets and pottery were shown.
“By watching the performances, I went back in my memory and remembered our customs and culture that we inherited from our ancestors,” said Hajer Sulayman, a displaced woman from Afrin.
Afrin has been controlled by Turkish-backed Syrian militias, often known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), since March 2018, when the Turkish army launched its cross-border offensive on the Afrin region claiming to target the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which had been prominent in the area since 2012.
1,765 displaced families from the Afrin region, which includes 7,044 people live in five camps in the northern countryside of Aleppo (al-Awda, Barkhwadan, Sardam, Shahba, and Afrin), according to the latest statistics of the Social Affairs Board of the Autonomous Administration of Afrin Province, which works in the region.
The cultural week is scheduled to end on Tuesday, with the presentation of the latest performances in the village of Ahras.
(Reporting by Dijla Khalil, editing by Lucas Chapman)