Women in Northern and Eastern Syria welcome 8 March with a cultural festival in Qamishlo

Women in Northern and Eastern Syria welcomed 8 March with a festival organized with the slogan “Women are the spring flower of culture”. The festival reflected the colours of women in culture and art.

Within the scope of the 8 March International Working Women's Day events, the Women's Literature and Art Festival is held every year to promote cultural works reflecting the traditions of the people components of Northern and Eastern Syria, and to reveal the colours of women in art and literature.

Organized for the 7th time this year with the slogan "Jin kulîlka bihara candê ye" (Women are the spring flower of culture), the festival was organised in partnership with the Jazira Region Culture and Arts Committee, the Women Writers Committee, and the Hilala Zêrin Movement. The two-day festival held at the Mihemed Şêxo Culture and Art Center in Qamishlo drew great participation both from men and women.

The festival, which took place in a period of increasing invasion attacks and siege-embargo politics on the region, provided a source of morale and motivation to the people, while offering women the opportunity to showcase their works and earn some money.

In the festival, handicrafts, traditional clothes of Kurdish-Arab-Assyrian women, antiques, paintings were exhibited, as well as literary writings such as books, poems and stories were exhibited.

First day

On the first day of events, the 7th Women's Literature Festival commemorated all martyrs of the revolution, especially those killed during the ISIS attacks on Hesekê and underlined the role of women in highlighting their connection with nature, culture, society and life, protecting the unity and solidarity of the people in the region and supporting peace.

After the opening speech of Botan Hose, a member of the Cultural Committee, a play, poetry reading and story recital were held in Kurdish, Syriac and Arabic. Poets and writers sang their poems and told stories. Gerê Stêrk Music Group took the stage, and folk dances were performed by Aziz Arab Group and Syriac Yerthona Group.

The first day of the festival ended with the screenings of the films "Sarya", "My all life was a struggle" and "Home".

Second day, artists awarded

The second day of the festival was even more crowded than the first one. After the festival, which started with a play by Hilala Zêrin Movement, poems and songs were performed by the Lorin Martyrs Group. The Darsi Theater Group also performed a play and local folklore performances were organised.

At the end of the festival, there was an award ceremony. Participating with their stories, Qamishlo Hilala Zêrîn and Sara Baran Theater Group member Bera Ferec Hesen explained the reasons for taking part in the festival with the following words: “Our aim in this festival is that it is primarily about women and literature. We wanted to participate in this festival with the colours of women. We participated in order to retrieve our old stories and make them live. As it is known, Kurdish literature has continued its existence with stories told from mouth. We told four stories at this festival. Some of the stories were told by us and some by the children. We want the stories of our elders not to disappear, and we want to continue to tell our stories to new generations. We wanted new generations to get to know our culture as well."