First Annual Mardutho Cultural Festival concludes in North and East Syria

ZALIN and QABRE HEWORE, Syria — After three days of joy and cultural expression, the first annual Mardutho Festival concluded in the village of Mharkan with an artistic program that included Syriac lyrical prayers and honors for all the festival participants.

The festival, organize by the Syriac Cultural Society, spanned three days and included various cultural events, activities, and celebrations.

The first day of the festival kicked off in Zalin (Qamishli) in North and East Syria with a general welcome, moment of silence for martyrs, and a speech by Syriac Cultural Association in Zalin Hanna Soumi.

Soumi spoke about the ancient history of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people that extends thousands of years and the imprint the culture left on other cultures.

He also highlighted the importance of holding such cultural festivals to strengthen Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) culture and spread awareness of it to the region’s other components.

Co-Chair of the Culture and Art Authority Maria Aho spoke about the Authority’s support for the culture of all components which form the beautiful multi-cultural landscape of the region.

Several Syriac folk dances were then presented, with the day concluding with socializing and a public exhibition of traditional handicrafts.

On the festival’s second day, poems were recited by poets Rasha Shamoun, Hanna Hanna, and Michel Filo.

Several traditional Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) songs were performed by the Qabre Hewore Choir, the Dar Abd al-Masih Qarabashi Choir from Hasakah, and the Dar Naoum Faeq Choir from Zalin.

The festival also included a solo violin performance by the musician Harutiyon Madarjian, followed by a presentation by SuroyoTV about the life and works of the poet Abdul Masih Abdo, who could not attend the event from Holeb (Aleppo).

The festival continued with a puppet show performed by Ninorta Behnan about the customs, traditions, and culture of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people and concluded with a comedy show of funny stories in the Syriac language by the storyteller Soumi Antar from Qabre Hewore.

The program of the final day of the festival, which took place in the village of Moharkan in the countryside of Qabre Hewore (Al-Qahtaniyah), began with musical performances by the Scouts band of the Syriac Cultural Association, followed by Syriac songs by several singers including Milad Soumi, Rabi Gawriye, Afram Murad, Basima Hanna, and Vasken.

Representatives of the Syriac Cultural Association presented an honorary shield to the Culture and Art Authority of the Democratic autonomous Administration (DAA) for its encouragement and support for this festival.

All participants of the festival were honored with a commemorative shield and a sum of money.

The festival events ended with the attendees dancing folk dances to Syriac music.