3rd Syriac Heritage Festival celebrates culture, music, and art in Northern Iraq

ANKAWA, IRAQ — The 3rd Syriac Heritage Festival kicked off in Ankawa, Iraq, with a three-day celebration of Syriac culture, music, dance, and art.

The festival was attended by various dignitaries, including Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mor Awa III Royel, officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), diplomats, representatives of political parties, community organizations, and members of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.

Over the three days of the festival, a range of cultural activities took place, with performers from different regions presenting their shows. Highlights included the Ishtar Folk Dance Troupe from Moscow, the Athor Folk Dance Troupe from Armenia, and the Barmaya Folk Dance Troupe from Zalin (Qamishli), North and East Syria. The Syriac Folk Art Troupe of the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts also organized an operetta about Syriac culture for the opening.

The festival also featured a bazaar with Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian creatives showcasing their talents in Syriac calligraphy, pottery, traditional costume construction, sculpture, wood burning, leather work, and more.

In addition, students from local Syriac schools performed Syriac songs and poems, and a special corner was set up for traditional handicrafts made by the children of the Happy Kids Kindergarten, including their drawings that showcase Syriac heritage.

The highlight of the festival was the unveiling of the “Ankawa Harp of Peace” monument, designed by Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian engineer Larry Markus. The monument was inaugurated in the presence of the governor of Erbil, officials, and religious clerics, symbolizing the importance of peace and harmony in the region.

(Image: Ankawa Today)