Fourth Syriac Heritage Festival commences in Ankawa, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

ANKAWA, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — The 4th edition of the Syriac Heritage Festival, organized by the Directorate of Syriac Heritage and Museum under the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts, commenced yesterday with the participation of political and religious officials and enthusiastic attendees at its location opposite the historic Qasra Hill in Ankawa District, Erbil Governorate.

The opening ceremony saw the presence of esteemed representatives from Churches in Iraq, including patriarchs, bishops, priests, ministers, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials, local authorities from Ankawa District, and a large crowd of the public.

The festival kicked off with a vibrant procession from Ankawa School to the festival grounds.

Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako delivered an address expressing gratitude to all involved in organizing this grand cultural celebration, which aptly showcases the rich heritage of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in Iraq and the wider region.

The festivities unfolded with captivating folkloric performances, including the debut of the Sargon folk dance ensemble from Yerevan, Armenia, and the Parmaya troupe from Zalin (Qamishli), North and East Syria. Additionally, the Syriac Arts Ensemble from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) enthralled the audience with their captivating performances.

The event also featured exhibitions of folk and traditional crafts, drawing participation from skilled artisans and enthusiasts in the field. A heritage kitchen was inaugurated, offering a delectable array of traditional dishes from various regions of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people, prepared by participating women throughout the festival’s duration.

On its inaugural day, the festival treated attendees to soulful renditions by renowned artists from our community, captivating audiences until late into the evening. The festivities are set to continue until 6 April, promising an immersive celebration of Syriac heritage and culture.