Lattakia, SANA – A children’s theatre festival has been held recently in the coastal province of Lattakia for the first time, amid notably growing official and civil attention paid to the whole cultural sector in general and theatre in particular.
The festival was specially dedicated to address topics related to the harsh impacts which the almost four-year crisis, that is still going on in the country since 2011, has left on children.
Children of martyrs, who have probably been the hardest hit by the crisis, were the focus of the festival, which were held last Tuesday and Wednesday at Dar al-Assad for Culture in Lattakia.
Entirely organized by a volunteer group, in cooperation with the Revolutionary Youth Union and Elissar band for theatrical arts, the festival saw the performing of two plays by the band.
Tarek Halloum, coordinator of the organizing volunteer group, spoke of the possibility of making the festival an annual event that could be enlarged and more inclusive.
Speaking to SANA Culture Bulletin, Halloum said an idea of embracing and sponsoring talented children is being discussed, explaining that those children could be formed into artistic and theatre groups and teams and given
the opportunity to perform on stage.
The shows which were performed during the two-day festival spotlighted various aspects of the crisis in a way that can be grasped by children, said Halloum.
Messages about upholding noble patriotic and ethical values and maintaining the innocence of childhood were conveyed through a non-didactic-styled performance, he added.
Director of Elissar band, Nidal Odeira, said aspects of the crisis in the country were featured in the shows in the most simplified manner, with the children being addressed in the language they most easily understand; “owners of the Jasmine land defending their land against strangers.”
“Having children of martyrs as our audience was to say to them that ‘the sacrifices of your kinsmen are in no way going to be in vain’,” Odeira told SANA.
“It was also an opportunity to take our responsibilities towards them and contribute to enlightening them and raising their awareness in an appropriate educational style,” he added, noting that this style was by no means free of
entertainment and fun, the type children highly enjoy.