Damascus, SANA – The General Union of Syrian Craftsmen on Monday launched the 1st Traditional Handicrafts Exhibition at the Arab Cultural Center in Abu Rummaneh neighborhood in Damascus.
The five-day exhibition showcases handmade products such as painted glass, stained glass, leaded glass, unique Phoenician glass, stereographs of archaeological artifacts, Damascene furniture decorated with mosaic and seashells, woodcarving, copper pots, and the “oud” musical instrument, as well as paintings and Arabic calligraphy.
Head of the Artisan Association for Oriental Handicrafts Fouad Arbash said that the exhibition paves the way for launching the National Heritage Investment Office which will enhance the presence of Syrian handicrafts worldwide, indicating that Damascus is listed on the UNESCO’s creative cities list where it ranks 70th for traditional handicrafts.
He underlined the Association’s efforts to restore traditional handicrafts to their former glory and reopen all handicraft workshops that were closed due to the current circumstances in the country.
In turn, member of the Association’s board of directors Mohammed Bassam Raihan highlighted the concentrated efforts made to revive traditional handicrafts and improve this industry through continuous training courses, adding that the Association includes more than 300 artisans and craftsmen.
For his part, artist Adnan Tanbakji said that despite all obstacles, there is still high demand for handicraft products inside Syria and abroad, particularly copper items, stressing the importance of preserving the Syrian identity and imprint.
The exhibition also includes organizing workshops on wood mosaics, pottery, woodcarving, and handmade glass.
Rasha Raslan / Hazem Sabbagh