In the presence of His Holiness Mar Awa III, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, a number of ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government, representatives of our people in the region and the center, local officials, a number of consuls, diplomatic missions, representatives of civil society organizations and a large audience.
On Tuesday,11 April 2023, the activities of the Syriac Heritage Festival kicked off in its third session, organized by the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts, in the Darka district of Ankawa Erbil. With an official celebration, it began with the participation of everyone in cutting the ribbon announcing the launch of the festival, followed by a special operetta in which the Syriac (Barmaya) troupe, coming from Syria, and the (Syriac Arts) troupe of the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts participated.
This was followed by the speech of the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts, delivered by Bernard Youssef, Director of the Syriac Heritage and Museum, in which he congratulated our people on the glorious Day of Resurrection and the Akito holidays, and pointed out that the Akitu celebrations were not limited to Babylon and Nineveh, but in all regions, and concluded his speech with thanks and gratitude to everyone who offered a hand Aid and assistance for the success of this festival, headed by the Chaldean Diocese of Erbil and the Assyrian Patriarchate of the Church of the East, in addition to the support of the Presidency and the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Ministry of Culture and Youth.
It was followed by the speech of the regional government delivered by Ano Jawhar, Minister of Transport and Communications, stressing that it is another day of rejoicing and celebration in the district of Ankawa, the capital of the Christians in Mesopotamia, blessing, on behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the efforts of the Directorate General for this wonderful work to celebrate our Syriac heritage and celebrate the New Year. Pointing out that these crowds present today confirm that Kurdistan is not in words, songs, or traditional clothes, but rather, it is the home of brotherly coexistence and acceptance of the other.
The bazaar for the festival was opened by the guests who toured the corridors of the heritage bazaar to see what it contains of traditional artifacts and products made by creative hands.
After that, the participating teams coming from different countries took the stage, the Barmaya band from Beth Zalin from Syria, the Ashtar band from Russia and the Athor band from Armenia, in addition to the Syriac Artistic Band affiliated to the General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts, to present folklore paintings, and then the paragraphs continued. The festival featured a group of our people’s singers: Mirna Esho, Rovan Shaqlawi, Zana Majeed, so that the celebration would continue in an atmosphere of joy and happiness.
The activities of the Third Syriac Heritage Festival will continue on the 12th and 13th of April 2023 with brilliant activities, with the continuation of the Heritage Bazaar event.