S Y R I A – Our shared heritage

Before 2011, only few people had heard of Syria – but yet so rich in terms of culture, ressources, arts, cuisine and so on!

Only the “insiders” such as the people interesting in the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean countries, the remains of the ancient civilisations such as Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, but also the Crusades history, the three revealed religions, the Ottoman Empire footprints, Arab, pre-islamic and islamic civilisations, the silk road…And we can keep writing like this probably for hours and hours.

Indeed, Syria, is at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa at the crossroads of millenium-old peoples.


The aim of this introduction is not to talk about political considerations but to show what Syria had bring to us – the humanity – and what again its people can still promote.

But before getting into deeper analysis, it is very important to understand and define its identity: Syria is not just an “Arab republic”. It is more than that. A young Mediterranean country which share so many common habits with its neighbors. Never forget that boundaries were drawn by people. A road marking, or a wall don’t mean that people are different…

So here is the first article on Culture Souk that will evoke Syria and its people, the projects done by them or present some of its arts, heritage, cuisine, handicraft.

The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

So let’s start with the amazing “Orchestra of Syrian Musicians”, that brought together several Syrian artists scattered all around the world because of the issues that had started in 2011.

To understand the richness of this country, it’s important to know that its society is – very complex for some – a diverse, multiethnic, multi religious population for others. Indeed, as a crossroad country, Syria is composed of several ethnies such as Arabs of course, Kurds, Circassians, Assyrians, Armenians – the list is way longer than that – and a multitude of religions such as Jews, Christians and Muslims but also Yazidis, this is a non-exhaustive list. This extraordinary mosaic contributed in building several millennia arts and inspired the contemporary creations (handicrafts, paintings, musics, dances, songs etc.).

After 2011, the fear that this intense intellectual and artistic life disappears one day is a legitimate concern. This is why it is vital to continue building projects across borders, developing new partnerships with artists and intellectuals from all around the word, to pursue a common heritage for humanity.

In this context, “The Orchestra of Syrian Artists” appears to be a strong signal to the international community, regarding the difficulties the organizers had to face to allow this project exist. Indeed, it had been initiated by Damon Albarn – best known as the lead singer of the British rock band Blur as well as co-founder, vocalist, instrumentalist and principal songwriter of the virtual band Gorillaz – and gathered Guest Artists from Britain, Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Turkey, Tunisia and the United States including Bassekou KouyatéBu KolthoumEslam JawaadFaia YounanJulia HolterMalikahMounir TroudiNoura Mint SeymaliPaul WellerRachid Taha and Seckou Keita.

This type of projects are part of many others that are coming into bloom all around the world. They are transmitting to the world a message of peace, of love, of shared responsibility and hope. Take a look on that and enjoy 🙂

For more info on that:

AFRICA EXPRESS PRESENTS…THE ORCHESTRA OF SYRIAN MUSICIANS AND GUESTS ALBUM OUT NOW. Africa Express, Visit the website : http://www.africaexpress.co.uk/featured-article/the-orchestra-of-syrian-musicians-and-guests-album-out-now/

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