Culture

Art and music are still alive in Syria despite the war

Syria

Despite fighting ongoing in various parts of Syria, art and music are finding a resurgence, especially in the city of Aleppo

The Traditional Music Institute has reopened its doors in the city of Aleppo, despite ongoing fighting in the northwestern parts of Syria.

Beyond the death and destruction currently facing the country, music and culture have provided a welcome relief to citizens in the city. Aleppo was devastated during the conflict between the Syrian Government and Opposition forces, as the two sides vied for control of the city for several years.

With the return of music to one of the world’s longest, continuously-inhabited cities, locals are hopeful that Aleppo’s culture can be maintained and transmitted across generations.

“As you have noticed and as you will see,” said Ahmed Qadah, a music teacher, “we have a lot of beautiful things that we can offer from our ancient heritage”.

Among the other aims of the institute include attempts to engage more young people in singing and music. This is to both ensure that Aleppo’s heritage doesn’t fade, as well as also provide a platform for young people who want to become singers.

“I’m trying to become a great singer in the future to spread Syrian songs all over the world,” said one of the young male singers.

The battle for Aleppo was at points widely considered the epicentre of the fighting in Syria. For years, Aleppo was split between government and rebel control, with eastern parts of the city captured by rebel factions as early as 2012. Heavy fighting damaged historical monuments, such as the 1,000-year-old minaret of Aleppo’s Umayyad Mosque in 2013.

The fighting finally ended at the end of 2016 following a surge by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies into the northern neighbourhoods of the city, thus bringing the city under full control of government forces.