Young Syrians in Turkey are using social media to preserve the culture and heritage of the Euphrates region while they are displaced.
Young Syrian people are bringing Euphrates heritage back to life by using social media to broadcast it. A group who are keen to preserve their culture have established a heritage house in the Turkish state of Urfa, a city that has become a centre for the gathering of refugees in recent years.
“We wanted to attract young people to take an interest in the Euphrates heritage. There are those who are interested in heritage, but they are few…Our goal is to preserve the great heritage of the Euphrates,” said the project manager.
The group set up various programmes on Euphrates heritage, devoted to preserving customs and traditions that have existed for more than 100 years. This stems from a fear that these traditions will be forgotten as the people of the region are displaced. They publish their work on various social media channels to show their traditions to a wider, younger audience.
The group held tours in the villages and cities of Deir ez-Zour. One of the village elders would talk about the region, including its customs, heritage and traditions.
The region is characterised by many heritage sites and a rich culture of poetry and folk song, due to the array of peoples that have populated the Euphrates Valley. The tradition of song and music holds a special place for many of these young Syrians, especially in their exile. These songs differ between the inhabitants of the Euphrates and its banks. Singing therefore represents the mix of the different terrains of the river.
“We are a group of those interested in the Euphrates heritage and the preservation of this great heritage. We met and carried out this initiative to preserve this legacy of loss, especially as we live in conditions of displacement, wars, and dispersal in the diaspora,” said one of the organisers.