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Youth and Heritage Project: Youth and Heritage was a one-year EU-Syrian project aimed at promoting awareness of cultural heritage amongst youth in two cities in Syria (Suwayda and Palmyra) in 2010. The project was an opportunity for young participants from Palmyra and Suwayda to share their investigations of their cultures with their communities and beyond. They included anthologies of local songs and tales collected by youth, reflective pictures of what they defined as their cultures, and posters of small research projects they did on elements of their tangible and intangible cultural heritages. The participants used visual arts, theatre, internet, and social gatherings and they moved to different communities with the two project buses they had equipped for animating social events. In this way, they raised the awareness among local communities of how their heritage was a resource for development and not only a relic of the past. Through this project, I learned more about the heritage of Suwayda and Palmyra and most importantly I discovered new ways of engaging the community with the cultural heritage through various activities. The bus exhibition in particular showed a very effective way of raising the awareness of the cultural heritage in the local communities that were involved. My roles included leading a painting activity of the outside of the buses with local children, contributing to the tour plan of the bus exhibit through the Suwayda region and designing the interior of the buses, along with installing the furniture with other volunteers. In addition, I produced a research document examining the traditional architecture of Suwayda city.

Bus Exhibition in one of the villages in Suwayda city during the tour

folk dance show in the city of Suwayda organised by the project participants

The interior of Suwayda bus exhibition

Local Children painting the exterior of the bus

Youth and heritage