The Supreme Need of Mankind… Culture

 “The Ministry of Culture believes that culture is the supreme need of mankind” assistant Head of Directorate of Culture in Damascus, Ms. Manal Nassar, initiated her interview with Syriatimes with the previous statement.

“It is our duty as Directorate of Culture to spread serious and purposeful culture to address social, psychological and cultural consequences of the Syrian crisis. We seek to spread knowledge and provide means of cultural activities through the cultural centers in Damascus.” She added.

In regards of the number of cultural centers in Damascus, and if new centers are being opened; Ms. Nassar clarified: “We have a number of Cultural centers in Damascus and its neighborhoods like: Abu Rummaneh Center located in the center of the capital,  Mezze Center, Kfar Soussa Center, Midan Center and Jobar Center; in addition to cultural stations in Masaken Al Areen and Adra Central Prison in Damascus. The Directorate of Culture in Damascus is also affiliated with the Adham Ismail Center for Arts and Solhi Elwadi Institute, which offers courses for children and adolescents in music.”

Ms. Nassar added “Whereas the cultural center in Yarmouk has been modified to become a Cultural Palace in Yarmouk according to a resolution issued by the Ministry of Culture, in concordance with the ministry standards and vision to enhance the spirit of citizenship and belonging to the homeland, and to fight against Wahabi ideology.”

 As for the establishment of new cultural centers, Ms. Nassar clarified “Within the classifications of the cultural centers on the cultural map of Damascus, we seek to create new cultural stations and points, within the availability of a suitable location and objective conditions.”

Concerning the cultural activities presented in 2019, Ms. Nassar, explained “Under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, Damascus Directorate of Culture and its cultural centers, annually hold joint activities such as Damascus Cultural Festival and various cultural forums, launched with Faris Zarzar Poetry Forum.”

Damascus Directorate of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, seeks to develop and activate cultural activities in cultural centers through the following procedures:

-        Attentive focus on cultural activities intended for children, as reading and drawing workshops, literary and artistic evenings with the participation of children; in addition to activating the role of summer clubs.


-        Holding cultural activity for people with special needs by utilizing those cultural programs and activities to develop their capabilities, like poetry, plays, art exhibition.


-        Special attention to women and their role in the advancement of society through activities targeting women e.g. lectures, seminars and workshops.


-        In addition to poetry, literary and artistic evenings and various exhibitions for all ages and cultural and social backgrounds.

“Counting all cultural activities of all cultural centers is a long list; so a brochure is available which encompasses all activities of the cultural centers and it is issued monthly.” Detailed Ms. Nassar.

In regards of the scarcity of cinematic showrooms in most cultural centers in Damascus, despite the importance of the cinema in raising public cultural awareness, Ms. Nassar declared that “The Ministry of Culture through the General Organization for Cinema, has established cinemas and halls distributed over the whole country territories. However, this does not prevent displaying films on cultural centers screens, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and the General Organization for Cinema.

Concerning the directorate of Culture plans and means e.g. awareness programs; to rehabilitate those who have been subject to intellectual deformation by terroristic Takfiri ideology that has been on the rise during the war on Syria, Ms. Nassar declared “The cultural centers are determined to take a positive role in enhancing the spirit of citizenship and overcoming the repercussions of the crisis by highlighting national and youth issues, consolidating the concept of coexistence and activating dialogue.”  In addition, to the directorate activities in enhancing the role of citizens in the development process through social service and volunteering. Not forgetting the importance of empowering the Arabic language to preserve a Syrian national identity through presenting constant lectures and seminars on Arabic language.

Finally, cultural activities are vital to promote the spirit of resistance and victory in the Syrian community through holding historical seminars, cinematic shows, exhibitions and festivals to commemorate our glorious history, and present victories against Takfiri terrorism that has failed to spread its dark plan to distort the Syrian reader mind.

Report & Interview:

Editor in chief: Reem Haddad

Lama Alhassanieh