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Vibrant Colorful wings at Damascus International Fair: Indonesia & Cuba

(ST)_ A small stage, an electric guitar and an official delegate with a suit and a tie, is surely not a traditional setting at a fair pavilion officially representing a country. Yet that's what we noticed at the Indonesian wing during Syriatimes tour at the foreign wings in the 61st Damascus International Fair.

At the Indonesian wing Syriatimes met, Mr. Ivory Kraska, Third Secretary at the embassy of Indonesia in Damascus, who was interacting and attracting visitors by playing the electric guitar and singing traditional Indonesian songs, "The Syrian people are very open to other cultures and like to mingle! And music is certainly a great idea to build ties", Mr. Kraska exclaimed.  

Mr. Ivory Kraska assured us "We are regular participants at Damascus International Fair since 2017 and all the sessions before the war on Syria, forming good mutual relationships between our countries dating back to 62 years ago". As regards the products and industries exhibited at the Indonesian wing, "We have stands for cosmetic, coffee, personal and baby products. In addition to displaying Indonesian folkloric costumes, which are very colorful and vibrant and differ according to occasion like weddings, religious ceremonies…etc.

"Our mutual chambers of commerce have already signed an agreement. That was two years ago" Mr. Kraska added, who directed an invitation through Damascus International Fair to the Syrian enterprises and businessmen to participate in Trade Expo Indonesian, which will be hold from 16 to 20 October 2019 in Jakarta. 

At the Cuban pavilion, the iconic portrait of Che Guevara got attention of most visitors along with the traditional fine Cuban cigar. Syriatimes met there Mr. Pablo Ginarte Sampedro, Consul of Embassy of Cuba, who explained that the Embassy of Cuba in Damascus is representing the Cuban enterprises related to tobacco, alcohol and coffee industries; but as well tourism activities.

In addition to pharmaceutical productions, which are taking the biggest part of the commercial exchanges between Syria and Cuba." Pharmaceutical products represent one of the most important areas Cuba is developing in Syria, we have exported to Syria 16 million vaccinations since 2015; however, we are now cooperating and negotiating new contracts with the Syrian government, but as well with private sector in the Pharmaceutical industry" Mr. Pablo Ginarte explained to Syriatimes. “Some of the medicines and premiere substances we export are exclusively made in Cuba and will form a base in pharmaceutical products related to Cancer treatment which Syria needs especially in the war aftermath" Mr. Ginarte added.

Finally, we are not only representing the Syrian culture, ethics and values; but as well we are getting introduced to other cultures and people from the other half of the world.


Interviewed and Reported by: Lama Alhassanieh