Wednesday, April 1, 2020

LENA CHAMAMYAN

Lena is an Armenian Syrian singer, composer and musician. Described as a Syrian ambassador spreading the jasmine voice of Damascus, she has performed in Germany, England, Sweden, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Russia, as well as her home country of Syria. She sings mainly in Arabic and Armenian, but also in Syriac, English, French and Italian. Lena graduated from Damascus University in...
Over lunch, I interviewed Hana about Fairuz, the Lebanese singer that Syrians across the country listen to in the mornings. Hana's daughter Karla helped translate.
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Rasha Milhem In September 2019, on behalf of ‘Beloved Syria’, I interviewed Ms Rasha Milhem, a Syrian translator, news writer, and filmmaker. Rasha has worked for SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency), the Syrian equivalent of the ABC, since 2009. I found her to be eloquent, deep-thinking and passionate.   Having studied English Literature, Rasha is keenly interested in the arts and...
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This interview with Mahdi Al Mahdi took place on 24 September 2019, my last evening in Damascus before I flew out of Syria on my return trip to Australia.  I just chanced upon the ‘White and Black Quartet’ when I sat outside my hotel to chat with friends. It was a ‘magic moment’ for me.   https://youtu.be/oYcsQFdU9-g Here, 'White and Black Quartet'...
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October 2019 In July 2019, I visited an exhibition titled The Sea by acclaimed Aussie artist Luke Cornish at the Bondi Pavillion Gallery, Sydney. Luke had kindly contributed to the second issue of Beloved Syria, so I was really pleased to catch up with him and see more of his work from Syria receiving very respectful attention in Bondi! With Luke's permission, I took...
'A Foolish Man', the story below, is from Kan Ya Ma Kan: Folktales and Recipes of Syria and its Ethnic Groups by the late Muna Imady. It is published here by 'Beloved Syria' with the permission of the author's mother, Elaine Imady. This story comes from Sweida.  As explained in the introduction to 'A Foolish Man', Sweida is the southernmost of Syria’s...
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In September 2019, Rasha Milhem - Syrian journalist, translator, writer and filmmaker - spoke about 'Restart', the short film she wrote at the end of a diploma course. In April 2019, it won her a 'best scenario' award. Rasha explained that the movie focuses on people who remained in Syria during the war and their family members who left Syria;...
First published in Atlas Obscura, Dec 10, 2019 In 2013, the mosque’s minaret shattered into 2,000 pieces. A restoration team aims to put them back together. BY CHRIS RAY DECEMBER 10, 2019 On a bright spring day in April 2013, the minaret of one of the world’s most famous mosques came crashing to earth in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The sound...
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An RT Documentary, this video was first posted in February 2019, when people living in most Syrian cities and towns could breathe a lot easier, and had cause to look forward to peace. 'Syrian Tango' features a sculptor, Tango dancers, a documentary film maker, and a composer/musician. In giving a voice to these artists, the documentary presents Syrian people at...
From 'Beloved Syria', Second Edition, 2017 In 2009, Bruce Petty – a political satirist, cartoonist and filmmaker - included Damascus on his list of cities to visit for a documentary film project, a follow-up to his 2007 film Global Haywire, for which Bruce won the AFI Best Documentary Director prize. I had met Bruce at the Melbourne Writers Festival the...