Art events with the slogan "Where There Is Art, There Is Hope!" are being organized at Yunus Emre Institute in Syria, Azaz. The people of Azaz are raising their hopes towards life and peace with the theatre play of "Olive Tree" at Yunus Emre Institute. After it was performed in Azaz, the play was performed in Mardin on March 2, 2021 and in Kahramanmaraş on March 3, 2021.
The local community is meeting with art at the Turkish Cultural Center, established by Yunus Emre Institute at Syria, Azaz. The theatre play "Olive Tree" brought together the trainees of the Cultural Center and helped raise the hopes of the local community. The play was prepared in a short time, approximately a month, and was performed in Mardin and Kahramanmaraş after its first performance in the city of Azaz.
The play referenced the activities of Turkey in northern Syria while the entire world kept silent about the inhumane attacks and oppression in Syria, and presented Turkey's offer of friendship and the tragedy in the region.
The play's first performance in Turkey was in Mardin on March 2. The Olive Tree play was performed in the Art Academy of the Directorate of Culture, Tourism and Social Works with the collaboration of the YEE and the Mardin Metropolitan Municipality, and the directors of Yunus Emre Institute, the Secretary-General of Mardin Metropolitan Municipality, Murat Süzen, the Vice-Governor, Gürsel Temurci, the department heads and citizens attended the play.
The next stop of the Olive Tree play was Kahramanmaraş. The play was performed first at the Conference Hall of the Kahramanmaraş Temporary Refuge Center, associated with the Provincial Immigration Authority of Kahramanmaraş Governorship, on March 3, 2021, and at the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Cultural Center for a second time within the same day.
FELLOWSHIP STOPS WITH ŞÜKRIYE TUTKUN
Serving in Azaz, the Institute organizes various culture-art activities besides Turkish language education for Syrians. The Institute continues its activities in a wide scope from Turkish film screenings to theater schools, from training and teaching activities oriented towards children to social responsibility projects, and a music band, which was formed after such initiatives, have also participated in these activities.
The band, formed entirely of Syrian musicians, shared their tragedies and hopes through music in the concert programme called the "Fellowship Stops". Şükriye Tutkun, the beloved name of the Turkish Folk Music, did not leave the Syrian artists alone. Şükriye Tutkun participated in the programme as a guest artist and performed the "Ayrılık" (Separation) song.
A STORY OF REUNION
The Institute witnessed many life experiences through its activities, and this time it facilitated a story of reunion. The Institute officials helped Adnan El-Esmer meet with his family who lived in Antakya district of Hatay, and his family had a chance to listen to the music of Adnan El-Esmer live.
The unique moments during when the composer and musician Adnan, who played the piano during the concert, hugged his mother and two sisters, whom he had not seen since 2013, and tried to fulfill their longing marked the event.
Adnan El-Esmer, who narrowly escaped death but never wanted to leave his country, told that he will continue to do the thing he knows the best in order to raise the hope in his country and emphasized, "If I leave, the people will be left without music, and therefore, without hope".
"WE ARE THE COMMON CHILDREN OF A CIVILIZATION WHERE SMILING IS CONSIDERED BENEVOLENCE"
The President of Yunus Emre Institute, Prof. Şeref Ateş, who participated in the programme through video conference, mentioned their pleasure of facilitating the happiness of Adnan El-Esmer and his mother, and said the following:
Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş: For us, the ultimate goal of being human is benevolence. In other words, it is spreading the good and beautiful. If we could help people smile today, if we could bring forth the beautiful today, or in other words, the ethics and aesthetics through art, it is thanks to our Syrian brothers and sisters who devoted themselves to art, peace and goodness.
"We are the common children of a civilization where smiling is considered benevolence. A hundred years ago, we were living together without any borders. For us, the ultimate goal of being human is benevolence. In other words, it is spreading the good and beautiful. If we could help people smile today, if we could bring forth the beautiful today, or in other words, the ethics and aesthetics through art, it is thanks to our Syrian brothers and sisters who devoted themselves to art, peace and goodness.
However, the war prolonged so much that we must put a stop to it. Therefore, through the center we established in Azaz, we want to create human bonds between Turkey and Syria and to spread peace and well-being through art. We will try to spread the beauty we experienced here throughout this year in Anatolia and every other part of the world. I not only thank to the artists that helped reveal this beauty, but also to Yunus Emre Institute staff, the Governorship and Municipality that hosted us in Kahramanmaraş and all others who contributed. I hope that this beauty we experienced here becomes an example for the entire world."
"THEIR EXPERIENCES ARE ENTIRELY REAL"
The President of Yunus Emre Institute, Prof. Şeref Ateş said that they believed that the performance of the play also in Turkey was important.
"The people who act in the play that is put together in about a month are amateurs, but their experiences are entirely real. Therefore, it is important to witness their tragedy."
The theatre play is about the hand of friendship offered by Turkey to the Syrian victims of war, for whom the entire world remained indifferent.