A group of Syrian intellectuals have established a new association, The Syrian Association For Citizenship And New Culture in order to support cultural and creative production and exposes exclusionist, extremist and destructive ideas.
The founders said that the sectarian and exclusionist projects of various forms have started to reproduce radical logic, while projects that promote democratic and civil ideology and carry the soul of Syrian civilization are threatened, which provides an opportunity for the forces of tyranny and radicalism to take control over the country and its destiny.
A number of people working in the field of culture and arts established the association, motivated by deep concern about the threats to the Syrian revolution, human and nation, and of the dangers caused primarily by the nature of the regime, and its projects, that are based on using the dark and cynicalmoments in our history to recruit people.
The founders believe that the deep essence of the Syrian revolution is civil, fueled by the slogans and creative ambitions that harmonize with the noble human values.
The objectives of the association include:
– Uncovering the exclusionist, extremist and destructive ideas, and working to consolidate the values of creative freedom enhanced by the rule of democracy and civil society to achieve good and just governance.
– Providing the chance for free channels of serious and active dialogue between Syrian intellectuals with various affiliations and aspirations, without precondition, as long as the goal is one: the desire to stop the looming disaster, and turn the current situation towards a new future.
– Stressing the role of Syrian women and the importance of their free will and active and important role in nation-building in the present and the future.
– As the youth were the engine of the revolution, they will remain a guarantee for the safety of its march and goals. This requires enabling them to demonstrate freely their vision of the future they hope for, after the revolution had launched their creations which are rich with intellectual, social and national content, as well as artistic and aesthetic sensibility.
– Preserving popular culture, with all its creative and aesthetic capabilities, and focusing on the importance of communication between people and the creative elite, in an equation based on the integration and interaction of creative products.
The signatories of the statement said that they present themselves as a preparatory committee carrying the responsibility of presenting the idea to the Syrian intellectuals and artists, after a long series of discussions and deliberations. They are now preparing to hold a conference as soon as possible to put the internal systems in place for the association, in addition to a specific program for work in accordance with the objectives mentioned in the statement.
Among the signatories were: Ahmad Barqawi, Islam Abu Shakir, Aref Dalila, Assem al-Basha, Nabil al-Maleh, Waha ar-Raheb, Walid Quwatli and Yara Sabri.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer