Hakawati and the Syrian Experience

With stories from the narrow alleys of Old Damascus to the cotton fields of Deir Ezzor, Qisetna is at the frontier of Syrian arts and culture, a place where ordinary people write about their precious memories and so reclaim their cultural identity. Qisetna touches people from New York and Stockholm to Cairo and Tokyo, sharing not only Syria’s cultural heritage, the art of Hakawati (storytelling) but also the most recent works of its contemporary artists.

The stories here have become an important archive of Syrian experience which has been recognised by the Community Archive and Heritage Group of the Year award in 2017. Qisetna’s work includes storytelling workshops for young people in Syria and Turkey, UK storytelling workshops to share culture and build community and appearances at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Qisetna has just started a new online initiative called inFocus pairing two Syrians living in different countries to talk about arts and culture.



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