Location: Qamishli – Syria
Source: A24 subscribers
Restrictions: A24 clients
Most of Qamishli spend evenings at gardens and parks after Iftar (breaking fast) during Ramadan in addition to the occasional family visits. In an attempt to attract more customers, a cafe came up with the new idea of introducing a fresh Kurdish version of the traditional storyteller to recite stories of Kurdish history, which is the culture of many in the region.
Storyteller Dilovan Çeto recites folklore stories that introduce Kurdish culture to the new generation. The event also includes activities that used to be the passing time of previous generations such as singing, contests and charades as they didn’t have TV or mobile phones back then. Cafe visitors consider the hour of storytelling to be the highlight of their day as it distracts them from the difficult circumstances they are going through.
Soundbite (Dilovan Çeto – Media-person and storyteller):
“Storyteller in Arab folklore is a person who sits somewhere high and recites stories. Kurdish people’s gatherings however involve several people who recite stories. This Ramadan, we wanted to reminisce about the good old times and let the new generation know how previous generations spent their time. The event includes Kurdish stories, charades, games and contests as well as folklore a-Capella songs.”
Soundbite (Rohlat Othman – Cafe visitor):
“The storyteller is a character from Syrian folklore. Today I came to the cafe to see the Kurdish version wearing Kurdish clothes as one of us and reciting Kurdish folklore stories. This hour of storytelling is very memorable to me, I hope to come here regularly. The atmosphere here is serene, away from technology and daily concerns. Stories recited here are a part of our history and reality.”