​‘Celebrating Syria’ is an annual festival that brings together Syrian artists, writers, filmmakers and performers from around the world, to share their rich and varied culture with the people of Manchester and beyond.

For many people, the little they know of Syria and its people comes from media coverage of the conflict. Syria is so much more than that. Its beating heart is filled with the treasures emanating from a deep well of artistic creativity. The news from Syria and the sadness, death, and misery that continue to pour out from the unrest must be juxtaposed against another vision of Syria – one that is filled with beauty, creativity, rebirth and hope. This festival is a celebration of this hope, inspiration and imagination and the Syrian people’s rich contribution to the collective history of human expression, changing the narrative about Syria from one characterised by violence, pain and suffering, into one where Syria’s remarkable contribution to human civilisation is recognised and celebrated.

Arts and culture are important components of any national identity. Syrian communities abroad keep alive a vital link to their beleaguered homeland through the creation and enjoyment of music, art, storytelling and performance. The 2011 revolution marked a turning point in Syria’s history that resulted in unprecedented changes to Syrian society and to Syrians’ cultural identity. These shifts are having a great impact on the Syrian artists both in Syria and in exile.

Manchester is home to a large Syrian community who arrived here before and during the conflict. Celebrating Syria draws them together to share the art and culture of their homeland with the wider community in Manchester, adding to the diversity of this great multicultural city.

The festival started in 2017 and is organised by Rethink Rebuild Society, a Manchester-based charity that works towards improving the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants, in particular but not exclusively Syrians, in the UK helping them become positively established within British society.

Upcoming Events

Celebrating Syria Film Programme
Sat, Dec 05
Online events
Dec 05, 11:00 AM – Dec 12, 11:00 PM
Online events
A collection of amazing films available throughout the festival
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Cartooning Syria... and the rest of the world
Sat, Dec 05
Online event
Dec 05, 11:00 AM – Dec 11, 11:00 PM
Online event
Exhibition released on 5th December
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Oud time with Rihab
Sat, Dec 05
Online event
Dec 05, 11:00 AM – Dec 11, 11:00 PM
Online event
A lively family event!
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The Kiwan's Family- from their Living room to yours
Sat, Dec 05
Online event
Dec 05, 8:00 PM
Online event
A joyful performance from a musical, Syrian family
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Cartooning Syria Live
Sun, Dec 06
Online event
Dec 06, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Online event
An Exhibition and Panel Discussion
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The Pianist of Yarmouk
Mon, Dec 07
Online event
Dec 07, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Online event
Interview and performance with Aeham Ahmad
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We are not Princesses: Film Screening and discussion with Co-Director Itab Azzam
Tue, Dec 08
Online event
Dec 08, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Online event
A powerful documentary film and discussion
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Syrians in the Diaspora: A conversation with a Syrian-American food writer
Wed, Dec 09
Online event
Dec 09, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Online event
Recipes and a chat with Antonio Tahhan
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SYRIAous about Comedy
Thu, Dec 10
Online event
Dec 10, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Online event
Hilarious and provocative stand-up comedy
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Hello Psychaleppo & Boshoco
Fri, Dec 11
Online Event
Dec 11, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Online Event
Danceable and modern music for all
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Rethink Rebuild Society (RR) is a Manchester-based charity that works towards improving the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in the UK, in particular but not exclusively Syrians, helping them become positively established within British society.

+44 161 222 9779

+44 7730 194083

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