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Nextep organization discusses the cultural movement’s reality in Northeast Syria

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Bi Kurdî jî peyda dibe

Within its project ‘We dialogue’, Nextep organization held a focused dialogue session, around the cultural situation in Northeast Syria, on 23 October /2021 in its HQ in Qamishli (a city in northeast Syria).
The session was attended by intellectuals, academics, and members of active cultural bodies in the region.
The session included several points of evaluation for the cultural situation in Northeast Syria, including: the role of media, media professionals, and civil society organization. The participants also assessed women’s participation in the cultural situation, in addition to causes of disagreements between thought leaders.

The participants discussed the cultural situation and the negative impact of the current crisis. The attendees also discussed the impact of clan and tribal heritage on thought leaders. Other topics included what participants referred to as the ‘media and cultural outburst’, the increased production of literature to the detriment of quality and content, as well as the impact of political subordination on some intellectuals.
Participants reflected on the role of thought leaders to influence and educate the society about their rights with the aim of a better future.
The participants also touched upon the role of media and civil society organizations in the cultural movement. As for the media, the opinions stressed its negative role by spreading hate speech instead of a culture of tolerance. Participants believed this path can be rectified by influencing the media work on promoting awareness and openness to different cultures. Some participants focused on the role of civil society organization in promoting positive ideas and holding events and activities that create a sense of societal awareness, positively influencing cultural movement.

The participants unanimously agreed that the lack of women’s participation in the cultural field was due to the society’s masculine mentality in addition to customs and traditions that further engrain an inferior view of women. This perpetuates a lack of agency for women to participate in the cultural sphere.
The participants also discussed disputes among thought leaders and its negative impact on the cultural situation. Causes of the disputes were summarised as political subordination and connections to parties’ agendas.

The results of a questionnaire and focused individual interviews conducted by Nextep’s team were also presented in the session, aiming to present a wide number of opinions and foster a greater understanding for the cultural movement reality.
Session participants produced a set of solutions and recommendations, including: advancing freedom through the cultural sphere, resolving political issues, communicating with overseas intellectuals while supporting the ones within the country to benefit from their expertise, and activating the role of civil society organizations by conducting dialogue sessions, seminars, and activities that elevate the cultural movement.
Nextep organization holds a series of dialogue sessions, within its project ‘We dialogue’, that aims to discuss different societal issues in order to reach solutions for these issues.