Hikayetna: Storytelling from Syria

By Sulaiman Osman

Hikayetna, meaning ‘our story’ in Arabic, is a new art project that brings people together to talk about the human side of Syrian society. For decades, freedom of expression has been absent from our society, but with our words and our stories we can become united, and feel our humanity, to turn fear into hope.

Hikayetna is a non-political and independent initiative that encourages, develops and aids communities in need while promoting tolerance, love, humanity and cultural values. This initiative is about finding common grounds and interests between people, it neither promotes political agendas nor religious ones. Our aim is to put forward personal stories and life experiences to build a bridge of love and humanity.

Through this blog, we hope to spread Syrians’ thoughts, words, and feelings, especially Syrians living in refugee camps. We aim to make their voice heard by different audiences around the world, who would have never had the chance to hear those stories otherwise. All of our stories will encourage building bridges from one heart to another, in order to deliver our voice to the world. We would like to help young people express themselves through poetry, photographs, stories and music. We see writing as great means for people to express their emotions and feelings through storytelling.

The goal of this project is to motivate young people to write and create stories by equipping them with practical trainings. We are therefore inviting young Syrians to help us create and share their stories, focusing on culture, arts, and music. Moreover, this project is a way to encourage young people to learn, socialise, and participate in building civil life and be active actors in it.

All of us share common hopes, fears and feelings, and we live by dreaming and hoping for a better tomorrow. As humanity in our country is destroyed, we are constantly looking for stories of hope to give us optimism, and looking to work together to build our country, promote dialogue and discussion, uphold community values and support community groups and young people through partnership and outreach. In addition, Hikayetna aims to be a hub for stories about the real Syrian lives. Finally, we strive to continually grow and attract diverse audience using different media platforms, including organising events and online workshops.

We hope this project will be a voice for all Syrians, regardless of their views, religion or background. We aim to break the media’s negative images about Syria and to show a beautiful picture of Syria and Syrians.