Citizen Journalism Summer 2018 Student Stories
The following article was reported by a student in Paper Airplanes' online Citizen Journalism class in the summer of 2018. Subject matter and quotes do not represent or reflect Paper Airplanes' views as an organization.
On the evening of August 14, 1975, the occasion of the feast of Virgin Mary Celebration of the Dormition of the Theotoko (the falling asleep of the Mother of God), a group of young people living in Marmarita-Wadi-Al Nasara-Syria spontaneously dressed in costumes and masks, and some painted their bodies.
They all took the same route to the tomb of the Virgin Mary in the village of Kafra and then returned on the same path. These groups showed spontaneous movements of joy and left pleasure in the heart of the revelers. This phenomenon was the first version of what would later be named Carnaval.
People reenact this Carnaval every year, but at the beginning of war of Syria, people brought it to a halt. This year marked its return, and it was the most fabulous Carnival of all time.
Lots of sections have been played in the Carnaval. Leen Sleibe is 14 years old and played the "Ballet Girl”. She said she was so excited to be part of this celebration and that participants put forth their best efforts to make this Carnaval look amazing.
On of the attendees said, “We need peace, and we need our leaders to know we will not rest until there is peace. We want to celebrate and live and won’t give up under any pressure.”
Another group at the festival were dressed in costumes expressing their section, which was under the name of “Fast Food” by Hanan Akkar, Mira Karam and Joud Kelo.
At the end of the carnival, fireworks were launched, Dabke were played on drums and orchestras, and various concerts were held, which lasted until early dawn.
The Scout Troop, the Stone Age, the Angry Birds and a costume taken from “The Pirates Of The Caribbean” — it’s hard to mention all the performances the whole town participated in, but those were some of them.
It is worth mentioning that the return of the Carnaval intends to direct two messages: The first one was directed to the whole world that despite the pain and the bloodshed Syrian people have suffered, they are still determined to give and continue life with peace and love.
The other message was from the parents to the children of the town: It is necessary to revive the Carnaval every year and follow this road through generations, as it is a historical and cultural heritage of Marmarita.