Syria: ’al-Hakawati’ – the Storytelling Tour in Sweden 2015


Nimer Salamoun, storyteller from Syria. Photo: Hakaya Storytelling Network.
Nimer Salamoun, storyteller from Syria. Photo: Hakaya Storytelling Network.

– Storytelling performances with tales from Syria

The overall objective of the ’al Hakawati’ project is to preserve one of Syria’s intangible cultural heritages, that is – the tradition of oral storytelling. The project captures elements of traditional storytelling by recording them and then using the material as a good basis for future reconciliation in a post-conflict Syria. The target audience is the public, both children and adults, as well as Swedish- and Arabic speaking people. Parts of this project are funded by the Swedish Post-code Lottery Culture Foundation. The project’s tour plan is currently (September 2014) under production.

The tradition of oral storytelling in Syria goes back many thousands of years. Having said that, oral storytelling is believed to be a cultural heritage of great cultural value and therefore worthy of preservation for the future. There are at least two factors believed to support this assumption. The first one is that oral storytelling contributes to identity making and reconciliation in Syria. Moreover, preserving the tradition of oral storytelling is crucial in order to understand society from a historical point of view, and also, in order to understand different structures in today’s Syria.


The al-Hakawati project considers the current situation in Syria, a situation where millions of people are fleeing a violent civil war. However, we believe that by highlighting the cultural heritage of storytelling as an important factor for peace, al – Hakawati can contribute to a sense of ‘belonging’ across ethnic and religious boundaries, and in turn, contribute to reconciliation among people in and out of Syria.

al-Hakawati consists of three parts:

Bilingual (English-Arabic) Anthology: completion during fall 2014 and will be launched in Sweden and in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region in January 2015. The book will be distributed for free in conjunction with the launch.
Storytelling performances: include stories taken from the anthology. These will be presented in both Swedish and Arabic. In Sweden, the show will be set and produced in collaboration with the storytelling company ‘Fabula Storytelling’.
Exhibition: The exhibition will be set in conjuction with the storytelling performances, as far as space allows.

For more information about the tour plan,
contact the coordinator:
Lotta Bylander                                                           Marianne Boqvist
Coordinator                                                                Responsible for project                              
08-322071, 0733-743430                                         08-322071, 070-255 58 02

The al-Hakawati project is financed by the Swedish PostcodeLottery.

The al-Hakawati project is organized by Cultural Heritage without Borders, Fabula Storytelling and the Hakaya Network.

ch                   fab                       hak