The Faculty of Arts at Soran University held the first literature and arts festival on 4 May 2016.This special festival showed the best of Soran City: its university; schools; colleges; institutes and local community groups.
Hosted by Soran University, English Department, but taking place out in the community, this was a festival to celebrate creative Kurdistan. Packed full of poetry, stories, songs, music and drama it was a day for connection and collaboration.
The festival opened at 9.00 am in Soran University and was attended by the Mayor of Soran, Mr Krmanj E Solaiman and the Director of Education, Mr Aziz Saeed, Dr Nahro Zagros, Vice President of Soran University and of course Prof Qais Kakl the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. All guests gave messages of support and hope. A former student, Shkofa Ahmad, performed her poem My Qamishli, which is published in the UK.
Following the opening, students and staff from the English department attended Dilman school where the students had prepared a drama and some poetry, which was excellent standard. We then moved on to Shahid dr. Abdulrahman and Bnari Hendren school, where students had produced artwork and etchings. The standard of creativity was great at both schools and Soran should be proud of its students and teachers who put in the extra time to help the creativity flourish.
We moved on to Bulbul park in the bazaar where we were entertained by poets from the community and the university. The festival then moved to the gardens at the Faculty of Arts, where first stage students from the department of English were serving delicious food that they had cooked for the occasion. Here we were joined by members of the community who performed poetry, songs and music. Second stage students gave a drama that had the audience laughing out loud.
The afternoon, took us out to another school in Soran named Tanial, where pupils performed a play that they had written. It was well attended and community members could be seen overlooking, which was the whole idea of the festival.
We then moved on to the bazaar where an environmental display had been prepared. Mr Hazhar Mahir Abdulrahman from Soran University, works with schools in the area to raise awareness. He set up WAAR Organisation for Environment Protection. We gave out trees to the shop owners with leaflets advising how to care for the environment. Many students and members of the community joined us.
The festival then moved on to Gulan Park for the grand finale. Collecting together the best of the day and introducing some new acts from Soran International School (Sabis) there was an atmosphere of Hope and Light. Attended by hundreds of people from the community the evening ended with music and dancing.
While there were some technical and timing issues throughout the day, they dim in the light of the creativity that was brought to the festival by the community and the students of Soran University. We hope this was the first of many.