The Damask Rose... Development and culture

23 May   2018
23 / 05 / 2018

Coming from the Syrian ancient culture, Is the fragrant flower with the tightly packed petals, which is loaded with the fragrance and the pink color, which is, tend to the red… The Damask rose is not only a flower it is a crop, a perfume and magical elixir added by Damascenes kitchens to the list of its dishes, the beautiful women chose it for skin care and the apothecaries for their medical recipes... This rose has always been linked to the memory and identity of Damascus and Syria, because of unique features and the variety of its uses, that have represented for thousands of years in Damascene homes and Bilad AL-Sham it was manifested as a social tradition with aesthetic specificity, starting with planting and harvesting the rose, along with distillation and production as a food product, perfume or medication that has spread globally. Because of the significant value of the Rose in society, and from our purpose To preserve and employ Syria’s cultural heritage as a positive force in its social development and the regeneration of its communities, and from the rich profound and historic cultural identity of Syria’s societies, the Syria Trust for Development is committed to supporting the Communities and to participate in safeguarding of the cultural heritage belonging to these communities through the ' Living Heritage ' programme. The Damask rose is one of the cultural heritage elements, of society in general, and of heritage bearers in particular, and its importance comes from the relevant cultural and social traditions and practices along with Damask Rose products, and the values of community cohesion which makes the Rose important part of the social memory in all Stages of planting, harvesting and preparation of their products of flower syrup, rose water, rose jam and medicinal preparations. These practices were linked to the annual harvest of the rose, celebrated through a festival held by practitioners in of the harvest season each year hoping for a good season. In partnership with the community, ' living heritage ' has played a significant role by reviving the Damask Rose through encouraging planting the rose and supporting the associated heritage practices to assist in the preparation and organization of the harvest festival in al-Marah village in rural Damascus Governorate, in addition to attracting Greater attention From governmental and non-governmental bodies, and planning for Damask Rose related projects in cooperation with these authorities with in the aim of solving the problems of farmers, as well as Drilling a water well, providing farmers with a drip irrigation system, to expand agricultural land, thereby nourishing local and national economy, to operate the Labour force, revitalizing the women's participation in this achievement and in an effective participation in society, to preserve and preventing this element from being endangered. The Damask Rose and its associated practices in the village of Al-Marah were nominated by The Trust in 2018 as a heritage element to be listed in the representative list of the human cultural heritage during 2019 in order to export this culture and the Syrian experience and to complement our role in working with Community to preserve heritage elements. The Syria Trust for Development, in partnership with the local community and rural Damascus Governorate, has highlighted the importance of the Rose through supporting the successful experience of al-Marah village, where this year's festival comes as an invitation from the villagers to the rest of the governorates which might also be interested in the Damask Rose such as Aleppo governorate The western countryside of Homs Governorate and Quneitra Governorate, in addition to Sahl AL-Ghab, will be spread to other communities to motivate them to connect to their heritage elements, which are an important part of their identity, and work to activate their role in marketing their products and ideas about The Rose, to work and to join efforts to bring the Damask Rose project to a general national level commensurate with its importance and prestige.

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