“WATHIQAT WATTAN” FOUNDATION HONORS THE WINNERS OF “THIS IS MY
STORY” 2021 CONTEST
DAMASCUS, Syria – On 14 December 2021, the Philippine Embassy in Syria, headed by Chargée d'affaires, a.i. Vida Soraya S. Verzosa, received the invitation of Wathiqat Wattan Foundation to attend the awarding ceremony of “This is My Story” winners at Al Assad National Library.
“This is My Story” contest is for the best real short story written by Syrians, inside and outside Syria, who experienced difficulties, death, and hardships during the war. The contest was launched for the first time in 2019, which was welcomed and successful, leading the Foundation to make it an annual tradition.
The stories were subject to independent arbitration, and the top twelve stories were selected to receive awards in four age groups and three rankings: gold, silver, and bronze, as well as other consolation awards for outstanding non-winning stories.
The ceremony was attended by a number Ministers, Minister of Tourism, Engineer Muhammad Rami Martini, Minister of Education, Dr. Darem Tabaa, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Engineer Mohamed Hassan Qatana, Minister of Culture, Dr. Lubana Mushouh, Governor of Damascus, H.E. Adil Al Alabi, and representatives of diplomatic missions in Damascus, as well as intellectual, cultural, economic and social figures, with the nine winners of the “This is My Story” award, their companions, the Arbitration Committee and members of the Board of Trustees and employees of the Foundation.
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Wathiqat Wattan Foundation, and a Syrian politician and political media adviser to the President of Syria, H.E. Bashar al-Assad, referred to the prospects of the expansion of the Foundation after five years of work.
Dr. Shaaban expressed her desires to expand her internal partnerships with government and private bodies namely IMEMO and the Primakov Center for International Cooperation, on the importance of documentation between Syrian and Russian academics, she also aimed to document the reality of the events in the war against Syria to preserve the history for future generations.
Dr. Shaaban also referred to the importance of the projects of the Foundation, the most important of which is the documentation of the war against Syria in all areas, and the importance of starting the production of document-based outputs in the Foundation's archives.
Mr. Mohamed Shahoud, a father of two martyrs and former Director of Real Estate Interests in Homs, was honored by Dr. Shaaban as a hero who saved real estate documents documents despite the dangers and the difficulty of accessing them because of the fighting.
A short film of the winners of the golden prize telling their stories was shown. After that, certificates of appreciation and awards were distributed to the winners.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Dr. Shaaban referred to the many special stories that carried deep suffering and deserved to win, and promised that they would be published in the “This is My Story” book in 2021.
CDA Verzosa also congratulated some of the winners and thanked Dr. Shaaban for inviting her and the Embassy staff to the awarding ceremony. This is part of the support of the Embassy for activities under the Philippines – Syria agreement on cultural cooperation. END.