Refugees and UNHCR’s Syria staff celebrate World Refugee Day 2017

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Syria marked the World Refugee Day (WRD) with different events highlighting refugees’ resilience and talents and UNHCR’s role in assisting them.

On 20 June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Syria marked the World Refugee Day (WRD) with different events highlighting refugees’ resilience and talents and UNHCR’s role in assisting them.
In Damascus, Over 250 refugees representing more than 10 countries participated in the celebrations on 20 June, displaying their handmade arts and crafts while demonstrating their traditions, folklore and culture of their countries of origin. Talented refugees introduced music, ballet, calligraphy, henna tattoos, hair braiding, traditional coffee-making, painting and photography as well as other activities.

“What we were here to celebrate is your cultures, your wisdom, your vision, your openness to working with each other, celebrating with each other and interacting with the local communities here”

“What we were here to celebrate is your cultures, your wisdom, your vision, your openness to working with each other, celebrating with each other and interacting with the local communities here”, said Sajjad Malik, Representative of UNHCR Syria addressing the refugees.

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Syrian Boy Scouts perform a traditional song called I Write Your Name, My Country at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Somali, Eritrean, Iraqi, South Sudanese and Syrian performers come together onstage to perform the song Helwa Ya Baladi (My Beautiful Country) by the Egyptian pop singer Dalida at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Commemorating the World Refugee Day in Qamishli, refugees and displaced communities together with UNHCR’s staff sang, performed folklore dance showing the different dances from the rich heritage of the area as well as fashion shows. © UNHCR

World Refugee Day Celebrations in Aleppo

Our colleague Stephen Kahirwa, Senior Filed Officer was very impressed by the artwork and drawings prepared by a talented young Iraqi refugee girl who participated in the World Refugee Day in Aleppo. © UNHCR/A. Shennekji

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Young Syrian oud player Omar performs at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Attendees have their hands tattooed with henna at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. ©UNHCR/B. Diab

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UNHCR Syria staff member, Vivian Tou'meh, has her hair braided by Guinean refugee Aisha, at a World Refugee Day 2017 event in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Attendees have their hands tattooed with henna at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. ©UNHCR/B. Diab

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Iraqi refugee Rabab performs classical ballet at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. Rabab dreams of one day performing on Broadway. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Iraqi refugee Rabab performs classical ballet at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. Rabab dreams of one day performing on Broadway. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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South Sudanese refugee Aya, celebrates her mother's Ethiopian heritage by dressing in traditional Ethiopian attire at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Somali refugee Muhammad enjoys UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus, where he performed breakdancing onstage. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Somali refugee Sofi performs a song at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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A young woman from Kenya enjoys UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus.© UNHCR/B. Diab

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Ethiopian refugee Wathna enjoys UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Sudanese refugee Manahel enjoys UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Rufayda and Hamid demonstrate a traditional Sudanese wedding at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

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Rufayda (left) and Hamid demonstrate a traditional Sudanese wedding at UNHCR's World Refugee Day celebrations in Damascus. © UNHCR/B. Diab

Mr. Malik welcomed Mr. Faisal Mekdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister and Officials from UN sister agencies and partners who joined the refugees in marking this day.

In Qamishli, UNHCR field office with local partners marked the refugee day with different events during the course of three days in Al Amal School in Hassakeh city, at Al Hol and at Roj and Newroz camps. Festivities included songs, dances and fashion shows showing the heritages of the different nationalities in these areas.

And in Tartous, on 21st and 22nd of June UNHCR field office marked the WRD at the Cultural Center in Tartous with two exhibitions followed by various competitions, activities and a collective bazars in both Tartous and Latakia. Ihttp://www.unhcr.org/sy/10613-refugees-and-unhcrs-syria-staff-celebrate-world-refugee-day-2017.htmln an expression of solidarity with refugees, the event included an exhibition with the theme “introducing refugee” including photos of refugees, and a tent showing the living conditions of a refugee, various completions and activities as well as a collective bazar of items prepared by refugees and displaced communities in the area.

Celebrating the World Refugee Day from Aleppo, UNHCR Field Office in Aleppo with partners organized an event with different activities, Bazar, refugee kids choir and an Iftar meal.

“This is an opportunity for us to alert the world about refugees living in Syria, their lives, talents, and funding needs to sustain our care for them”

“This is an opportunity for us to alert the world about refugees living in Syria, their lives, talents, and funding needs to sustain our care for them”, said Malik.

Syria has been a very generous country for the past 70 years in receiving, hosting and supporting millions of refugees, Palestinians, Iraqis, Somali and Sudanese among many other nationalities who despite the crisis are still living and thriving in Syria. Today, Syria hosts more than 50,000 refugees who have remained in the country despite the crisis.

By the end of 2016, there were 65.6 million people forcibly displaced worldwide – some 300,000 more than a year earlier. This total represents an enormous number of people needing protection worldwide.