On July 12 last the Islamic Culture Foudation (FUNCI), by invitation of the Municipal Authorities of Aleppo, Syria, inaugurated the Andalusian Gardens of Aleppo, scene for an encounter.
The project is part of a series of activities organised on Aleppo, along with Isfahan, being appointed Capital of Islamic Culture 2006 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The opening event was the laying of the cornerstone of the Spanish-Arabian style garden which the FUNCI will complete on grounds granted by the Mayor of Aleppo, Dr. Tamer al-Hajja, in the grounds of the public park of al Sabil, a splendid 17 hectare garden dating from the days of the French protectorate nestled in the city centre.
Immediately after, the exhibition entitled The Andalusian Garden, almunias, orchards and courtyards, was inaugurated in the al-Shebanivol, a beautiful Coptic building, also as part of the Spanish-Syrian project of cooperation and culture, headed by the President of the FUNCI, Dr. Cherif Abderrahman Jah.
Activities and participants
Besides FUNCI representatives and officers of the Aleppo Municipal Authority, several members of the Aleppo City Council, the Director of the Damascus branch of the Instituto Cervantes, Antonio Gil de Carrasco, and a large number of the media also attended the inauguration ceremony. Samer Yamani, project coordinator in Aleppo and Director of design company FFDS was also in attendance.
Some of the cultural events planned for these dates included a concert given by María del Mar Bonet to be held in the Citadel on the evening of the 16th which, unfortunately, had to be cancelled due to the tragic events in neighbouring Lebanon.
The Islamica Culture Foundation can only express regret and deep sadness regarding the conflict unleashed on the region as a result of the occupation of Palestinian land. From our position we state our heartfelt solidarity with all victims, particularly civilians.