Syria Programme-related Events

Musicians at the SP ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ Event (22 January 2019)


These include a diversity of Syria Programme (SP)-run events (e.g. Round Tables), as well as SP-partnered and third-party events (e.g. symposia and conferences), all integral to the SP’s aims, combining academic development and capacity-building, with the SP’s planning and dissemination strategy, central to which are Syrian expertise, local knowledge, networks and experience.

SP-run events take several forms, including workshops that focus primarily on academic writing skills allied to the SP’s research activities, although a quality-related action-research workshop series has been run in parallel as part of a pilot with Al Sham University faculty since 2022. The weekly online E-learn Soiree Series addresses other known or emerging knowledge and skills gaps, with longer ad hoc academic skills training series, delivered as and when required.

SP Round Tables (RT)

The Syrian Higher Education-focused RT series was initiated to mark the formal launch of the Syria Programme in June 2016. A parallel non-HE focused RT Syrian Academics and their role in the future of food security for Syria (19-20 June 2019) was run in Istanbul in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.

SP Symposium (6-10 Dec. 2021)

This Royal Society and British Academy-supported five-day SP Symposium highlighted the importance of local knowledge and expertise, as well as the diversity and value of SP-supported research. Over 50 SP participants presented on their work over the five days.

Third-Party Symposia, Conferences etc

SP research grant recipients are encouraged to identify relevant third-party dissemination events at which to present on their work and highlight the importance of local knowledge, expertise and networks. Event organisers are asked to waive registration fees and, where possible, allied costs, e.g. visa, travel and accommodation, are covered by the Cara SP.

Cultural Events

The SP aims to support Syrian academics affected by the ongoing crisis as a vital part of Syria’s intellectual and cultural capital. Despite the wealth and diversity of Syria’s historical, creative and cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, a decade of conflict has seen the arts all but disappear from Syria’s primary and secondary school curricula, a reality that is equally evident in the emerging HE sector in NW Syria, driven by a narrowly defined local labour market that undervalues the arts, humanities and humanistic social sciences, relative to the hard sciences.

Cultural visits and events showcase, promote and inspire, reminding us of Syria’s diverse cultural heritage, and the importance of the arts, humanities and social sciences as disciplines that enrich, as well as helping to explain the events of the past decade. They also create important communities and promote interdisciplinarity, for example, consideration of the impact of traditional food practices on food security.