Beit Nana Project
Beit Nana (the house of grandmother) is of a great significance for Arabs in general, and for Syrians in specific. Until recently, the core of the Syrian society has been family and the special relationship that connects children with their grandparents. After the the eruption of civil war in Syria in 2011 that resulted in the emergence of mass Syrian diaspora, extended families had to be separated, and thus, people lost the togetherness, emotional support and joy that large families provide, especially for children.
It is our aim to create for our children a similar atmosphere to that of Beit Nana, in which they get to experience the sense of having a loving extended family and where they can grasp and learn about the rich Syrian heritage. Therefore, we meet up here in Berlin in little groups of Syrian families, and we recreate the atmosphere we used to have back home. We talk, we laugh, we tell stories of our daily lives and even ones of our past and we share memories with our children who enjoy those precious moments.
Holding those gatherings has been a great adventure for us. Beit Nana has proved to be of a great importance to preserving our heritage and the Arabic language, and it has helped us to pass our great Syrian legacy to the younger generations. Children are encouraged during those gatherings to practice the Arabic language and to explore its wonderful tunes, and Arabic books will be integrated soon in the meetings.
During almost two years of Beit Nana project, children have developed a special rapport with those gatherings. Throughout this year we have had a couple of presentations where the speakers spoke about Syria as a country, history and a society. They spoke about the different cities and what makes each city special. It is our aim to proceed with those presentations in order to give our children an insight into Syria, and to help them discover its beauty.