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Syrian artists find new platform, inspiration in Beirut

The Syrian conflict has seen many artists move to Beirut, using the capital to strengthen the artistic link between the two countries, a phenomenon explored by "Moussem Cities: Damascus starts in Beirut."

BEIRUT — “Beirut is a very important place, not only for artists from Syria but artists from the region who see [it] as a platform to meet and to create,” Abdullah al-Kafri, executive director of Ettijahat, an organization that seeks to promote Syrian civil society and culture, told Al-Monitor. "It is not just about having no other place, it is about the spirit of the city and how to benefit from that.”

"Moussem Cities: Damascus starts in Beirut," a multi-disciplinary cultural event held at Station Beirut on Jan. 14-15, showcased musicians, actors and performance artists from Syria in the Lebanese capital. The event was run by Lebanon-based Ettijahat and the Moussem Nomadic Arts Center, a Belgian nongovernmental organization covering art and globalization, and sought not only to strengthen the bonds between Beirut and Damascus, but also highlight the artistic interconnection of the two cities.

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