BECAUSE of the war in Syria (敘利亞), its last shadow puppeteer, Shadi al-Hallaq, has lost almost all his equipment. He thought that his art would one day be gone forever. But the United Nations (UN, 聯合國) recently said the art form should be saved and the puppeteer is now hopeful.
In late November 2018, the UN’s Unesco added Syrian shadow puppetry to its list of intangible cultural heritage in need of saving. Unesco said because of the war and modern forms of fun, not as many people like the old art form anymore. Shadow puppetry used to be performed often in cafes in Syria.
The art form was already disappearing when Hallaq took it up. But now with Unesco support, he will start teaching the art form to a group of potential puppeteers in a few months’ time.
(This article is published on Goodies on 02 January 2019)