Alpha (the art gallery)

text by Alaa Arsheed

Alpha is an art place and a cafe that was created by Arsheed’s family in 2006 in As suwaida/Syria.

It was the first art gallery for fine arts in As-suwaida , we have opened about 65 art exhibitions and done 60 cultural events that included music, short stories, philosophy, poetry, documentary , etc done by many artists for youth !

Our logo was

” art is for everyone”

Every week we shared music, poetry , culture and arts. People from all ages spent unforgettable moments in Alpha.

Alpha was a dream that came true and our parents were a great supporters for arts who built this place for us and they have always encouraged art in all its kinds!

Me and my family worked everyday to keep and improve what we have always dreamed about.

And my siblings and I wanted to start a quartet . I play “Violin”, my brother Hayan plays “Viola”, my sister Kinda plays also “Violin” and my little sister Marwa plays “Cello”, My sisters are both painters too.

But unfortunately we could not! Because in 2011 the war started in Syria.

I went to Lebanon and I tried to continue my studies in the conservatory but after 5 months of me trying to find peace I heard the most painful news a son can hear!

A group of people who fights freedom and art came and destroyed Alpha! They broke and cut down the paintings they ruined every single thing in Alpha! And they arrested my Father for two months! I had to leave everything I started in Lebanon and go back to Syria to find a way to help my family.

We went back and forth to bring our father back and finally after many attempts we did.

For our safety we did not open Alpha again. Actually we did not have the ability to, because of the economy issues.

So me and my brother went to lebanon to find a job. I learned a bit about cinema but could not continue because of financial issues. And I could not continue in the conservatory.

But I took a part in many bands, events and festivals. I taught violin in the children refugee camps and I created a street band in Beirut with who I played violin for peace hoping that someday the world will unite and the borders will disappear. Wishing for a family reunion and to start a quartet with my siblings but now we are separated, each one of us is far and we only play music on skype when we can.

Life was passing without a stable ground for me until I met Alessandro Gassmann and I participated in his documentary. And this gave me the chance then to come to Italy and produce an Album at Fabrica where I met with Isaac Martin. Presently we are working to our new EP Album.

I really thank, Alessandro Gassmann and UNCHR for giving me this opportunity to start something meaningful that I can spread my message to the world a message that says “the only religion we should fight for is love! The religion of love only!”

Torn is the name of Gassmann’s movie and it tells stories of refugee artists who moved from Syria and struggle to express themselves by art. Please see Media section in this website for further details.

Follows few pictures of Alpha before and after the raid of the fanatics (pictures for the courtesy of Arsheed family)

the art gallery was displayed at the ground floor

the art gallery was displayed at the ground floor

the art gallery was displayed at the ground floor

the art gallery was displayed at the ground floor

the founders of the gallery

Said and Hanna Arsheed, founders of Alpha

live music was often a must at the art cafe

live music was often a must at the art cafe

opening of an exhibition

opening of an exhibition

opening of an exhibition

the entrance after the raid

the entrance after the raid

the library after the raid

the library after the raid

the office after the raid

the office after the raid

the gallery after the raid

the gallery after the raid

the gallery after the raid

the gallery after the raid

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