Syria/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

The 10th FYP plan has set a future vision setting a group of targets encouraging the formal sector to build different kinds of partnerships, of which the most important:


  • Linking between culture and other social sectors.
  • Openness to and interaction with other cultures, while preserving the Syrian culture identity.

The 2009-2010 strategy carried a set of objectives to develop cultural work and cultural activity, we notice the concentration on:

  • Developing cultural product and considering culture an investment sector.
  • Contact foreign cultural and artistic institutions and benefiting from their activities.


Although the projects of the 10th Five – Year Plan have not been achieved, the 11th Five – Year Plan comes with totally different projects:


  1. Arising the cultural level of citizens and adopting the cultural development with its broad conception towards “culture for all”.
  2. Preserving the diverse civilized heritage and promoting the reality of archaeology.
  3. Developing the cultural product and publicizing knowledge and culture amongst citizens.
  4. Facilitating the approach towards sources of knowledge and culture and reducing their expenses for the individual and the society.


Forms of Partnerships and Support:

Support for cultural activities and concerned ministries projects

Locally and prior to 2011, the financial support for a joint project between government and private sector would be received on the basis of an agreement concluded between MOC and the private partner. The agreement defines clearly the type of support (financial, advertising assistance, prizes, or technical support) and the provision mechanism. Supports, particularly financial, cannot be received without the Minister approval (after informing the Legal Affairs Director). The MOC supervises the private sector support, according to the revenues of the beneficiary directorate. The private donor may not interfere in the cultural work they support.

Examples of private support to MOC:


  • Syriatel payment for the National Symphony Orchestra travel expenses to Germany.
  • Areeba payment for the expenses of the Syrian orchestra for Arab music concert.
  • Carlton Hotel in Idleb bears the accommodation expenses of the participants in the first theatrical youth festival.


Examples of support from non-Syrian companies:

  • Contribution of SHELL Company to the printing costs of a quality book for the most important collections of Damascus National Museum.
  • Contribution of the poet Abdul Aziz Al-Babtain institution (from Kuwait) to pay half the costs of the late poet Nizar Qabbani Symposium celebration.

Emerging joint projects and mechanisms of international support:


  • Remarkable increase in the number of joint cultural projects was noticeable during the years between 2000-2011, in cooperation with international organization and institutions (UNDP – UNICEF – UNISCO – EC, etc).

  • Cultural partnerships between Syria and foreign organizations and countries are often done according to official cultural agreements, usually for renewable 2 years. Implementation is followed up by the MOC Cultural Relations Directorate, or by the related ministry under the supervision of Cultural Administration Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Agreements for projects with the Syrian government were concluded through the State Planning Commission (formerly) in collaboration with the donor institution or country. They take the form of special memorandums signed in line with the international protocols.


International cultural joint projects are classified into two types:

  1. Projects responding to Syrian needs (project objectives are drawn by the Syrian foundation in collaboration with the donor), for example:

    “Syria Times newspaper support” project was signed between Syria and UNDP for the years 2007-2011 in the framework of through the 7th Country Program. The State Planning Commission signed the document of this project that will be implemented in collaboration between the Ministry of Information and UNDP. The budget of this project (completion time: 24 months) is 400,000 USD paid by the Ministry of Information and UNDP equally. The project budget is 400,000 USD shared equally between UNDP and the Ministry of Information. Implementation duration: 24 months.

  2. Ongoing projects (mapped out by donor) with Syrian participation (according to relevant cultural agreements with the donor after approval by the competent minister).

    For example, Syrian participation in "Museum without Borders", this organization has an innovative and creative program that aims to establish a large cross-border museum, an e-portal to enter the world of art, architecture, antiquities, and museums. Syria joined the Cross-Border Museum project along with twenty European, North African, and Middle Eastern countries. In collaboration with the Museums Without Borders organization and the General Directorate for Antiquities and Museums, the General Secretariat for the Damascus Capital of Arab Culture 2008 event launched the project “Discover Islamic Art” online. 

Chapter published: 09-05-2016