Fill 6

June 5, 2016

Minem and Dina about Syr Connect

written by: Elleke van Reuler

Syrian food is delicious, but restaurant Syr has more ambitions: creating a connection between people, not just on a culinary but also on a cultural basis. That is why Syr started an art and culture programme, named Syr Connect. Led by Minem Sezgin (25), along with Luna Mara and Anna van Velzen. ‘Art and culture transcends borders in background, language and age. I love the way cultural activities can connect people in spite of their differences.’

Syr therefore becomes the stage of, among other things, expositions, workshops, gatherings and debates. Minem has already planned six events for this summer. For example, two storytelling nights, where professional and non-professional storytellers will speak. For these events she works together with her Syrian colleague Dina (27). Together they thought of the theme ‘sisterhood’. ‘Syria knows a rich storytelling culture and we want to bring the sphere of a night like that to the Netherlands’, Minem says. ‘Dina is full of creative ideas. Together we discuss the content of the evening, but also the decoration for instance. In any way, it is great to work together in the team of Syr, everybody has a different background and we can learn a lot from each other.’

Only two years ago, Minem herself came from Turkey to the Netherlands to do her masters in Political Communication. ‘The Dutch people are friendly and helpful, but also curious and structured. Before I came here, I always went with my gut feeling. The Dutch people have taught me to plan and to be more rational.’ She also got to know the Syrian culture. ‘Syrians are very open, love to get to know new people and are very hospitable. Everybody is welcome to eat together in Syria, that is the atmosphere we want to create at Syr.’