Damascus Int'L Fair Comes Back

Added On August 12, 2017

The country may still be in the midst of a brutal civil war, but some parts of Syria are slowly getting back to normal.
After a five-years pause, the 59th Damascus International Fair is returning this month. 
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The fair will be held on August 17th in Syria's capital of Damascus, as a way of showing that "life is beating back in Syria".
First established in 1954, the fair was stopped due to the Syrian war in 2011.
Even though the war is still ongoing, the organizers believe the situation has calmed enough for the fair to resume.
SOUNDBITE(ARABIC): FARES KARTALI, General Establishment for Exhibitions & Int'l MKT
"Unfortunately, the Damascus International Fair has been stopped since the Syrian war. But we have decided to take it back in the beginning of this year and we have worked to rehabilitate the Fair Ground."
Companies from China, Russia, Iran, France, Britain, and Belgium will showcase their products in the fair.
Workers in the fairground are busy preparing for the event, while maintenance works have also been taking place in the capital.
SOUNDBITE(ARABIC): FARES KARTALI, General Establishment for Exhibitions & Int'l MKT
"The security situation in Syria is good. I need to assure all the companies with the desire to take part that the situation in Syria is normal."
After six years of war in Syria, the country's economy has become crippled with the wide ranging US and European sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's government.
According to figures published by the World Bank last month, total economic losses in the country have been calculated at around 226 billion US dollars so far.
Now, the government is focusing on reviving the economy. It hopes through events like this, foreign companies can be encouraged to come help the reconstruction process.