Syria has invited a Druze dance company from the Golan Heights to take part in a folklore festival in the city of Idlib in northwest Syria, Ynet has learned.
The theater and music authority of the Ministry of Culture sent a letter a few days ago to Samir Dabus, director of dance company Rim al-Jolan, inviting his troop to take part in the annual Idlib arts festival from July 8.
"Because of our art and our understanding of the great importance of the link with our sons in the occupied Golan," wrote the head of the Syrian theater and music authority, Imad Jaloul, "and because of the need to involve you in the cultural and artistic activities of the motherland, Syria, we are honored to invite your excellent company Rim al-Jolan to take part in the festival."
The company's director, who also competes in dabke dances, moved quickly to contact the Ministry of Interior and Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil Ayoob Kara (Likud) who deals with Druze visits to Syria on humanitarian and religious grounds. Kara intends to obtain the necessary permits to enable the visit to go ahead.
Kara is currently handling a delegation of Druze from the Golan Heights who intend to visit Syria in order to request that the Syrian authorities allow a water pipeline to be installed, running from Syrian reservoirs to Majdal Shams in the Golan. Many Druze villages lack sufficient water supplies.
"I will continue to work to open the border with Syria for humanitarian, economic and cultural issues, in the hope that we'll get to the point where anyone requesting a visit for these reasons may do so without all the bureaucracy," Kara told Ynet. "Our success this year, in which some 800 Druze have visited Syria, proves Israel is seeking peace, and that it is the most humanitarian entity in the Middle East."