Damascus, SANA-Wheat has a sacred symbol as it refers to food security and economic stability, lovely social norms in addition to unique religious rituals and immortal legends.
The Syrians have dealt with the wheat grain according to their special method , regions and cultures to become a symbol of intellectual and financial unlimited giving ,thus wheat grain with its spirit became a symbol of the Syrian pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai.
So, to talk about the beginning, the story began when Man in Syria discovered the wheat and started to settle near its fields, feed on some of them and store the other.
Syrian people are considered the first who grew wheat. As we return to historic documents, we find that in the 8th BC millennium , agriculture was discovered as archeological expeditions found that the wheat occurred for the first time in the plains and valleys irrigated by rains in the inland parts of Syria and this has been documented in a book entitled “The Rise of Civilization: From Early Farmers to Urban Society in the Ancient Near East” by the writer Charles L. Redman.
In addition, in 1956, a French expedition ,that worked in the west part of the Syrian city of Raqqa, discovered thousands of valued artifacts that talk about the beginning of human settlement and the occurrence of agriculture in that region from which it spread to all over the world.
Ugarit, one of Syrian oldest cities, played a pivotal role in cultivating , storing and distributing wheat to the nearby regions according to translated written documents.
Syrian researcher, Ghassan al-Qayem tells SANA “I noticed in ancient documents a significant role played by Ugarit through supplying Anatolia with the food products , especially wheat and barley.”
In the same context, archaeological studies say that the Roman Empire was provided with wheat and other agricultural products cultivated in the fertile plains of the Levant, known as Horan Plains which were called food warehouses.
In a simple comparison between the past and the present, especially during the unjust terrorist war waged on Syria that affected the Syrian people and pose threat to their national food security,targeting wheat was not as an accident, but the process was systematized as Syria produced in 2011 nearly 4 million tons of wheat and it exported the surplus to the neighboring countries due to its distinguished and high quality , according to a report by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Syria.
The wheat production has declined during years of the war due to many reasons ,of which the drought , especially in al-Jazeera region caused by the Turkish regime who cut off water , the fires erupted by the terrorists ahead of harvesting the crop, and looting the crop by the US occupation and its tools to use the bread issue as a pressure on the Syrian government.
The wheat grain, with its giving spirit, tops the Syrian pavilion in the UAE through Expo 2020 Dubai to send a message to the whole world that Syria ,which was the store of ancient world with its wheat and goods, is today the spirit of the new world with its people that produce and plant creativity and charm on their land.
Baraa Ali / Mazen Eyon