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The New Arab

Damascus to host 'largest dance festival', as Aleppo burns

The recent 'I Love Damascus' colour run was heavily criticised by Syrians [Twitter]

Date of publication: 12 October, 2016

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Despite the carnage of bombing and pain of displacement faced by many Syrians, some of the country's elite are planning a giant rave in the capital's iconic Ummayyid Square.

While Syrians in opposition areas live in terror as bombs rain down on them, these sights haven't been enough to dampen the fun for some.

Following the "success" of the colourful "I Love Damascus" run - an event heavily criticised as tactless by Syrians - organisers are now planning a music festival in the capital this Friday.

"Let's Dance in Damascus" is expected to attract around 2,000 people in a city which has likely overtaken Aleppo to become Syria's most populated after the northern Syrian rebel strongholds suffered five years of bombing, displacement and sieges.

Despite this, the planners announced that the event will be "the largest dance festival in Syria" according to The Syrian Observer.

Given that large areas of the country are currently under government siege, or constant bombardment from Russian war planes, or threatened by extremist group IS, the claim is questionable.

The event is likely to attract further flack, following broad criticism of the group's recently organised "colour run" - even by supporters of Syria's regime.

Using the Arabic hastag #Assad's_crimes_in_colour alongside the #I_Love_Damascus tag, Syrian social media users posted images of atrocities committed by the Assad regime and its allies.

The event will likely be hailed as a show of support for the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad. For many in Syria and across the world, however, the truth is much clearer.

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