Inside one of the old Damascus restaurants, Anas, the three-year-old and the youngest Syrian dervish, dazzles the attendees as he turns quickly around himself, maintaining his balance, catching the attention of the rest of his family, who inherited the Sufi Mevlevi dance a century ago.
Anas straightens his hands while dancing, between his father Moayad al-Kharrat and his cousin, their long white robes flying around them when they turn quickly, on the rhythm of spiritual invocations that accompany this mystical ritual during the Ramadan evenings. Moayad – 28 years old) continues to teach his young girl this art despite his young age. He tells «Agence France-Presse»: “(Anas) learned this dance before he learned to speak, and he is the youngest dervish in Syria.” And he adds: “With his joining A troupe of dancers, 20 of our family now master the Mevlevi dance. ”
The Al-Kharrat family, one of the largest Damascene families, inherited the Sufi rituals from generation to generation, and its members did not abandon it despite their preoccupation with securing the requirements of their daily lives, in light of an economic crisis afflicting the countries in which the conflict entered its eleventh year.
The basis of Sufi dance is based on the principle of turning around the soul from left to right, in loose white clothes, with meditation to reach spiritual ecstasy. The performers of this art are called “dervishes”, meaning the simple and ascetic in the world.
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