In March 2019 we constructed the first skatepark of Syria. The skatepark is located in the city of Qudsaya, on the western slope of Mount Qasioun, just outside of the capital Damascus. The construction of the all-inclusive skatepark was only made possible thanks to SOS Children Villages Syria and most importantly all the amazing (and resilient) locals who got involved throughout the entire process.
An incredible experience, spending time in a country that is currently portrayed in a single vision throughout the global news networks, and yet behind these tragedies offers so much more. We feel extremely fortunate to have formed friendships with hospitable locals who continually offered their warm-hearted kindness and to have been able to provide the marginalized youth with a free and safe space for them to come together and flourish.
Still growing after the war, the city is one of the most populated in the region, and with a young demographic, it's home to a vast amount of at-risk children. Therefore this location was ideal for a skatepark that provides and serves the youth with a safe and welcoming place for self-development and fun. There is a detrimental shortage of community spaces with a focus on the youth that allows active use, social opportunities, and kids to be kids throughout the country.
SOS Children Villages Syria with the help of international and local volunteers, now independently and successfully manage the facilities resulting in a space that is an extremely positive destination. A free skateboard loaner program is being offered in the skatepark and volunteer-led skate programs are being held on a daily basis, ensuring a large number of users with free, safe, and equal access to use their skatepark. No doubt the park's success and efforts by passionate locals will results in other parks throughout the country whilst ideally offering connections to other skate communities throughout the Middle East and beyond. Stay tuned.