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Slovak and Czech women expats present a bit of home in Lebanon

An exotic exhibition and programme took place in the ancient town of Saida in southern Lebanon at the end of November. The historical Khan-al-Franj building built in the 17th century hosted an exhibition called “Slovak and Czech Women Present Their Skills” prepared by Slovak and Czech women living in Lebanon and sponsored by the Association of Graduates of Czech and Slovak Colleges in Lebanon. The event attracted hundreds of curious visitors.

An exotic exhibition and programme took place in the ancient town of Saida in southern Lebanon at the end of November. The historical Khan-al-Franj building built in the 17th century hosted an exhibition called “Slovak and Czech Women Present Their Skills” prepared by Slovak and Czech women living in Lebanon and sponsored by the Association of Graduates of Czech and Slovak Colleges in Lebanon. The event attracted hundreds of curious visitors.

The exhibition was opened by former Lebanese minister Baheea Hareeree and the Slovak Ambasador in Damascus, Oldřich Hlaváček, as well as town representatives and members of women’s organisations. The spaces of the historical building were decorated by billboards with Czech and Slovak scenery, and the exhibition included folk costumes, embroideries, tapestries, paintings on glass, decorated eggs, photos, a Christmas tree decorated with honey-cakes, pottery, small figures made of corn-husks (a typical Slovak handcraft) and fujara bag pipes that were brought from the women’s homes in order to demonstrate old traditions.

The Slovak and Czech women baked Christmas cakes, pies and wafers and brought almost 90 kilograms of confectioneries to the exhibition – generating a great deal of respect and popularity. There was also a quiz called “What do you know about Slovakia and the Czech Republic”, focused on knowledge of the two distant countries in the central Europe in which seven teams of three made it to the second round of the competition. Two teams perfectly answered all questions about the history, geography and current position of these states in Europe.

Visitors to the event came from various countries including Lebanon, Italy, France, Iraq and Great Britain. “The organisers and the women succeeded in creating a wonderful atmosphere, maybe even more Christmas-like and more typically national than in many households at home,” the Slovak Ambassador commented.

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