Teenage girls enjoy their candy shakes at a Food Street event in Syrian capital Damascus on July 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
DAMASCUS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- After losing almost all of their teenage time to the seven-year-long war in Syria, young Syrians in the capital Damascus started to enjoy new events in the city, including the Food Street.
Held in the Tishreen Park in Damascus, the Food Street has attracted restaurants from different parts of the capital and offered them venues to show their meals and recipes together, which is the first of its kind in Syria.
The event is part of the activities held in the park under the banner "Sham Gathers Us" (Sham means Damascus) which aims to provide summer entertainment programs for people after the capital was declared safe in May.
People of all ages are visiting the Food Street for their love of delicious food, and the teenagers now come to enjoy their time and indulge themselves in tasty meals without their parents.
Young ladies enjoy their time eating cotton candies at a Food Street event in Syrian capital Damascus on July 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
Lilya Sabbagh, a 17-year-old girl, came with her friends to the Food Street with no grownup to look after her, for her parents' revived trust in the peace of the city.
The girl and her friends enjoyed their time, laughing and joking from their hearts, as the experience of hanging out was new to them.
She told Xinhua that her parents finally allowed her to go out with her friends as the capital has become safe.
"Now we can leave the house safely without any problems and without the worries of our parents," Sabbagh said.
Her friend, Talia Deirawan, 16, said the moment of peace and happiness was what she has hoped for during the war when mortar shells and explosions pushed people to cower inside their homes.
Deirawan said her parents are glad to give her the freedom of going out with friends without worries, noting that the Food Street is a nice place to visit with a group of friends.
"We didn't expect this to happen due to the war but we had hoped for the peace. Now we are living in it, so this is exciting for us," Deirawan said.
Young Syrians pose for a selfie at a Food Street event in Syrian capital Damascus on July 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
Eila Shweiki, 17, said that leaving home alone amid peace and security is a new enjoyable experience for her.
"Now we feel safe, and we are enjoying our time and trying something new here," she said with a grin.
The organizers said the idea behind the Food Street is to bring all restaurants in the streets of Damascus to one place to create a joyful mood as the capital has become safe.
Zaid Ajjaneh, the organizer of the event, told Xinhua the Food Street will help people get to know restaurants outside their neighborhoods, as they had preferred to remain indoor during the war.
"During the wartime in Damascus, the streets in the capital were getting far from one another as people preferred to stay in their neighborhoods out of safety concerns," he said.
He added that the Food Street will bring the streets together to let people know new brands and restaurants from different areas in Damascus.
On May 21, the Syrian army declared Damascus safe and empty of rebels, following the defeat of the Islamic State in areas south of Damascus and other key rebel groups in the eastern countryside of the capital.
Following the declaration, people in Damascus have quickly restored the lost glamor of their city with late night activities, as well as government-sponsored entertainment and cultural events, sending a message that Syria has defeated the seven-year-long insurgency amid the Syrian army progress in other key areas across the country.