The fifth Pan-Arab Sports Tournament ended in a carnival-like atmosphere in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday (21 October).
GVs Team marching along carrying picture of President Assad of Syria and watched by crowds at end of fifth Pan-Arab games, Damascus, Syria (2 shots)
MV Teams marching carrying flags with band playing (2 shots)
MVs Teams marching (2 shots)
MV Teams marching past waving hands and TV cameraman filming (2 shots)
MV Teams gather in centre of arena
MV Games flag taken down from mast
GV Illuminated clock and Arab sign on wall
GV Arab dancers (5 shots)
MVs Syrian folk dancers performing (5 shots)
SPORT - GENERAL
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Background: The fifth Pan-Arab Sports Tournament ended in a carnival-like atmosphere in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday (21 October).
SYNOPSIS: The tournament was held in the Al-Abasiein stadium, which was especially built for the occasion. It started on the 6th of October with athletes from 15 Arab nations taking part.
There'd been keen competition during the sporting events, but all rivalry was forgotten as the teams marched around the huge stadium for the last time and bid farewell to the crowd of 40,000 people.
Prime Minister Abdul-Rahman Khleifawi was among the many spectators who watched the tournament flag taken down. It will next be flown at the sixth tournament to be held in Casa Blanca, Morocco, in 1980. But though the ceremony meant that many newly found friends would be leaving soon for their own countries, the night was only just starting and everyone joined in the festive mood.
Although all the competing countries were Arab nations, all have varied and ancient customs and dances, and as the groups performed intricate folklore exhibitions there were roars of approval from the crowd.
Although military police had been on duty throughout the tournament there was no trouble.