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Hiding inside his booth and moving the silhouettes around on sticks, Shadi al-Hallaq gave a proud performance Monday night after his disappearing art finally received international recognition.Syrians last week received news that their war-battered country's shadow theater has secured a coveted place on the United Nations' list of world treasures.The advent of digital entertainment as well as mass displacement due to conflict have contributed to the gradual decline of the art in Syria, the United Nations says. Only a few such performers existed in the country before the war broke out in 2011, and a leading shadow puppeteer has since gone missing.Since the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO classified his art form as "in need of urgent safeguarding," Hallaq said things were looking up for his art and its two stars.
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