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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Literature and Music Festival kicks off a celebration of Arabic Language Day

The festival's aim is to promote creativity and originality, while showing how music and literature are intertwined

Lebanese poet and singer Jahida Wehbe. Photo by Youness Hamiddine
Lebanese poet and singer Jahida Wehbe. Photo by Youness Hamiddine

To help celebrate Arabic Language Day, the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, has announced the new Literature and Music Festival to be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island and Umm Al Emarat Park.

The event will be based around performing arts and music, and have a forum to showcase artists, scholars, writers, and musicians. There will also be musical and theatrical performances, plays, puppet shows and readings.

The aim of the Literature and Music Festival is to promote creativity and originality while showing how music and literature can influence and inspire each other through a selection of carefully curated performances.

“It seems right to expand on Arabic Language Day and develop our own festival around this date reflecting our traditions and heritage, expressed through music and literature,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. “We have a programme of cultural entertainment that can be enjoyed by all, including music, poetry and puppetry.”

Upcoming highlights from the first edition of the festival include:

December 18 at Manarat Al Saadiyat auditorium

An evening of poetry reading and oud tunes, featuring a poetry recital by Hamed Alawi AlHashmi and Ahmed AlMannaee and musicians from Bait Al Oud – the leading music academy in the region.

December 21 at Manarat Al Saadiyat

Lebanese singer Jahida Wehbe will be accompanied by a band of 10 musicians from France, Lebanon and the UAE. They will perform a combination of songs, texts and poems by Arab and international poets and writers, including Al Mutanabbi, Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Mahmoud Darwish, Khalil Gibran and Ahlam Mosteghanemi, as well as translations of famous literary pieces by Gunter Grass, Pablo Neruda and Lorca.

December 23 at Umm Al Emarat Park’s Children’s Garden

A shadow puppetry show titled The Gift will tell the unique story of an elephant that was gifted to Carolingian emperor Charlemagne by the Abbasid caliph Harun Al Rashid. The play narrates the journey of the elephant (the gift) from Baghdad to its new home as a token of friendship.

Activities are free and open to the public. They will be held from December 18 to 23 at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island and Umm Al Emarat Park

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