Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

Najwa Karam and Mohammed Abdo lead all-star online Eid concert series

Streaming on the MBC online platform Shahid, the concerts will be performed in empty venues due to Covid-19

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam will perform her first online concert during the Eid holidays. Courtesy Al Ittihad
Lebanese singer Najwa Karam will perform her first online concert during the Eid holidays. Courtesy Al Ittihad

Najwa Karam and Mohammed Abdo will perform virtual Eid concerts this week.

The Lebanese diva and legendary Saudi Arabian crooner will headline the Ma'ayadeen Ma'akoom (loosely translated to “celebrating Eid with you”) concert series, which also features Iraqi singer Majed Mohandis and Bahraini-Saudi artist Rashed Al Majed.

The concerts will be performed live, from Monday, May 25 to Thursday, May 28, from undisclosed empty venues and will be streamed exclusively through MBC’s Shahid online platform, under its paid subscription tier Shahid VIP.

Why are these shows a big deal?

While the online concerts model has been embraced in the region by mostly smaller independent artists, the Ma'ayadeen Ma’akoom concerts is the region’s most high-profile virtual music offering and features some of the cream of Arabic pop music talent.

While the news follows a similar Eid concert series running from an empty Al Majaz Amphitheatre from Monday, May 25 to Wednesday May 27 – featuring Emirati Mohamed Al Shehhi, Iraq singer-songwriter Hatem Al Iraqi and Lebanese pop star Yara – it will be the Ma'ayadeen Ma’akoom event that the industry will be keenly following.

This is down to the high profile players involved in organising the event, including the Saudi Arabian government’s General Entertainment Authority, giant record label Rotana and pan-Arab broadcaster MBC.

With the regional pop music industry hit hard by concert cancellations due to Covid-19, the success of the Ma'ayadeen Ma’akoom concerts could point the path forward for other big Arab acts who are yet to be convinced to take to the online stage.

Here is a look at the performance schedule:

Monday, May 25: Majid Al Mohandis (11pm UAE time)

The 48-year-old Iraqi singer’s success lies down to appealing to his mixed fan base. A dynamic performer, he can keep it smooth and soulful with ballads like Aatshan or keep it youthful with danceable numbers such as Bayni W Baynak and ­Saharni Hawaha.

Wednesday, May 27: Mohammed Abdo (12am UAE time)

Popularly known as “Fanan Al Arab” or “Artist of the Arabs” the Saudi Arabian singer, composer and oud player is considered a cultural treasure. His place in Arab pop music history is down to his often brilliant live performances and popularity of albums such as Masa’ Al Khair and Al Amakin.

Wednesday, May 27: Rashed Al Majed (11pm UAE time)

One of the hardest working artists in the regional music business. At 50 years of age, the Bahraini-Saudi crooner, musician and producer has about 40 records under his belt, as well as 28 studio albums. Al Majed's first album, Ah Ya Qalbi, came out in 1985, and his most recent was Moseeba, which dropped in 2013. UAE fans saw him last year when he performed as part of the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

Thursday, May 28: Najwa Karam (11pm UAE time)

It will be interesting to see how one Arab world’s most electrifying performers takes to the online concert concept. Najwa Karam concerts are fun affairs due to her brilliant chemistry with both her band and crowds. With no audience in the venue and her musicians spread further apart due to social distancing, how will Karam cope? The gig is worth checking out to find that answer.

For more details on the Ma'ayadeen Ma'akoom concerts go to www.shahid.net

Updated: May 21, 2020 07:58 AM

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