x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

The summer brings changing weather ... and culture

Celebrating life and cultural diversity to overcome death is a characteristic of the region

Dancers of the Swiss Bejart Ballet Lausanne company perform' at the Beiteddine Art Festival 2017 in Lebanon.  Wael Hamzeh / EPA
Dancers of the Swiss Bejart Ballet Lausanne company perform' at the Beiteddine Art Festival 2017 in Lebanon. Wael Hamzeh / EPA

From Marrakesh and Amman, to Cairo, Baalbek and Carthage, it is the time of year when stages shine with performances that celebrate the cultural diversity of the world and that of the region. A region where, so often, destruction and death overshadow the beauty and richness of a longstanding love for culture.

But come summer, culture takes centre stage in the Roman temples of Bacchus and Jupiter in Lebanon, in the Roman amphitheatre of Amman and on the modern stages of national theatres across Arab countries.

Despite the instabilities that the region is facing, music, arts and culture remain of great significance to the people of the Middle East.

In the UAE, festival season begins when the weather starts to cool down, bringing a variety of beats and rhythms to the capital. A lineup of Arab and Western artists grace the stages of the capital from November until April, from rock and jazz to classical music festivals and performing arts. The acclaimed Iraqi oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma plays the tunes of this diversity year after year in Abu Dhabi, with artists and poets from around the world, in a stylistic fusion proving that music can unite the world, the time of a symphony.

The Dubai Opera reflects the core part culture plays in the Gulf. Putting the spotlight on various performances, from Hussein Al Jasmi to the Marriage of Figaro.

Promoting acceptance of the other through cultural exposure and dialogue is paramount to spreading tolerance. Simply because, one can only fight the darkness with light, death with life, and radicalism with diversity and enlightenment.