Leaving War Behind, Crowds Stampede to Arab Music Fest
The 10th Arab Music Festival and Conference began with a bang on Thursday at Cairo's Opera House, which saw fans flood the grand hall despite the terrorist attacks in the US and the war in Afghanistan, according to AFP.
The heavy attendance, which prompted some participants to stand during the opening ceremony, shocked observers who had predicted that the recent developments would impact the festival, said the agency.
Earlier, the events had an obvious influence on the Cairo Film Festival, which witnessed slim audience attendance despite the celebration of its silver jubilee.
As part of honoring Egyptian artist Laila Murad, the Art Academy Ballet Dance troupe performed dances to the tunes of several songs including Habib Al Rouh (Spirit Love), Ana Albi Dalili (My Heart, My Guide), Ya Khail and Abgad Hawwaz. Other songs were also sung by Abdel Haleem Nwairah.
Ten leading Arab musicians are scheduled to be honored at the festival. These include Murad and Naser Al Ansari and the festival visionary, who were honored at the opening ceremony. Poet Ahmed Shafiq Kamel, singer Sabah Fakhri, composer Ibrahim Ragab and Moroccan researcher Abdel Aziz Abdel Jalil will be honored at the closing ceremony, at which the Egyptian singer Medhat Saleh will perform a concert.
The event's contest includes new voices singing Kad Ma Bahibbak Zaalan Minnak (I Love You the Same as I'm Angry With You) composed by Mohammed Othman and Ana Hawait Wastahwait - a work traditionally performed by the late Egyptian singer Sayyed Darwish.
The festival prizes amount to $2,800.
Among the participants are Sabah Fakhri and Safwan Al Bahlawan from Syria and Galal Harb, Mohammed Amin, May Farouq, Afaf Radhi, Amal Maher, Ghada Ragab and Ahmed Al Sunbati from Egypt. This is in addition to Camellia Jubran from Palestine, Rajaa Balemlih from Morocco, Thekra from Tunisia, Wael Jassar from Lebanon and Faridah from Iraq.
The Arabic Music Conference will address many issues including musical improvisation, pop tunes in children’s songs, and the theory of Arabic music through the books of Abi Yaacoub Al Kindi.
The festival concerts and conference will continue for 10 days – Albawaba.com
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