Over the past month, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has been committed to reviving the art of hakawati, with a series of “Al Jawhara” performances presented in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. This engaging fictional historic play, directed by Hakawati or storyteller Ahmed Yousef, is now set to show in Abu Dhabi, completing the UAE tour with a special grand finale performance at the Abu Dhabi Theatre – Heritage Village on 2 October 2009.
The traditional craft of hakawati once featured as a regular part of Arabian life with these colourful storytellers exciting and delighting local communities by bringing to life popular stories and fables. Through their year-round educational programme, ADMAF is working to revive this art-form and to engage even more people in local art and culture activities locally and internationally. In July, ADMAF presented a special Arabian storytelling event for 50 students from primary schools within the city of Manchester as part of the Manchester International Festival. Last month ADMAF continued with their engaging community programme that reaches out across all of the Emirates, with two successful performances of ‘Al Jawhara” play in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
“Al Jawhara” or Jewel in English, reflects the rich and varied history of the Arabian Gulf and portrays the jewel of the soul so often found within humans. The play, which is set in the 1500’s and charts the historic events during the period of Portuguese settlement, will be performed by the Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped with participation of disabled students as actors. ADMAF is a strong supporter of special needs organisations and earlier this year signed a partnership agreement with The Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs and Minors' Affairs (ZHO) to promote recreational and cultural opportunities in the performing arts for individuals with disabilities and special needs.
Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kamoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said:
“Hakawati is an integral part of Arabic culture and the revival of the craft is very important in order for us to nurture a rich and successful future. This extraordinary play has been captivating audiences throughout the UAE, and we are pleased to present the final performance in Abu Dhabi for even more people to be inspired. I am sure they will be thrilled by the talented work of Ahmed Yousef, a specialist in his field dedicated to the promotion and continuation of hakawati.”
The final performance of “Al Jawhara” will take place at the Abu Dhabi Theatre – Heritage Village on the Abu Dhabi Breakwater. Doors open at 8:00pm, play starts at 8:30pm and all members of the public are invited to attend.
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