The Oud plays to an international tune

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 04:12 GMT
Abu Dhabi Festival
Abu Dhabi Festival

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation announced today its support for the First International Oud Forum held in Cairo, from 16 to 19 September, at the Cairo Opera House. This event is under the patronage of the Egyptian minister of Culture Mr. Farouk Husni. The forum will be hosting concerts, workshops and seminars highlighting the history, complexity and importance of the Oud it will also feature acclaimed international Oud artists, including the prolific Naseer Shamma.

The forum aims to highlight the contemporary importance of the instrument and play a role in its preservation as a symbol of Arabic cultural identity. Most importantly, the forum organisers aim to emphasise that the Oud is not only a musical instrument, but an integral element of the Arabic cultural identity and heritage. The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, as main supporter of the event, is proud to promote Arabic music and cultural heritage on the international stage.

HE Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation commented:

"The Oud is an enduring image of Arab culture and a mirror to our rich heritage. The knowledge of past centuries has been handed down from generation to generation through its notes; while age-old stories have been carried across the lands upon its strings. The Oud is a fundamental part of our collective identity and exemplifies the bonds that bind us together in a spirit of peace and harmony. It is an ambassador of peace, enlightenment and tolerance, which is embraced today by audiences across the world."

On the importance of this sponsorship, she added:

"Abu Dhabi Festival is delighted to support the 1st International Arab Oud Forum, an important initiative that I sincerely hope will grow strong with each successful edition.

Under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Festival is committed to the continuing evolution of the arts, including Arabic music. Hand-in-hand with other international festivals and in partnership with the region's conservatoires, conductors, composers, and musicians, the Festival nurtures new audiences, grooms young prodigies and celebrates prolific talents."

HE Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo and the Abu Dhabi Festival are committed to nurturing the invigoration of Arab cultural heritage in all its forms and, in doing so, upholding the spirit of 'Bilad Al Khayr' or 'The Land of Blessings' - the legacy of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan upon which the UAE was founded. Each year, the Festival delights in sharing the icons of Arab arts and music with the world.

"The 1st International Arab Oud Forum opens an exciting new chapter for the Oud. This is a rare opportunity for its masters to focus the region's and the world's attention on the awesome legacy and limitless potential of this unique instrument. On behalf of Abu Dhabi Festival and ADMAF, I am delighted to support this important new event on the global music calendar. Let it bring joy to players and audiences alike." Said HE Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo

The artists participating in this event come from all over the Arab world including: Charbel Rouhana from Lebanon; Bashar Al Hassan, Sabsabi brothers, Raja'a Kahl, Juan Ali and Bahr Ghazi from Syria; Said El Sharaiby from Morocco; Hazem Chahine, Mohammed Abu Zekri, Fathi Amin, Amr Mustafa, Ajeeb, Karim Samy, Youssef Darwish, Hassan Al Mennialawy and Nagi Nagi from Egypt; Aly Obeid and Amr Fawzi from the UAE; Mohammed Memtaz from Turkey; Jubran Trio from Palestine; Fawzi Monsheb, Khaled Mohamed Ali and Youssef Abbas from Iraq; Ashraf Awad from Sudan.

Artists and visitors can participate in a series of workshops and seminars, running between 11am and 6pm each day, which will revolve around the craftsmanship, history and importance of the Oud. Concerts will start at 8 pm every night of the event. 

Background Information

Abu Dhabi Festival

Abu Dhabi Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The Festival is the UAE's foremost celebration of art and culture bringing together the greatest musicians, performers and artists from both the East and West in the heart of the United Arab Emirates. It seeks to reflect the determination of the capital to take the lead in cultural understanding.

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