Memory of the Emirati Song Returns to Al Jahili Fort for its Fifth Edition

  • The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will present a series of evenings celebrating traditional Emirati music and poetry with Oraib Hamdan 

As part of Al Ain’s programme of cultural events and activities, the Memory of the Emirati Song series will return for its fifth edition on Friday 16 March 2018, with performances by Emirati singer Oraib Hamdan. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Memory of the Emirati Song explores the traditional songs and poems that are deeply connected to the history and heritage of the Emirate.

Oraib is renowned for her Khaleeji music and inimitable voice in the Gulf Region and has performed for many poets, and dignitaries including HRH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the poet Ghayahib .

The musical evenings will include melodies and compositions dating back as far as the 1950s and 1970s, including traditional songs that originated as embellishments to life’s old practices and customs such as Al Khtfah and Al Nahma that were associated with fishing and pearl diving, Al Wannah and Al Taghrooda of the desert life, as well as Al Ayyalah, which marked significant events like weddings and celebrations. During that period, the UAE witnessed the rise of many distinctive talented voices that produced songs and poems that uphold a significant influence on society today.

Traditional songs and poems are vital to the community as they play a socio-cultural role in shaping the collective memory of successive generations of the UAE. Often written by leaders, the songs and poems serve as a document that express their wisdom and experience, embodying the nation’s architectural, economic and educational renaissance. The Emirati folk songs originated in the 1950’s from three poetic pillars – poetry, melody and voice.

Poetry: Emirati folk singers demonstrate both loyalty and deference to their contemporaries, as much as to previous generations of poets. This dedication inspires journeys of artistic discovery that navigates a time before the widespread availability of books and the plethora of new media tools available today. Far from the formulaic and often materialistic popular music of today, Emirati folk songs represent works of art in their own right, featuring rich and carefully blended cultural, spatial and artistic aspects that enrich and refine popular taste.

Melody: inspired by traditional sea shanties and the ancient romantic songs of the Bedouin, known as Al Wannah, Emirati singers have developed original melodies that retain the authentic melodies of the past.

Voice: traditional folk singing employs a warm voice, soft in enunciation and unique in tone; the embodiment of the natural environment in which they are created. The artists who perform the songs are consumed by their performances, driven by a passion and dedication to the art form, unhindered by materialistic aspirations.

The Al Ain cultural programme has been curated to highlight as the cultural heartland of the    nation and the home to the UAE’s only UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, Al Ain is also known as the Oasis City, and one of the few places in the Emirates that preserves and promotes historic sites as well as celebrates the UAE’s intangible heritage, whose spirit is alive and very much still felt today across the city.

With activities across Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain National Museum, Al Qattara Arts Centre, Souq Al Qattara, as well as around the city, the programme extends across educational and recreational activities beginning this month and running until May 2018.

Full details and timings of the Event

Al Jahili Fort

16th March

19:00- 21:00

Free entry