Arab heritage in limelight

DUBAI - The eighth theme week of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Heritage Surprises, was thrown open yesterday to families and children who marvelled at the musical extravaganza featuring the rich and diverse Arab-Islamic culture and heritage at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) building.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Fri 8 Aug 2003, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:11 PM

The opening ceremony was attended by Shaikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, president, DCCI; Abdul Rahman Al Mutaiwee, Director-General, DCCI; Nuha Safar, Head of the Organising Committee of the Heritage Surprises from the DCCI; Saeed Mohammed Al Nabouda, CEO, DSS; Ibrahim Saleh, COO, DSS; and Laila Suhail, Project Director, DSS.

A musical performance, titled 'Arabian Pearls', directed by Kareem Hamza, showcased talented Emarati star Abdulla Saleh, who has also written it, with musical direction by Mohammed Malallah. Prior to the main event, the activities for the week commenced with open-air folkloric dances at 5pm in front of the DCCI building.

'Arabian Pearls', which was marked with colourful and vibrant folkloric dances, depicted the journey of a person from birth to marriage vis-a-vis his heritage at each stage of his life.

The folk dances included the cardha, a typical traditional marriage ceremony dance of Saudi Arabia; the Nubian tradition of Northern Sudan or baptism of the baby, where the baby is immersed in the Nile; and the so'bo of Egyptian tradition which is the naming ceremony after the seventh day.

Other scenes in the musical included the child's growing up years where he celebrates Eid in Qatari tradition, and as a man, gets exposed to the UAE tradition called 'tomina', as well as pearl diving in the Kuwaiti tradition.

The marriage ceremony of the groom was featured in a Bahraini tradition, while the marriage ceremony of the bride was held in the Lebanese tradition. The musical concluded with tabrika, the grand marriage ceremony in the Omani tradition.

A video clipping of the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was aired with a brief speech on the heritage of the UAE. It was followed by a ceremony honouring a person for memorising the Holy Quran. A fitting finale to the opening ceremony was a lively song and dance performance expressing the young children's love for Shaikh Zayed.

Meanwhile, a variety of programmes, creating a fusion of a diverse heritage and cultural facets of the Arabic-Islamic past have been lined up by the DCCI during Heritage Surprises.

Participating malls, such as Deira City Centre, Al Bustan Centre, BurJuman Centre, Mazaya Centre, Wafi Centre and Al Ghurair City will host folk renderings of artistes from Yemen, UAE, Egypt, Sudan and the Levant countries.

An exhibition of ancient postal stamps and coins will be held at the Mercato Mall which also host Arabic-styled hospitality tents offering qawah (Arabic coffee) and dates. Children will have an opportunity to meet legendary figures, including Ahmed bin Majed, Hatim Al Taey, Al Hamathani, Ishtar, Hannibal and Zriab, during Heritage Surprises that runs till August 13.

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