Five traditional religious troupes to perform during Ramadan Festival

ABU DHABI — Religious chanting is the centrepiece of the Ramadan Festival being organised in the capital by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) during the holy month.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Wed 27 Aug 2008, 1:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

The Arabian Melodies Festival will include five evenings with religious chanting groups from all over the Arab world.

The programme will be opened on September 4 by Hamza Shakour and the Chanters Association Band from Syria. Known throughout the Middle East, Hamza and the band are arriving in Abu Dhabi after a successful tour in Canada, the USA, Spain and Morocco.

The acclaimed Ibn Arabi Religious Chanting Troupe from Morocco will perform here on September 7.

The troupe was initially created to spread the teachings of the Grand Shaikh Muhyuddin, the "Imam of Sufis". Over the years, the troupe's music has developed, but its emphasis is still on preserving the tradition and rituals of the sacred music

On September 11, the Religious and Heritage Chanting Ensemble from Lebanon will make itself heard.

The ensemble also has a rich CV, with participation in many national Lebanese celebrations and three festivals of Praise of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Fez, Morocco. Some of their best appearances were in the Cairo Opera House in Egypt in 2002 and 2003.

Sham Troupe from Damascus, which would perform here on September 14, is another Syrian band concentrating on preserving Sufi, but also the Andalusian heritage. The 12 musicians are "responsible" for reviving the Shami tradition, Terza Rima and Qudoud music and chanting. Because of its diversity and modern approach to sacred music, Sham is now considered one of the leading young troupes in the Arab world.

The festival will conclude on September 18, with the performance of Ahmad Bukhatir of the UAE. Born in 1975 in Sharjah, Ahmad took up chanting in 1989 and by now, he has already released several albums, participated in festivals in the UK and the Gulf.

Apart from the chanting evenings, the ADACH will also present three lectures on Islamic subjects during the Ramadan festival. Mohammed Ratib Al Nabulsi from Syria will talk about the "Effect of Takleef in Islam" on September 3; Dr. Sua'ad Salih from Egypt will speak on "Muslim women between da'awa (call) and iftaa (religious advice)" on September 10; and Dr Omer Abdul Kafi from Egypt will lecture on "The believer — between human nature and divine law" on September 17. All events will start at 9.30pm at the Cultural Foundation. An exhibition featuring Layla Haber and her much-appraised woven carpets will be held throughout the festival from September 8 to September 30.

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