Music and song fest set to break cultural isolation of Palestine

SHARJAH — The Conference of Arab Music and Song Festivals, organised by Yabous Productions in collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, will be held from April 20 to 24 at the Cultural Palace as part of the seventh Sharjah Arts Biennial.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 20 Apr 2005, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:06 PM

The main objective of the conference is to cement greater cooperation between various Arab music and song festivals, and between Arab cultural establishments and talented Arab musicians, by encouraging joint activities and musical productions.

The conference will focus on fund raising by Yabous Productions to support their activities in occupied territories and expand their scope. The conference will also aim at encouraging exchange of expertise between artistes, encourage participation in all Arabic music festivals, and promoting better media coverage of the events.

The conference, more importantly, would seek to break the isolation of Palestinian musicians and cultural establishments. Yabous Productions, like much of the occupied territories, had suffered through three years of forced inactivity due to the constant closure of territories and the state of siege that the Palestinians have been living under. In fact, the non-profit establishment is taking part in the Sharjah Biennial for the first time since 2002.

Rania Khoury, Director of Yabous Productions, told Khaleej Times that Yabous came into being in 1995 when a number of artistes and culture activists from East Jerusalem decided to create a body to support performing arts in the city. In April 1997, Yabous Productions was officially registered as a non-profit organisation.

“Our main objectives are to further develop and promote cultural activities in Palestine in general and East Jerusalem in particular, recapture the city’s cultural glory, enhance networking at regional and international levels to promote cross-cultural exchange and give the youth of East Jerusalem a new perspective on their city,” Khoury said.

She said Yabous also aims to revive some of the unique historical sites of East Jerusalem, contribute to the development of cultural, educational, economic and tourist life of the city, acquaint tourists with different aspects of Palestinian culture and arts to reflect the human dimension of the city and contribute towards building a strong base for cultural work and activities, in cooperation with other cultural organisations. Yabous Productions is also working on distribution of high quality Palestinian CD productions aimed at projecting Palestinian musical culture, and promoting Palestinian artistes worldwide.

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