The story of Hakawati

'ALMAZ BY MOMO London' an irresistible gourmet experience in the Maghrebin style of cuisine, located on the third floor of Dubai's premier fashion store Harvey Nichols celebrates the Holy month of Ramadan in a spectacular and traditional way with the ...

By Ramadan Special

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Published: Wed 19 Sep 2007, 10:51 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:50 PM

legendary epics of Rashid Al Halak also known as Abu Shadi the Hakawati' (storyteller).

Al Hakawati is a Syrian term for this poet, actor, comedian, historian and storyteller, its root is the Hikaya (fable or story). Using his own annotated manuscript text and a few costumes and props, Abu Shadi the hakawati (storyteller) breathes renewed life into the epics of Arab literature.

The Hakawati's craft is a dying one, and at the 'Almaz by Momo London' you can find the single remaining regularly performing Hakawati in all of Damascus, and experts say, in all of Syria. With vivid and vigorous imagery the epics of folktales, fairy tales, biographies of Arab personalities ancient to modern, men and women told in colloquial Arabic, the Hakawati sits facing his audience, book in one hand, cane in the other sometimes reciting from memory, sometimes interjecting poems, jokes and commentary.

Abu Shadi, the storyteller begins his evening's narrative on level 3 in Harvey Nichols and will continue in Almaz by Momo London. This month, the heroic epics from early Arab history make up most of the repertoire of the Hakawati, including the adventures of Al Zahr Rukn Al-Din Baybars, most eminent of the 13th Century Mamluk sultans, the romance of 'Antar Ibn Shaddad, a pre-Islamic hero and poet that often talks about chivalry values, courage, heroism in battle, and old Syrian tales.

Almaz by Momo London will also be serving a special menu during this time for Iftar. For bookings and reservations contact: +971 4 409 8877

The height of living large

ENJOY A sumptuous Iftar at Dunes Café Shangri-La in Dubai, during Ramadan.

An extensive selection of Ramadan favourites include Arabic mixed grill, a Foul station, Shawarma and Falafel sandwich station all for only Dh144 per person inclusive of unlimited local Arabic beverages. After Iftar, the international buffet will be available from 20:45h to 23:30h for Dh175 per person inclusive of unlimited selected beverages.

Prices are inclusive of 10% Municipality fees and 10% service charge.

Likewise, experience a traditional Moroccan Family Iftar at Marrakech. Enjoy bowls of wholesome Harira soup accompanied with sumptuous breads, tables laden with traditional Moroccan salads and fluffy pastries stuffed with mince meat and almonds.

Experience the savoury sweet customary pastilla and complete your meal with a variety of Moroccan sweets. The Moroccan Family Iftar is available daily during the month of Ramadan for Dh144 per person inclusive of unlimited selected beverages.

Price is inclusive of 10% Municipality fees and 10% service charge. For further information and reservations, call (04) 405 2703.

Stay in a luxurious one-bedroom suite for Dh1,499 ++ per night and experience hospitality as only Shangri-La can offer. Suite guests also enjoy access to exclusive Horizon Club Lounge, private Health Club and indoor infinity pool.

Experience novelty at Novotel

EXPERIENCE A delectable Iftar buffet with an extensive choice of traditional Ramadan dishes and beverages at Dh90 per person at the Le Jardin Restaurant, Novotel hotel in Abu Dhabi.

For Sohour, Le Jardin offers two succulent options: light menu at Dh50 or lavish menu at Dh75 per person (plus 10% service charge and 6% tourism fees). Possibility of group's booking and private functions at Le Jardin Private Dining Room.

During this Holy month, for Iftar or Sohour, benefit from the outside catering treats of Arabic delights, traditional beverages, wide choice of menus and buffet set up.

For corporate events, the newly renovated ballroom can cater for up to 250 persons. The hotel's team can create a tailor-made function: seated dinner or buffet style with traditional Ramadan delicacies and beverages.

Le Beaujolais French bistro will be open after sunset during Ramadan. At the Mood Indigo Lounge, a live band will be performing at sunset.

Ramadan mystique at the Taj

TAJ PALACE hotel in Dubai makes an immaculate choice for your Ramadan break.

It promises the perfect way to experience Iftar at the Le Rendezvous restaurant. Choose a variety of sumptuous delicacies from the daily Taj Iftar Buffet at Dh95 per person and indulge in an oriental Ramadani atmosphere full of warmth and exceptional hospitality.

A lavish Arabic and international buffet will be set up with live cooking stations. There will also be Indian dishes on the buffet with daily variety. The Taj culinary team has also created a selection of delicious menus including specialty dishes from various regions of Middle East and India for private Iftars at the Al Khaimah ballroom or through outside catering with an authentic Ramadan style. Also shisha flavours can be enjoyed at the Topkapi restaurant.

Indian restaurant Handi and the Turkish-Arabic restaurant Topkapi remain open for the non-fasting guests enabling them to enjoy their regular lunch and dinner.

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