Artscape NEO Babylon in Abu Dhabi

 Babylonian Gardens. Restructured colouring of a sculptured relief. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Babylonian Gardens. Restructured colouring of a sculptured relief. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi will be hosting Artscape NEO Babylon on Thursday 23rd June, an evening of music, ancient poetry as well as workshops for children and adults.  Featuring performances by poet Omar Al Farra, Maqam virtuoso Farida Mohammad Ali and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, the event marks the final week of Splendours of Mesopotamia, the current exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat that has been running for the past three months celebrating the cultural riches of Mesopotamia. The exhibition ends on Monday, 27th June 2011.

Artscape NEO Babylon Programme

7-8 pm  Poetry by Omar Al Farra
Omar Al Farra is a Syrian poet born in Palmyra in 1949. He started writing classical Arabic poetry at the age of 14. At a later stage, Omar Al Farra began to incorporate Bedouin roots in his poetry. Omar worked in education for 20 years, then dedicated himself full time to his poetry writing and performances that have been presented in several Arab countries and internationally.

Omar will recite Bedouin and contemporary poetry and take listeners across generations of Arabic poetry and stories. He will perform six diwans (long poems) in classical Arabic and Bedouin dialect, reflecting his roots in the Beni Sakher tribe.

8-10 pm   Music by Farida Mohammad Ali and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble
Farida Mohammad Ali, described as ‘the mother of all Maqam’, is one of a handful of artists to have mastered the ancient musical discipline of Maqam which is traditionally performed by men. The study of Maqam music is a lifestyle pursuit as singers must develop not only a command of complex melodies and scales but also the scripture and philosophy behind them. (Read an interview with Farida Mohammad Ali with The Guardian.)

6-9 pm   Workshops
Workshops will include activities for youth and adults pertaining to stories and objects of Splendours of Mesopotamia.

Splendours of Mesopotamia exhibition introduces the history of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, a crucial region in the development of human civilisation. Through trade and contact over long distances, Mesopotamia became a great junction at the very centre of civilization, where art and literature flourished and it is considered the birthplace of the first truly ‘international cities’. The objects featured in Splendours of Mesopotamia are on loan from the British Museum and Al Ain National Museum. This video will give you a brief introduction to what is on display. 

 

Event details

Artscape Neo Babylon

Date and timings: 23rd June, 7pm - 10pm (Workshops from 6pm)

Location: Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi (location map)

Free entry. 

Phone: +971 2 6575900

The ArtBus will be attending this event from Dubai. Booking details here

Splendours of Mesopotamia

Date and timings: Open till 27th June 2011, 10am - 8pm 

Location: Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi (location map)

Free entry. 

Artscape NEO Babylon

Splendours of Mesopotamia

British Museum

Al Ain National Museum

Manarat Al Saadiyat

Farida Mohammad Ali and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble

(Omar Al Farra image via Champress.net