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Abu Dhabi Festival launches community commitment

Abu Dhabi Festival launches community commitment

For the first time in its nine-year history, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 has launched with a focus on its thriving community programme.

March 11, 2012 1:32 by

Held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Festival’s first events got under way this Sunday with activities for the whole community in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region.

Inspired by the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Festival’s community programme celebrates the spirit of ‘Bilad Al Khayr’ (‘The Land of Blessings’).

Through the programme, the Festival aims to promote cultural and artistic expression across the Emirates.

This year, the Abu Dhabi Festival is themed ‘Connecting Cultures’, recognising the role artistic expression plays in building partnerships of mutual understanding between people from diverse cultures and traditions.

Central to the theme is the importance of partnership. The delivery of the Festival’s community programme is supported through a number of strategic partnerships that aim to build bridges of understanding and open windows to new experiences through the arts. Notable partners include Department of Municipal Affairs – Western Region Municipality Cleveland Clinic – Arts and Medicine Institute, Emirates Marine Environmental Group. Dar Zayed Orphanage, Ras Al Khaimah Special Needs Centre, Emirates Wildlife Society and Alliance Française amongst others.

The return of the ever-popular traditional art of storytelling is set to Festival launch with a bang. For the third year in a row, Ahmed Yousef and his traditional troupe of Hakawati actors will enthral youngsters and their parents at the Cultural Centre in Madinat Zayed, in the Western Region, in the performance tonight. ‘Hakawati: Stories of Al Tanboori’ will bring to life the mythical characters of Arabia through puppetry. Over the next two weeks, Hakawati will tour Ghayathi and Mirfa before travelling to Fujairah.

Also touring the Western Region will be Abu Dhabi’s Resuscitation Theatre. Hosting workshops at schools and colleges in Madinat Zayed, Ruwais and Mirfa, the sessions will give youngsters the opportunity to explore the theatre and dramatic arts. Putting theory into practice, Resuscitation Theatre will present a humorous adaptation of the classic comedy ‘The Rivals’ by Richard Sheridan. The cast and crew of this comedy of manners include aspiring Emirati talent.

Other programme highlights this week will include a visit to Dar Zayed Orphanage in Al Ain by storyteller extraordinaire Abdulaziz Al Musallam. Al Musallam will share traditional Emirati fairytales with the children in collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information. Meanwhile, the Festival will celebrate ‘World Storytelling Day’ in collaboration with The Kharareef (Storytelling) Club from Zayed University with a special event at an Emirati farm in Al Ain. Exploring the traditions and customs of the Emirates this will be a special opportunity to experience storytelling in its original environment.

Abu Dhabi Festival will run from 11th March 2012 to 6th April 2012 and will feature more than 150 events including workshops, performances, classes at locations across the seven Emirates.

Tickets for the Abu Dhabi Festival are still available.

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