The Gulf Today (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), March 18, 2012
Committed to sharing the delight of traditional Arabic art forms with new generations of children and young people, the Abu Dhabi Festival’s Community Programme is hosting a range of workshops and performances focused on storytelling. Reviving the art of storytelling, as well as traditional Emirati culture and customs, the Abu Dhabi Festival activities will reach communities across the Emirates.
In collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, storyteller extraordinaire Abdulaziz Al Musallam will lead a session entitled “Tales of the Emirates at Dar Zayed.”
Breathing new life into traditional Emirati fairy tales, the children of Dar Zayed Orphanage in Al Ain will be entertained by stories full of mystical creatures and enchanting adventures. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the festival will join forces with The Kharareef (Storytelling) Club at Zayed University to celebrate World Storytelling Day. A packed cultural day, hosted at a farm in Al Ain, will give students the opportunity to participate in storytelling in its original environment as well as the chance to reflect on Emirati traditions, customs and food preparation.
Speaking about the importance of maintaining traditional art forms, the Abu Dhabi Festival’s Founder and Artistic Director, Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, explained: “Each year, the festival’s thriving Community Programme celebrates the legacy of ‘Bilad Al Khayr — The Land of Blessings’ from the late Sheikh Zayed.
Storytelling has long been an important part of Arabic culture.
“Through its variety of storytelling initiatives, the Abu Dhabi Festival realises its ongoing commitments to both re-awakening an awareness of traditional art forms amongst the next generation, but also providing opportunities for them to uphold customs and learn about preserving their traditions,” she said.
Subjects Covered: storytelling festival