Abdullah Al Ruwaished and Balqees Fathi Enthral Audience at Al Majaz Amphitheatre

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Popular artists perform as part of Sharjah World Music Festival 2018

Al Majaz Amphitheatre – a subsidiary of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) – yesterday (Friday) hosted a spectacular twin performance by renowned Kuwaiti singer Abdullah Al Ruwaished and Emirati diva Balqees Fathi, with the virtuoso artists rocking a huge crowd of Arabic music lovers with a selection of their greatest hits.
The performance was the latest evening of the fifth Sharjah World Music Festival (SWMF 2018), which was presented by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in a strategic partnership with Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and organised by Al Majaz Amphitheatre.

The outdoor concert was attended by an impressive number of music lovers who came from around the world to the iconic venue where they sang along with Al Ruwaished and Balqees as the two popular performers gave renditions of their favourite numbers.

HE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of SGMB, honoured Abdullah Al Ruwaished, known as the ‘Ambassador of the Gulf Song’ and the award-winning soprano Balqees for their participation in the concert, which formed an inspiring addition to the iconic Al Majaz Amphitheatre’s programme of hosting talented artists from around the world.

Opening the Arabic night of this year’s SWMF – Sharjah’s most popular musical event -, soprano Balqees Fathi took to the stage to give a wonderful rendition of ‘In Yehrimona,’ a song by Yemeni singer and composer Ahmed Fathi. This was followed by her greatest hit ‘Ya Hawa,’ which received thunderous applause and cheering from her enthusiastic fans.

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Fathi then continued with a repertoire of her most beautiful songs. In a touching gesture she paid tribute to the late iconic singer Abu Baker Salem by singing three of his most appreciated numbers: ‘Dhabi Al Yemen’ ‘Mata Ashofak’ and Ya Zare’en Al Enab,’ to loud applause from the crowd.

Showcasing her heart-warming voice that has won her legions of fans, Balqees performed the Lebanese legend Fairuz’s songs ‘Nassam Alina Al Hawah’ and ‘Rajeen Ya Hawa,’ along with some of her most popular hits, including ‘Majnoun’ and ‘Yekfi.’ She concluded with the traditional Arabic number ‘Daggo Khabiti.’

Balqees told the enthusiastic audience that her appearance in Sharjah brought to the fore beautiful childhood memories, stressing that the emirate is a beacon of the East and a capital of culture and art. “My presence at Al Majaz Amphitheatre is a significant addition to my career. It is an iconic cultural theatre in the GCC and the greater Arab region and is a venue that has hosted the biggest names in music from around the world,” she said.

Welcomed on stage with roaring applause, Abdullah Al Ruwaished treated his fans with a selection of his most appreciated songs. With his dulcet and mellifluous voice, the accomplished artist began his performance with ‘La Telomonah,’ one of the biggest hits from his long career.

Al Ruwaished continued to perform popular numbers from his catalogue, including ‘Rehlati,’ ‘Abeek,’ ‘Tasawwar,’ ‘Donya Al Walah,’ ‘Lee Mar Al Helo’ and ‘Taal,’ the latter of which was demanded by the crowd. He concluded the night with the song ‘Ma Fi Ahad Mertah,’ which he used to sing as a duet with the late singer Abu Bakr Salem. His tribute to the departed artist was met loud applause and cheering during a standing ovation.

At the end of his performance, Al Ruwaished thanked the organisers of the festival for its excellent organisation, noting that Al Majaz Amphitheatre has become a renowned cultural destination as manifested by the impressive selection of singers and musicians it hosts annually.

Al Majaz Amphitheatre has emerged as a leading destination for cultural and artistic performances in the UAE and beyond. Boasting world-class infrastructure and acoustics, the venue has drawn attention from international cultural figures and artists through its role in communicating Sharjah’s cultural message.
The seven-day SWMF 2018 was hailed a magnificent success, with its nightly concerts and performances bringing people of various cultural backgrounds together to enjoy the best of the world’s musical talent.

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