Lakbira Al-Tunisi (Abu Dhabi)
With an impetus of events, activities, performances, chants and sounds from the past, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi yesterday inaugurated its new session of the Al Hosn Festival, and will continue until December 4, with a package of impressive platforms, telling the stories of the ancestors in an exceptional atmosphere. With the fragrance of oud, incense and dukhoon, the region’s most prominent cultural event welcomed visitors of different nationalities and ages, reviewing stories of the past, present and future, and reflecting scenes that live in people’s hearts and form part of their memories.
The ancient edifice in the capital, Abu Dhabi, glows brightly, celebrating the form and content within the annual Al Hosn Festival, to create remarkable community movement and heritage paintings that mimic the lives of ancestors and reflect their creativity. The festival constitutes a view that links the past, the present and the future, and is a milestone in the cultural festival industry, which aims to introduce heritage in a creative form, through a set of arts, reviews and activities to provide a diverse experience that revives the past with its ancient and contemporary handicrafts, through various platforms.
On the first day, the Al Hosn Festival attracted visitors in remarkable numbers, and they toured its activities, which numbered more than 120 events, which will continue during the 10-day period, including 12 live performances within contemporary performing arts, and more than 30 handicraft, artistic and heritage workshops.
Randa Omar bin Haider, director of festivals and cultural platforms at the “Culture and Tourism”, said that the Al Hosn Festival is expected to witness an increasing number of visitors this year, allowing family and friends to enjoy family scenes and musical performances that add their positivity, in addition to major concerts that will be witnessed by the main theater. Including Eida Al-Menhali’s concert today, Friday, and Hamad Al-Amiri’s concert on December 2, and cinematic shows presented by Image Nation in the open air, through the festival’s transitional section.
Among the distinguished and exceptional events organized by the festival outside its arenas and which began its activities, the display of 50 classic cars in the framework of the celebration of the golden jubilee of the UAE, and its journey began from Abu Dhabi Corniche to Qasr Al Hosn in a procession that gave a festive atmosphere to the city. The public enjoyed the passing of cars marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state, in a scene that embodied the life of the city when these cars roamed its streets decades ago.
Entering the Al Hosn Festival feels like you’re on a land where time stands still, where live performances reenact past lives with artisanal performances and interactive learning experiences that celebrate ancestors and their way of life. Reem Al Neyadi, Head of the Cultural Programs Department for Abu Dhabi Festivals, said: All concepts are present to make the scene panoramic, shortening a success story and crowning the festival as an essential element in the culture agenda in the UAE. Which consolidates Abu Dhabi’s position as a distinct cultural destination, in addition to the festival’s contribution as a platform for presenting artistic experiences and public participation.
The Al Hosn Festival Square witnesses the embodiment of the lives of grandparents and fathers, and constitutes a living example of the nobility of the Emirates and the authenticity and traditions of its people, as well as reflecting its aspirations towards more creativity, as the festival forms a bridge between Abu Dhabi’s rich heritage and its vibrant present, beginning with scenes of reviving the characters who lived between the pillars Al Hosn, through to displays of handicrafts in the House of Artisans, and components of contemporary creativity within the displays of the Cultural Complex, retail spaces and artworks.
The festival re-represents historical scenes of daily life in performances featuring actors wearing traditional costumes with props that paint a vivid picture of the stories we knew about the life of the desert, oases and the coast, and through various components such as the school and folk games, passing through mourning and the first shops where the alleys are filled with the smell of mud and wicker to transport the visitor through a sense Smell to a past inhabiting the pulse of Abu Dhabi in the past, where the popular games that added fun and joy.
Vast areas designed to simulate the life of the ancients and put the audience at the heart of the past through its various environments. The festival recounts the life of the ancestors who harnessed nature for their benefit and made their tools by virtue of their high skills, where visitors can watch the people of the sea and their crafts, including the manufacture of bearings, shellfish, salty, gargoor, fishing nets, gauze boat sails and oars in the middle The chants of “Al-Nahma”. The visitor imagines how divers used to go on pearl-searching trips, and see the marine Ayala, which is an essential component of the local intangible heritage.
Through the desert environment, visitors discover another aspect of the traditions and skill of ancestors who recognized the exceptional qualities of predatory birds, and learned to harness their unique hunting skills, as falconry is a revered sport that symbolizes the values of courage, honor and nobility. The festival allows learning about the customs of the people of the desert through coffee, rabab, Taghrooda, hospitality, Sadu, spinning and butter industries, inside the majlis, which welcomes everyone to learn about the heritage from local experts who showcase the arts of performing Al-Ayala, Al-Razfa and Al-Yawla.
Through the buildings of the Al Hosn area and its famous outdoor spaces, the festival presents 3 distinct concepts, starting with the “Past” section, which revolves around heritage, telling folk stories and handicrafts at Qasr Al Hosn and the House of Craftsmen, and a tour dedicated to photography and writing enthusiasts. The House of Artisans holds competitions that focus on Emirati excellence in culinary and arts.
As for the “Transitional Phase” section, it presents the exchange process, and hosts the “Village of Makers.” It also witnesses outdoor film screenings, the second edition of the Arabic coffee tournaments, and lessons to master Arabic calligraphy from the “House of Calligraphy” center.
The Present and Future section is an ideal platform for interactive dialogue on the ever-evolving urban landscape and includes a three-dimensional installation by French artist Cyril Lancillin. Exhibitions for visual arts are held in the cultural complex, and they include 3 exhibitions inside.
In its indoor and outdoor theaters, the Cultural Foundation presents a number of performances by famous artists and musicians, along with a range of installations and interactive workshops in the square and in the children’s library.
The “Zahba House” is very popular, and it displays the rituals that were followed by the women of the Emirates in the past in preparing the bride, her costumes, ornaments and adornments that mothers and grandmothers excelled in preparing from natural materials. And witness the definition Baldkhon and perfume and gold. With the richness of traditional industries, the Talli, Sif Al-Khoos and woolen craftsmanship appear, making the festival a space outside time.
A stream of activities addressing the five senses, prompting visitors to explore their past practices, including the “old shop” that displays various goods and allows the purchase of spices, sugar, grains, herbs, tea and coffee in a festive atmosphere. The designs of the shops suggest that we are in a time other than the one we live in, where the designers of the “good shops” did not neglect the interest in traditional decorations and the setting of the old balance, just as life was in the past.
Arabic Coffee Championships
The “Arabian Coffee Championships” event returns this year, which was previously launched by “Culture and Tourism” in December 2019, based on the success it had in developing the value of coffee and protecting it as an essential element in the Emirati culture. The tournaments continue to test the knowledge and confidence of contestants from across the region, in The heritage of coffee, selection and roasting of its beans, processing and serving origins.
Blacksmithing and pottery
The blacksmith’s shop features black walls and a design that draws the attention of visitors and draws them to get acquainted with a craft that was taken by ancestors as a profession, in a place where heat is mixed with experience, strength and precision, where the blacksmith makes daily tools for cooking, weapons and metal processing, using historical skills dating back 5,000 years. As for pottery, it reflects the skill of the Emirati craftsman, who transforms a block of clay into a beautiful plate, vase or sculpture.