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6th Abu Dhabi Music And Arts Festival Showcased Community Groups Across The Emirates

Bilad Al Khair theme brings the festival from Abu Dhabi to the Emirates

This year the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, which closed on Thursday evening, celebrated the community values of Bilad al Khair. Through hosting free, unticketed community events across the Emirates, the festival provided a platform for community groups and became a celebration of the UAE. The UAE is known as amongst its citizens as Bilad Al Khair, or the land of blessings, owing to its wise and just leadership, secure citizens, and bountiful natural resources. Fundamental to a secure citizen is a distinguished education, cultural sensitivity and respect in order to sow tolerance and compassion. As such, for the first time this year and for each year moving forward, the Festival commemorates the spirit of Bilad Al-Khair, by bringing together leading cultural organisations and community groups from across the UAE to celebrate their efforts in benefiting society. These community activities supported the festival’s dazzling array of opera, dance, classical and Arabic music events, visual arts and education programme. Organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the festival ran from 21 March and 2 April 2009. Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and the Festival, explains: “Fundamental to this year’s festival was the concept of Bilad Al Khair, the land of blessings. The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival became a celebration of this by bringing together leading cultural organisations and community groups from all over the UAE to recognize their efforts in benefiting society. ”Taking the festival from Abu Dhabi to the Emirates was a huge success. There are so many talented community music and arts groups working very hard across the UAE and I am delighted that the festival showcased these to a wider audience. “Although in just its first year, the community programme has quickly established itself as a key part of the festival and we look forward to supporting more community groups in the years to come, as the festival develops into a truly nationwide festival and celebration of the UAE.” The festival also had a strong educational component this year. The education programme included student workshops at the British School led by celebrated cellist Matthew Barley, performances of Angelina Ballerina by the English National Ballet, Live Music Now workshops with students at two Abu Dhabi special needs centres, as well as pre-concert talks for the festival concert programme. Special appearances were also be made by artists performing during the festival, who lectured at leading schools and universities in Abu Dhabi.

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