Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel regales Jeddah music lovers

Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel performs in Jeddah on Thursday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 18 November 2017
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Lebanese pianist Michel Fadel regales Jeddah music lovers

JEDDAH: Lebanese composer and pianist Michel Fadel entertained his Saudi fans with a two-hour performance at Juman Park on Thursday.
This was the second concert for a famous Arab pianist to be held at Juman Park in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The first, for the well-known musician Omar Khairat, was in March.
Michel Fadel told Arab News afterward: “I am so glad and proud to be here tonight in Jeddah; I feel like it is the first concert ever in my life. Everyone was asking me ‘what are you going to do in Saudi Arabia, is it true that concerts are possible there?’ The audience was awesome and people here were really enjoying it.”
Fadel performed a number of songs by legends of Arabic and international music, such as Umm Kulthum, Fairuz and Andrea Bocelli.
Afnan Al-Najjar, a Saudi housewife, said: “I really enjoyed this classy, well-organized night.”
Faris Eskandarany, a project manager at KAEC, told Arab News: “This is not my first time attending a concert in Jeddah, as the first was for the great musician Omar Khairat. But what attracted me to today’s concert was that we are from the same generation and I used to see him on Star Academy on TV, but I never had the chance to attend any of his shows. So, it is a wonderful chance to have him here today.”
Fadel has been playing the piano since the age of three. He received his master’s degree in piano from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in 1998.
He studied musical composition and orchestra leadership in France at the Bologna Conservatory. In 2000, he took part in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood as an instrumentalist composer and won first prize in this category.
Fadel has worked with singers such as Elissa, Nancy Ajram, Carole Samaha, Nawal Al-Zoghbi, Ziad Botros, Adam and Nabil Shuail. He has played the piano at the concerts of Fairuz, Magda El-Roumi and Julia Boutros and has written soundtracks for several series, films and advertisements.
The concert was sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and E Plus, a Saudi entertainment company under the Okaz umbrella of companies that specializes in creating new events and concepts, and organizes international shows.
GEA has announced three similar concerts to be held by the end of the year for music legends Yanni, Khadim Al-Saher and Balqees.


Bangladesh to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia on military cooperation during Hasina’s visit

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was received by Riyadh Deputy Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Aziz on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Bangladesh to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia on military cooperation during Hasina’s visit

  • Hasina visited Saudi Arabia in April to witness the final march of the joint military forces
  • Saudi Arabia had been building a military alliance with Muslim countries in recent years and, especially after the Yemen crisis, this demand is now felt even more than before

DHAKA: Bangladesh is set to sign a deal to enhance military cooperation with Saudi Arabia during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s four-day visit to the Kingdom, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmood Ali said on Monday.
Hasina, along with her entourage, left Dhaka on Tuesday on a special Biman Bangladesh flight. The premier is visiting the Kingdom on the invitation of King Salman.
The memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation between the two countries is scheduled to be signed during the meeting of Sheikh Hasina and the Saudi king on Wednesday in Riyadh.
The foreign minister did not give further details of the deal.
Security analysts in Dhaka expressed their high expectations and welcomed any military cooperation with the Kingdom.
Maj. Gen. (retired) Abdur Rashid, a renowned Bangladesh security analyst, told Arab News that any deal with Saudi Arabia will bring Bangladesh closer to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) nations and during any emergency it will enable the country to seek military assistance from friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia.
“On the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh is receiving direct support from the OIC countries on different regional and international platforms. So this kind of military agreement with Riyadh will definitely help Bangladesh to gain more support from the Saudi-bloc countries in the Middle East to resolve the crisis,” Rashid added.
He said Saudi Arabia had been building a military alliance with Muslim countries in recent years and, especially after the Yemen crisis, this demand is now felt even more than before.
“Any military cooperation deal should be based on a win-win situation, and if Bangladesh signs the agreement with Saudi Arabia, it will increase the capacity of the military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, since Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim nations in the world,” Rashid added.
Saudi Arabia holds a very strong military might among the Middle Eastern countries, and when the country goes for any up-gradation in its military power, it may share the military logistics with Bangladesh, which will eventually strengthen the latter’s military capacity. Rashid considers that this military deal will give Bangladesh a “strategic advantage” in the defense arena.
As an expression of brotherhood, Bangladesh has stood beside the Kingdom on several occasions at different forums. This year, it participated in a 23-nation joint military exercise led by Saudi Arabia.
Hasina visited the Kingdom in April to witness the final march of the joint military forces.
During her visit, the Bangladesh; premier will also sign another deal on cooperation in the information and communications technology sector. She is also scheduled to attend a business seminar in Riyadh organized by the Council of Saudi Chambers.
Golam Moshi, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “The Bangladesh PM will focus on increasing the labor migration in Saudi Arabia. She will also ask for more investments from Saudi Arabia in solar power, cement, special economic zones, and the oil-refining sector of Bangladesh.”
Hasina will inaugurate the newly built permanent Chancery building of the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.
She will also lay the foundation stone of the Bangladesh Consulate in Jeddah on land Bangladesh bought recently. Hasina will perform the Umrah in Makkah on Thursday and is scheduled to return home the next day.
She previously visited Saudi Arabia in May 2017 and June 2016 as head of the incumbent Bangladesh government.