Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees named in Forbes’ Arab 30 under 30 list

Balqees Fathi has been selected as one of the region’s most influential personalities under the age of 30. (@balqeesfathi)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees named in Forbes’ Arab 30 under 30 list

CAIRO: Yemeni-Emirati musician Balqees Fathi has been selected as one of the region’s most influential personalities in the “Arab 30 under 30” list, recently revealed by Forbes Middle East.
The singer was chosen as the most influential personality in the music category.
Forbes credits her participation in the first female-only concert in Saudi Arabia last December as part of the reason she made the list. She also headlined the Sharjah World Music Festival in the same month.
The 29-year-old star was also a brand ambassador for Pantene in 2016 and for L’azurde, a jewelry brand, in 2017.
Forbes Middle East has issued its first list of Arab movers and shakers under the age of 30, who are revolutionizing their respective fields through innovative ideas.
“With over 60 percent of the population under the age of 30, the very first class of Arab 30 under 30 is a dynamic mix of social entrepreneurs, artists, celebrities and intellectuals,” reads Forbes Middle East’s website.
The list features Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, 29, who was awarded a recording contract and gained a legion of adoring fans when he won Arab Idol in 2013.
Another high achiever is the UAE’s new Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al-Olama, who at 29 is responsible for selecting the learning tools for the country’s smart government services.
Egyptian footballer and Liverpool striker Mohammad Salah was also featured on the list. The 25-year-old is currently the second highest goal scorer in the English Premier League.
In October last year, he led Egypt to its first football World Cup finals since 1990, after having scored five goals in the qualifiers.


Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

Updated 21 June 2018
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Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

  • The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum.
  • Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events.

ATHENS: Hymns sung to the Greek gods thousands of years ago resonated from ancient musical instruments in Athens on Thursday, transporting a transfixed audience to antiquity.
The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum as part of World Music Day celebrations.
A family of musicians, Lyravlos have recreated exact replicas of the ancient instruments from natural materials including animal shells, bones, hides and horns.
Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events. Today only some 60 written scores of ancient Greek music have survived, said Lyravlos member Michael Stefos.
Stefos said they interpret them as best they can, relying on the accuracy of their recreated instruments.
“Joking aside, ancient CDs have never been found,” he said.
Their performance included a hymn to the god Apollo, pieces played at the musical festival of the ancient Pythian Games in Delphi and during wine-laden rituals to the god Dionysus.
Michael’s father Panayiotis Stefos, who heads the group, travels to museums at home and abroad studying ancient Greek antiquities and texts in order to recreate the instruments.
“Usually each instrument has a different sound. It is not something you can make on a computer, it will not be a carbon copy,” said Stefos.
The difference with modern day instruments?
“If someone holds it in their arms and starts playing, after a few minutes they don’t want to let it go, because it vibrates and pulsates with your body,” he said.
French tourist Helene Piaget, who watched the performance, said it was “inspiring.”
“One sees them on statues, on reliefs, and you can’t imagine what they might sound like,” she said.
World Music Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the summer solstice.