German band Mellow Maroc delights Jeddah audience

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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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Updated 09 March 2018
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German band Mellow Maroc delights Jeddah audience

JEDDAH: German band Mellow Maroc proved a big hit with their distinctive blend of reggae and soul during a concert on Thursday night (March 8) at the German consul general’s residence.

The trio — reggae artist Mellow Mark, Mohammed Reda Djender and Mohammed Raafat — have a big following in their home country, and have taken their politically charged songs protesting war and social injustice on tour around the world, performing in countries including Thailand, Cuba, Russia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Senegal, Egypt, Iraq, South Africa and Serbia.

Their performance in Jeddah was their second in Saudi Arabia, following a well-received show at the Janadriyah festival in Riyadh two years ago.

With their gentle guitar sound and soulful singing, Mellow Maroc’s music really resonated with the crowd, combining reggae and soul that evoked joyful feelings and positive vibes throughout the show.

After the show, Djender highlighted the theme of social inclusiveness promoted by the band’s music.

“We are Germans but our drummer is originally from Egypt, I'm originally from Algeria, and our singer, Mark, is a Muslim,” he said. “The thing that joins us is the philosophy of being a German. Of being an open-minded free person working for one society, for one idea called Germany of today. This is the most important juice of our discourse. This is why we see Germany as a very tolerant Country today.”

German consul general Holger Ziegeler said he has been a fan of Mellow Maroc since seeing the band in Riyadh.

“In the true spirit of the close Saudi-German relations, I relate back to two years ago in 2016, when Germany was the selected as host country for the Janadriyah festival in Riyadh,” he said. “We showed that we are not only a country of people that work hard but also a country of people who love to play and love to have fun.

“Our theme for the festival was, ‘Germany: Land of Ideas’ and one of the cultural demonstrations that we had there was the group Mellow Maroc. When I heard them I said it’s not enough to just see them in Riyadh, I need to bring them to Jeddah as well because Jeddah is a place that is also very open to culture historically, and even more so now with the cultural development of Saudi Arabia through vision 2030.”

The formal nature of the evening on Thursday was offset by the casual, laid-back ambiance of the show, as a delighted crowd of distinguished guests was treated to a memorable and heartfelt performance from the band.

“My idea of serving here in Saudi Arabia is building bridges that people can walk in both directions, from Germany to Jeddah, and from Jeddah to Germany,” said Ziegeler.


Antarctic researchers mark winter solstice with icy plunge

Updated 2 min 42 sec ago
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Antarctic researchers mark winter solstice with icy plunge

SYDNEY: Scientists based in Antarctica welcomed the winter solstice by plunging into icy waters Thursday as part of a “mad tradition” heralding the return of brighter days after weeks of darkness.
In temperatures of -22 degrees Celsius (-7.6 degrees Fahrenheit), staff at Australia’s Casey research station marked midwinter’s day by cutting a small pool in the thick ice before stripping off and jumping in.
Casey station leader Rebecca Jeffcoat said midwinter day — the shortest of the year — was the most anticipated occasion on the Antarctic calendar and has been celebrated from the time of the early explorers.
“Swimming in Antarctica’s below freezing waters is something of a mad tradition, but our hardy expeditioners look forward to it, with 21 of the 26 people on station brave enough to take an icy dip this year,” she said.
“Midwinter day is really important in Antarctica because it marks the halfway point of our year here on the ice and it means the sun will spend slightly longer in the sky each day.”
Celebrations took place at all three of Australia’s Antarctic research stations and its sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island base, with feasting, an exchange of handmade gifts, and messages from home read out.
Jeffcoat, who is experiencing her first Antarctic winter, said the continent was extraordinary.
“The environment is spectacular and harsh, and we experience the most incredible range of conditions, from below freezing blizzards to auroras, or the midwinter twilight as the sun skims the horizon,” she said.
“It is challenging being so far from family and friends, but we have built a really close-knit community of friends on station that we’ll likely have for the rest of our lives as we’ve shared this great experience together.”
Australia currently has 75 researchers living and working on the frozen continent as part of the Australian Antarctic Program, with most of them on 12-month postings.