Kuwaiti musical serves up dose of nostalgia for Saudi generation

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The establishing of the authority was one of the initiatives emanating from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. (Photo/Supplied)
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General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh speaks at an event. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 March 2019

Kuwaiti musical serves up dose of nostalgia for Saudi generation

  • Art and culture are shining examples of the thoughts and progress of societies, says Kuwaiti envoy

RIYADH: Showgoers in Riyadh enjoyed a blast from the past as the Kuwaiti musical “Al-Thamaninat,” or “The ‘80s,” rolled into the capital March 10-12.
The musical has received plenty of praise since its debut in Kuwait in January, and Saudi audiences were the latest to be treated to the spectacle.
The show, styled around a full day of programs in the style of Kuwaiti television in the 1980s, featured a variety of segments that included old video clips, songs and live performances.
An ensemble of musicians and singers worked their way through the day’s program, displayed on a screen designed to resemble an ‘80s television set. The crowd was treated to a heavy dose of nostalgia as they watched the television of their childhood reenacted.
Highlights of the night included a compilation of cartoon openings, performed live while the screens played clips from the shows, a series of ‘80s advertisements with the jingles recreated, and clips from old Saudi vs. Kuwait soccer matches, during which the audience participated by waving small Saudi flags that were handed out during the intermission.
While the musicians took center stage, the details of the production were equally laudable; the onstage screens featured incredible graphics, remastered videos from the era, and even a few current memes to make younger audience members feel included. In addition, every audience member was given a replica of an ‘80s magazine, featuring puzzles, comics, articles, and even reprints of old magazine advertisements.
The Saudi leg of the tour was the result of a collaboration between the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center, reminding fans of a time when the television collaborations between the two countries produced some of the best shows of the era.
In a statement to the Kuwait News Agency, Kuwaiti Ambassador Sheikh Ali Khalid Al-Jaber Al-Sabah called the performance an “excellent example of Kuwaiti art,” and said that “art, culture, and media are shining examples of the thoughts and progress of societies.”
He also said that “the show did an excellent job of conveying the golden age of Kuwaiti art to the current generation of Saudis and Kuwaitis.”
Since the show debuted in the Eastern Province last week, fans have been flocking to Twitter to heap praise on the organizers using the show’s designated hashtags.
“I didn’t want it to end!” said one fan, accompanying her statement with pictures replete with heart emojis. “This show was beyond incredible; I hope everyone gets the chance to see it!”
“I don’t know who cried and laughed harder, me or my mom,” another showgoer tweeted. “This was an incredible experience; I feel five years old again.”
Older fans were especially happy to have an event that was clearly marketed for them. “Even though the show was made to be enjoyed by everyone, I particularly appreciated that it was made for people like myself,” said one woman in a tweet. “Most of the events happening today feel geared toward the youth. I feel acknowledged.”


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2020

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.