JEDDAH: The second Winter at Tantora Festival, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla, marked the comeback of legendary Moroccan singer Aziza Jalal. Jalal and international musician Omar Khairat dazzled the audience with a piece they put together for the event at the Maraya Concert Hall.
Jalal, who has kept a low profile for more than 30 years, rekindled emotions as generations were enchanted by her voice and songs.
She thanked her fans “for coming to see me after a long hiatus. I’ve never been away from you, you have always been in my heart. I’m back today because of your love for me. I decided to come back to participate in these joyful events in our country.”
“Here in AlUla I sensed something different from other historic places where I previously sang. The festival’s location between all these monuments deeply rooted in history makes it the perfect place to start again with melodies that were memorized by generations and preserved by artists such as Baligh Hamdi, Muhammad Al-Muji, Riad Al-Sunbati and Sayed Makkawi,” Jalal said.
During the concert, she performed “Angry at Me” composed by Muhammad Al-Mouji and written by Mamoun Al-Shinawai, which the audience enjoyed immensely. She also performed many of her classics. Her message to the youth was: “Hear us out because we are the past, and the past needs the present and the future, hear us out so that we hear you out.”
A veteran musician and member of the Egyptian band Les Petits Chats, Khairat returned to AlUla in its second edition, wowing crowds with his performance. The regional legend expressed his admiration and gratitude in a piece as a gift and ode to the region’s historic depth.
“Art is an eternal message. During my visit to AlUla and its historic sites last year as I participated in the festival’s first edition. I felt the greatness of the place and wanted to mix melodies inspired by the region’s magical terrains and nature,” Khairat said.
The weekend’s musical and artistic concerts will feature some of the most prominent international artists at the Maraya Concert Hall, the largest mirror stage in the world, considered a modern architectural masterpiece that was developed to accommodate 500 guests and is equipped with high-quality sound systems.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the festival will feature activities that reflect the convergence of eastern and western cultures, embodying AlUla’s cultural heritage and historic symbolism as a place of meeting between cultures and civilizations.