Musical adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s ‘Broken Wings’ set to make UAE debut

A musical adaptation of Khalil Gibran's ‘Broken Wings’ is coming to Dubai. Supplied
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Updated 07 January 2020

Musical adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s ‘Broken Wings’ set to make UAE debut

  • The late Lebanese poet’s autobiographical story, “Broken Wings,” will be performed on stage at the Dubai Opera House this month

DUBAI: Khalil Gibran fans, rejoice. The acclaimed Lebanese poet’s autobiographical love story, “Broken Wings,” will be performed on stage at the Dubai Opera House this month following a successful run at London’s West End.

The three performances of the musical of the same name, which was co-written by Lebanese-British performance artist Nadim Naaman and directed by Bronagh Lagan, is being showcased over two nights from Jan. 17 and 18, and will adapt the poet’s 1912 written piece with an international cast of singers and actors in addition to a live orchestra.

The musical, which is the first adaptation of the late poet and philosopher’s autobiography, made its regional debut at Lebanon’s annual Beiteddine Art Festival in 2019.

Often referred to as the “Romeo and Juliet” of the Middle East, “Broken Wings” tells the story of a young Gibran who returns to his home country after living in America for years. The tragic love story sees the poet fall for Selma, the daughter of a family friend, who is already betrothed.

The novel, which has been adapted into a film, a play and now a musical, first premiered at London’s Theater Royal Haymarket in April 2018 to roaring success.


‘Rome chose me,’ says Saudi artist on breakthrough Italian exhibition

Updated 30 min 49 sec ago

‘Rome chose me,’ says Saudi artist on breakthrough Italian exhibition

  • “Rome chose me and not vice versa. This idea wants to be a bridge between cultures,” Fahad told Arab News
  • He could not be in Rome for the opening of the exhibition, which is open to visitors until Dec. 10

ROME: Saudi artist Sultan bin Fahad has chosen Rhinoceros, an art gallery in Rome’s historic heart, for his first solo show.
The exhibition, “Frequency,” is staged in a 15th-century building recently renovated by French architect Jean Nouvel, and includes six installations featuring light, incense, shadows, music and sounds. Each piece describes a spiritual journey to modernity through many cultures, but one that is firmly linked to Islam.
“Rome chose me and not vice versa. This idea wants to be a bridge between cultures,” Fahad told Arab News from Los Angeles, where he lives. He could not be in Rome for the opening of the exhibition, which is open to visitors until Dec. 10.
“Each of my creations is specific. I wanted to tell a concept that was understood and expressed by the surrounding place,” the artist said. Over the years he collected precious antique pieces from Makkah and Madinah which he found all over the world, including some metallic pieces which had gone missing in 1979. He shot videos and recorded sounds, and used everything in the artwork that describes what he sees as the human journey toward a sacred temple of feelings.
The exhibition includes “Been There,” a piece with four ancient stones inscribed in Arabic interacting with a large plate of luminescent glass. Then comes “If Stone Could Speak,” with white marble works from Makkah. A video is projected showing men and women gathered in prayer.
Another work, “Possession,” shows an image of the hands of men and women trying to get closer to an elusive God, trying to touch the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“I filmed those people and I was interested to understand why they were doing those gestures. They were trying to reach the divine. I thought it was moving,” Fahad said.
“The Verse of The Throne” contains a projection of a verse from the Holy Qur’an in front of six bowls, with water serving as an element of purification. Then comes “The White Noise,” represented in two immersive rooms, associated by the artist with the prayers of Makkah pilgrims.
Fahad said the exhibition looks to “involve all the senses to create a real experience, going beyond a visual experience for the visitor.”
In this sense, his works represent the place where anthropological concepts were born and became infused by Greek, Latin and Eastern cultures.
In fact, in the Arabian Gulf, humans once measured their existence through the loss of their relatives, creating a cult of the dead, which is reflected in Fahad’s work.
The artist is waiting to see what the future has in store. “I have no plans so far. I am so happy that I could produce something in 2020 due the the difficult time the entire world is experiencing. Let us hope that the situation will evolve for the better,” he said.