Jamil and Bouthayna’s Arab love story revived at Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla

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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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Updated 13 February 2020

Jamil and Bouthayna’s Arab love story revived at Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla

  • A cast of singers, actors and performers from all over the world are participating in the production

ALULA: The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla, where it originally took place.

The show will run for three days starting Thursday at Maraya Concert Hall, where the spirit and magic of the East will be brought to life as part of the Winter at Tantora Festival.

“Jamil and Bouthayna” is a theatrical production that tells the legendary love story of the poet Jamil bin Ma’amar, who fell madly in love with Bouthayna Bint Hayyan.

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) assigned the Caracalla Dance Theatre the task of retelling the romantic adventure inspired by an ancient love story born in the Arabian desert. The epic tale has been described by many as the Romeo and Juliet of the East.

A cast of singers, actors and performers from all over the world are participating in this mass production of “Jamil and Bouthayna” under the leadership of the founding maestro Abdel Halim Caracalla.

“We are delighted to partner with the RCU in its endeavor to raise the status of oriental arts and authentic Arab culture through this epic theatrical work,” said the maestro.

“This unique story was born in AlUla and introduced one of the most remarkable tales of immortal love that took place in the heart of the desert. The Winter at Tantora Festival is the perfect platform to bring this tale back to life for the world to see,” he added.

The story will be told through a variety of theatrical elements including poetry, musical composition, set and scenography design, video projection design, costume design, singing and choreography.

The performance will premiere in AlUla and could travel to theaters and festivals worldwide as a global message of culture, arts and civilization from the Kingdom.

The RCU has brought a variety of regional and international acts to Maraya Concert Hall throughout the duration of the festival.

The visually striking, mirror-walled venue can seat 500 guests and is fitted with a state-of-the-art sound system.

Organized by the RCU, the Winter at Tantora Festival features a wide range of cultural and artistic events inspired by the area’s heritage, which dates back thousands of years. In addition, there are a number of other activities and attractions, including markets, a winter garden, farms and the historic old town.

The festival continues each weekend until Mar. 7. It offers the final chance to visit AlUla’s heritage sites before they are closed to the public until October.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.