Two-night event to bring legendary Persian musicians to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

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Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Shahram Shabpareh, Leila Forouhar, Shadmehr Aghili and Andy pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)
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Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Ebi, Sasy and Arash Labaf pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Two-night event to bring legendary Persian musicians to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians will perform at the event
  • Winter at Tantora Festival has presented variety of cultural, entertainment and artistic activities

ALULA: A two-night event celebrating Persian music is coming to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla as part of the ongoing Winter at Tantora Festival.

Seven influential and renowned Persian musicians — legendary Iranian pop-singer Shahram Shabpareh, classic songstress Leila Forouhar, Ebrahim Hamedi (better known by his stage name Ebi), Sasy, Shadmehr Aghili, Andy and platinum-selling singer and producer Arash Labaf — will entertain the crowds at the historical and cultural site’s Maraya Concert Hall on March 5 and 6.

The event, “Persian Night - Music Without Borders” forms part of Saudi Arabia’s focus on establishing the Winter at Tantora Festival as a hub for cultural exchange and dialogue as well as the sharing of diverse artistic traditions.




Seven influential and much-loved Persian musicians — including Ebi, Sasy and Arash Labaf pictured — will entertain the crowds at AlUla. (Supplied)

Over the past 12 weeks, the festival has presented a variety of cultural, entertainment and artistic activities that bring together eastern and western culture.

Greek musician Yanni, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli (who both played at last year’s festival) and Moroccan singer Aziza Jalal have all appeared at this year’s edition.

In addition to concerts, several other events have been taking place, including cooking under the stars with chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, the Fursan horse race and the AlUla balloon festival.

There have been tours on offer of Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, and landmarks such as AlUla’s famous Elephant Rock.

Described as the Kingdom’s archaeological jewel, AlUla has been a meeting point of many civilizations throughout history.

This year’s program was extended for an additional two weeks in January, and is expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors throughout its run.

The Winter at Tantora Festival started on December 19, 2019 and will run to March 7. Tickets can be booked here.

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Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Updated 30 May 2020

Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Hana Abdullah Alomair is the director of Netflix’s first Saudi thriller original series, titled “Whispers,” which is due to begin streaming in 190 countries on June 11. 

A Saudi writer, filmmaker, and movie critic, Alomair won the Silver Palm Tree Award for best script at the Saudi Film Competition in 2008.

She gained a bachelor’s degree in Arabic-English translation from King Saud University in 1992 and four years later a master’s degree in the same field of study from Heriot-Watt University, in Scotland.

Her documentary “Beyond Words” was screened during the Gulf Film Festival in 2019 and was selected for the main competition in this year’s Muscat International Film Festival.

A member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, she has worked as a head writer in writing workshops for several TV series. She was a jury member at the Saudi Film Festival held by Rotana in 2013. Her second
flick, “The Complaint,” was selected in the main competition of Tessa’s Festival for Asian and African Films in Morocco in 2014 and it won the Golden Palm
Tree Award for best short fiction film in the Saudi Film Competition in 2015.

In 2016, Alomair, together with Hind Al-Fahhad, scooped the prize for best script for the short film “Peddlers” at the King Fahd Center Short Film Competition.

She recently published a book about the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, and in 2017 wrote a play called “Qat Oqat.”

Last year, she wrote and directed her latest short film “Swan Song,” which won the Golden Palm Tree Award for best actor in the Saudi Film Festival.