Iraqi oud legend Naseer Shamma to perform series of online concerts 

The oud player will perform on May 13, June 3 and June 17. (AFP)
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Updated 12 May 2020

Iraqi oud legend Naseer Shamma to perform series of online concerts 

DUBAI: After the success of his online concert last month, Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma’s soothing tunes will once again entertain the audience while they stay at home. 

The oud player will perform on May 13, June 3 and June 17 live with his students from Bait Al-Oud, a music school that he founded in Abu Dhabi 10 years ago.

“I have found that one of the best ways to deliver the message of hope is through music,” Shamma was cited by state news agency WAM. “The ‘Visits from Bait Al Oud’ series has enabled my friends and me to safely be invited into homes around the world to share a message of hope and solidarity.”

The students will each perform remotely from their homes from all over the world, and are expected to play a wide range of instruments including the oud, violin, qanoon, vocal and cello.

During June 3’s “Bait Al Oud and Abu Dhabi Classics: Universal Mozart” concert, Shamma and Bait Al-Oud musicians will play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s pieces, with a special focus on compositions inspired by the Arab World.

On June 17, “Bait Al Oud’s Tribute to Classical Arabic Singing,” Shamma and “his friends,” as he says, will pay tribute to the greatest Arabic voices – from the Egyptian legendary singer Umm Kulthum to Lebanese superstar Fairuz.

The concerts will stream on Abu Dhabi Culture’s YouTube channel at 8:30 p.m., UAE time.

A world-renowned maestro from Iraq, Shamma is a distinguished oud player who has received more than 60 awards and accolades and released albums in Italy, Egypt, Algeria and the United Kingdom with more than 60 compositions.

Shamma is also the UNESCO Artist for Peace and Goodwill Ambassador to the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies.

Syrian artists memorialize George Floyd in war-torn country

Updated 39 min 48 sec ago

Syrian artists memorialize George Floyd in war-torn country

DUBAI: In the past few weeks, people across the world have been protesting against police brutality and to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police.

Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun decided to show solidarity to the protestors and Black Lives Matter movement  by painting a powerful mural of Floyd against the backdrop of Idlib’s ruins. 


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The mural depicted a portrait of Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, alongside the words “I can’t breathe” and “No to racism.”

Asmar said Floyd’s death “by suffocation” reminded him of Syrian civilians “killed by suffocation after the Syrian regime hit them with chemical weapons,” according to a local news report.

The artists said they painted the mural to “to call for peace and love” worldwide.

The pictures instantly went viral on social media and Twitter users praised the artists for choosing to paint the mural of Floyd in Syria, which has been facing a humanitarian crisis for years.

“It truly warms my heart to see Syrians supporting BLM even with everything they’re going through in Syria!” wrote one user on Twitter. “Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun in the town of Binnish in Idlib!”