For the first time ever, the Dubai Opera hosted the orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music last Saturday, in association with the female Palestinian band Banat Al-Quds (Daughters of Jerusalem), including soprano singer Zeina Barhoum.
“The purpose of this event is to let the world know that the Palestinians are full of life and positivity regardless of how bad the situations are, their lives are not just all about gloom and doom,” Rania Ashour, the organizer of the event, told the MBRSC Post. “The event is meant to show people the true Palestinian culture and tradition.”
The orchestra also played soothing classical musical pieces from well-known musicians such as William Tell Overture by Rossini, and an der schönen blauen donau (on the beautiful blue Danube) by Johann Strauss II, to name a couple. Zeina Barhoum sang some of Fayrouz’s songs such as Zahrat Almada’en (the flower of cities).
Banat Al Quds, which is made up of 25 young musicians, performed songs composed and arranged by Suhail Al Khoory, the conductor and one of the board members supervising the conservatory. One of the most recognized songs was Salam Le Gaza (Peace upon Gaza) by singer Reem Al Banah. The show concluded with Mawteny (my home), a song written by famous Palestinian poet Ibrahim Toqan, and which the audience enthusiastically sang along.
The AUD Palestinian Cultural Club supported these young Palestinian talents by giving away free tickets to their members. “The fact that it’s organized by the Edward Said orchestra brings a deep meaning to the Palestinian culture, and specifically, to the holy city of Al Quds (Jerusalem) with the troupe known as Banat Al Quds,” Raseel Amer, journalism student, and Palestinian club president at AUD, told the MBRSC Post.
The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music was established in 1993, initially under the wing of Birzeit University’s board. Later, new branches were established in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Gaza. Today it is under the supervision of Suhail Al Khoury, Salwa Tabri, Rima Tatazi, Amin Nasser, and Nadia Abboushi. The conservatory was named after Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said, the author of “Orientalism,” to honor his efforts and dedication towards the humanity of the Palestinian citizens and their culture.