Sultan Bin Ahmed attends premiere of musical play “The Shadows”

Sharjah, 24th February 2015 (WAM) – In the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah Media Centre, Al Majaz Amphitheatre presented the premiere of spectacular musical play “The Shadows” on Monday evening February 23rd, performed by an elite group of renowned artists, actors and musicians, unitedly conveying Sharjah’s message of love and peace to the world.

The Shadows musical opening night was attended by guests and delegates who participated in the International Government Communication Forum, which concluded yesterday.

Among the most prominent figures in attendance at the musical play were Major General Hamid Mohammed Al Hadidi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, Bechara Khairallah, President Michel Sleiman representative, Liberian Ambassador in the UAE, Morocco’s Minister of Communication and Former Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi, as well as media persons George Kordahi, Jihad Al Khazen, Raghida Dergham, Rita Maalouf, Zeina Yazigi, Nishan Derharoutyounian, and a large number of special guests and dignitaries.

Written by accomplished Lebanese journalist Nadine Al Assad, with music by brilliant Bahraini composer Khalid El Sheikh, and featuring Lebanese director Munjid Al Sharif, the musical flaunts a lineup of Arab artists led by Syrian Arab Idol star Hazem Sherif, Lebanese artist Carole Aoun along with the internationally acclaimed Inana Group.

The musical play is a harmonious arrangement of poetry, song and stage drama in one magnificent show. The poems, penned by Al Assad and other famous Arab poets, framed the outline for the musical’s several featured acts that took the audience on an extraordinary journey of history, from ancient times to present day, and further included Syrian and Lebanese folklore.

The show was flagged off with a welcome speech by Osama Samra, in which he thanked Sharjah’s guests for their participation in the 4th edition of the International Government Communication Forum – a major success due to its excellent media coverage and impressive interaction by participants, experts and the media.

He highlighted that “The Shadows” musical play aims to focus on the beautiful details and aesthetics of life, to share a glimpse of hope and optimism with a world suppressed by wars and conflicts. Samra lauded the rapid completion of preparations for the stage production, acknowledging the cooperation by artists, musicians and technical experts for their commitment to secure its opening night on the closing day of the forum.

The audience delighted in the breathtaking musical play from its very first act, leading with a poem about Sharjah recited by poet Nadine Al Assad, and then passionately sung by Carol Aoun and Hazem Sherif, who were joined by 30 performers dressed in Islamic heritage-inspired costume in a wondrous portrayal exemplifying the emirate’s internationally acclaimed cultural position and its message of peace and civilization to the world.

Inspired by Sharjah’s deeply rooted ties with literature, the second scene featured a poem about the written word recited by Al Assad, in impressive scenes interspersed with the details of the life of a writer and his surroundings where he prepares pen, papers and book.

The scene then shifted to a sea coast where fishermen cast their nets, with artist Carole Aoun standing amidst these piscators, strikingly singing for the sea. The view changed to Nadine Al Assad performing her love poem, accompanied by Western music dominated by the quick rhythms of the electric guitar, simulating the fast-paced Western lifestyle.

Another scene featured a popular caf? in an Arab city district with an assemblage of tables, where a crowd of young men competed to give a rose to a beautiful girl before Hazem Sherif entered the stage and sang for love.

This was followed by a song by Abdulhaleem Hafiz covered by Hazem Sherif, whereafter Nadine Al Assad recited a poem about love – and other love poetry – accompanied by scenes from the pre-Islamic era when Layla Al Aamiriya fell in love with her cousin Qays Ibn Al Mulawwah.

In another musical scene about weather, Nadine Al Assad sang a clip of a song by Fayrouz about winter, depicting the cold weather in expressive scenes, accompanied by sounds of thunder and winds that made the audience feel fantastically cold in spite of Sharjah’s famously pleasant warm climate.

The brisk weather and wintry atmosphere continued on stage, but this time accompanied by snow and a poem about the traditional fireplace – a conventional heating method in the Levant, where the sound of the campfire is louder than the sound of thunder on chilly days to provide those around the fire a comforting perception of warmth.

The scene then shifted to an old house engulfed by silence except for the ringing of an unanswered landline telephone, until the stillness was dramatically broken by Nadine Al Asaad’s sudden entrance and powerful singing voice, accompanied by Hazem Sherif and the chorale.

Following, Carole Aoun and Hazem Sherif then performed a ballet duet entitled “Morning” trailed by several songs and poems, after which the closing song was sung, alongside the entire cast spread out in two queues to the right and left of the stage, when Hazem Sherif, Carole Aoun, Nadine El Assad and composer Khalid Al Sheikh and director Munjid Al Sharif entered together amid deafening audience applause.

Speaking about the play, Nadine Al Assad said: “It is a profound honour for me to be part of this musical staged in Sharjah – the cultural capital and an oasis of arts – in view of such prominent guests, official figures and big names in the media and art world. I have specifically chosen this beautiful emirate as venue to host “The Shadows” because of its virtuous position as home to poets, writers and intellectuals, and as a place where people of all nationalities live in safety, love and peace.” She added: “I hope the audience will enjoy the second performance, which will be staged on Friday evening. I was proud to be joined by a choice group of artists from different countries because our hearts, minds and souls met on the land of Sharjah in an unforgettable work.”