Arab International Academy (AIA) organised its third annual art exhibition recently, which this year was fashioned in the spirit of a Ramadan Evening.
Over three weeks, the school’s art departments (visual arts, drama and music) worked diligently to prepare the attractions which were met with wonderment and appreciation by attendees. Teachers and students purposefully designed the exhibition after bustling Arab city streets and avenues, the motif intended to take visitors on a journey filled with profound memories of arts and culture.
Ushered by the Musah’arati (the Suhoor drummer), the crowd were able to observe, through the exhibition, the arts and culture of Baghdad, Cairo, Tunis, Damascus, Amman, and Jerusalem. In every corner, each city’s illustrations of arts and culture showcased their broad resemblance as well as their intricate uniqueness.
Each group of students in each city celebrated the Musah’arati through displays of art, music or crafts made famous by the past street life of their respective portrayals. Arriving at the Nowfarah quarter through Baghdad street, the H’akawati (raconteur) recounted the tales of Shahryar and Scheherazade. At the old downtown square, the Academy’s chorus sang chosen psalms from al Muwashshaht al Andalusia.
After passing through Habib Bourguiba and Mutanabi streets, the crowds enjoyed a theatric scene from Bazaar al-Khan enacted by students in Cairo’s Khan al Khalili souk. In Salah al-Din Street, the students performed a Palestinian Dabke (folk line and tap dance). The crowds moved to the streets of Omar al-Khayyam and Mu’az, and then to al-Qasabah theatre to watch a scene from the puppet show of Karkouz & E’iwath.
On their way back, the crowds gleefully examined the students’ artworks, which were scattered on the pavements and corners. Downtown, visitors listened to student recitals of classical Arabic poetry. Towards the end of the tour, and once again passing Omar al-Khayyam to arrive at al Naqasheen quarter and Matba’it H’alab, famous works of tapestry, embroidery, and Khalili mosaic crafts were on display.
After the exhibition, parents, students and faculty gathered to enjoy traditional Ramadan confectionery in the exhibition’s depiction of the great city of Doha, where parents and teachers proudly reflected on the students’ creativity and perseverance to successfully portray Arab arts and culture.
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