Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi presents 7th edition of Hekayah

Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi presents 7th edition of Hekayah

Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi presents 7th edition of Hekayah

ABU DHABI, 18th November, 2021 – The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) will present the seventh edition of Hekayah, (The Story) in a virtual event on 24th November, 2021.

Hekayah | The Story is part of NYUAD’s celebrations for the UAE’s 50th anniversary.

It brings together poets, spoken-word artists, musicians, and storytellers from diverse backgrounds and cultures in a special Jubilee event.

This year’s edition includes a conversation between NYUAD Vice Chancellor, Mariët Westermann, and Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the UAE University, Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh.

Nusseibeh has been active in the UAE government service for the past 50 years, and with the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi since 1968.

He will present the history of the UAE and his work at the side of Sheikh Zayed, the founding President.

Following the conversation, audiences will enjoy a mix of live and video performances by a line-up of Hekayah artists featuring:
● Rami AbuAmmuna – Spoken word poetry (Palestine)
● Jawad Al Bdiwi – Music (Palestine/Jordan)
● Safeya Alblooshi – Sound Art (UAE)
● Shilpa Ananth – Music (India/UAE)
● Amro Bakri – Music (Jordan)
● Farah Chamma – Spoken word poetry, music (Palestine)
● Rand Farmawi – Ancient Arabic and folk songs (Palestine/Jordan)
● Rakaya Fetuga – Spoken word poetry (UK)
● Ahmed T.

El-Gaili – Arabic poetry (Sudan)
● Randa Omar Haidar – Music (UAE)
● Mahmoud Kaabour – Spoken word poetry and documentary photography (Lebanon)
● Enid Mollel – Pop and contemporary RnB music (Tanzania)
● TheVokeys: Abdullah Alshams (NotSoHuman), Preston D’costa, and Fahim – Jazz, RnB, pop
and rock music (UAE)

Executive Artistic Director at NYUAD Arts Centre, Bill Bragin, stated, “Hekayah has special meaning for us.

The event captures how the arts can celebrate diverse cultures and backgrounds and bring our community even closer together through sharing stories and songs that speak to the themes of nation, home, family, and heritage.

“The impressive line-up of artists chosen to celebrate UAE’s 50th anniversary beautifully capture the spirit of UAE itself and its inspiring and wonderful diversity.

We are especially moved that several artists chose to create new pieces especially for the occasion, contributing to the growth of the nation’s creative output and future artistic legacy.

“Opening the evening with a talk with Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, who has played such an important role in promoting the arts and culture as part of the UAE’s identity throughout the entirety of the nation, makes this Jubilee edition even more notable.


The line-up was selected through a collaborative curatorial process by key players in the cultural, poetry, arts, and writing communities across the UAE, including Maryam Khalifa Alshehhi, Marcel Kurpershoek, Hanan Al Sayed Worrell, Noor Al Suwaidi, Dorian Paul Rodgers, and Bragin.

In conjunction with Hekayah | The Story, The Arts Centre, in partnership with the NYUAD Art Gallery and the NYUAD Career Development Centre, will present the “Arts Chat: Building a Life as an Artist in the UAE” (Part 2) on 22nd November at 13:00, as part of the series “Off the Stage” presented by Mubadala.

Palestinian spoken word poet and writer, Rami Abuammuna, artist and Professor of Visual Arts at NYUAD, Shaikha Al Mazrou, poet and performer, Farah Chamma, and Egyptian singer, Lama, will share how they have navigated their journeys in creating work for the UAE’s uniquely diverse audiences.

The events will continue on 23rd November at 18:00 with a creators’ workshop.

In Satwa Stories: Poetic exploration through documentary techniques, documentary filmmakers, Mahmoud Kaabour (Champ of the Camp, Teta Al Marra), and Denise Holloway will delve into the process of choosing the spoken word to present their documentation of Satwa Stories – the critically-acclaimed spoken-word/photo-novella piece depicting the hidden gems and iconic characters from Dubai’s Al Satwa neighbourhood.

This in-person workshop, The Arts Centre’s first since February 2020, will explore the creative possibilities of using poetry to present documentary research, specifically focusing on themes of fact-finding, wordplay, and image-making.

Participants are encouraged to select five personal images or videos around a particular theme, location, or character.

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