Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

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Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
ExpoCenter 7th - 17th November, 2012. Hours | Saturday - Thursday: 10a.m. - 10p.m.; Friday: 4p.m - 10p.m.

Friday, 2 March 2012

gulfnews : Twinge Sharjah festival shows off unknown talent

  • Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • Laila Akeel (right), a jewellery designer, displays her jewellery during the Twinge Sharjah Festival in the Maraya Art Centre in Al Qasba on Thursday.
Sharjah The number of women participants at the week-long Twinge Sharjah festival that concludes Friday has exceeded organisers' expectations.
The event offers talented individuals in the UAE a platform to showcase their skills.
"This is like the Fringe Festival, but twitterised," said Sharif Abaza, founder of Twinge. "We try to have an interaction with the artists and the audience. We also have interactive shows every night that cover film, poetry and fashion, so that if they were not able to display their work in public before, now they can." Abaza said that the youngest participant is a 15-year-old pupil while the eldest is an 72-year-old Emirati man, who recited poetry.
Twinge-SHJ (SHJ stands for Sharjah) is being held at Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, and features 49 artists, including poets, musicians, fashion designers and filmmakers.
October plans
"Arab participation is almost 90 per cent and we certainly have more women participating than in Twinge Dubai," Abaza said, while adding that Twinge Sharjah will be held again this October and then in Dubai in December. One of the main highlights of Twinge features a runway by two Arab women who are alumnae of the American University of Sharjah.
Eman Khattab, who majored in Environmental Science, has set up her own company along with her business partner Nemat Al Shuloh, an architect. Their one-month-old company Eclat, said Khattab, "offers people what is not available in the market, like trendy conservative fashion".
Along the corridor of the Maraya Art Centre, your gaze cannot help but fall upon an attractive collection of endangered animals from the region. The style of the collection is a simple and effective one that focuses on the idea of endangerment. The artwork is ultimately a calendar of 12 animals that were integrated digitally, as well as coloured and printed, by Deema Hatahet, who graduated from the University of Sharjah in 2011.
"The postcards are a reminder to the people of how these animals do not want to be limited, so I want to spread the illustrative postcards around the world. Through the exhibition, I'm hoping to receive enough encouragement from others in order to continue working with awareness topics." | World music comes to Sharjah


‘Twinge SHJ festival nurses collaborative spirit. Such initiatives will boost contemporary world culture in the country’

SHARJAH: The Music night held on Thursday as part of the ongoing urban and cultural arts festival “Twinge SHJ” at the Maraya Art Centre of Sharjah’s cultural hub Al Qasba was perhaps the most successful so far as it attracted half-a-dozen musical groups and individuals who performed live at the festival to their heart’s content.

Guitarist Abbo, R&B and Blues singer Tiny, Hip-Hop singer Feras, musical duo Desert Heat, and bands like 4 Brownies and Generation enthralled the audience with their live performances.

One of the major attractions on Thursday night was the all-student music band Generation. The four-year-old group comprised guitarist and lead vocalist Mohammed Al Khateeb, guitarist Mohammed Zamzam, drummer Sharif Omar and pianist Omar Goda. They entertained the audience with as diverse as Latin and Spanish to Arabic music.

Calender of events

Mar.2 - Magic of Poetry: Farrah Chamma, Muneer Jaehoon, Haneen Assaf, Abdulla Kassim, Shamma Kabital, Mohammad Azimudder, Asmaa and Afra Atiq will be taking the stage.

All events are being held at the Maraya Art Centre of Al Qasba. Doors open at 7pm and shows start at 8pm.

Another attraction was Abbo, a British musician who is living in the UAE for the past seven months. Abbo said he has travelled across Europe, the US, Australia and Philippines, but loved the culture in the UAE where contemporary music is in a growing stage.

“In countries like the US and UK I found cut-throat competition, but not in the UAE. The UAE may not be at the world stage, but the country has already initiated steps in that direction,” he said.

He praised the concept behind the Twinge SHJ festival saying it nurses collaborative spirit, which is difficult to find in his home country. He also added that such initiatives will boost contemporary world culture in the country.

Tiny, a Bahraini national, said he loves to belt out R&B and Soul numbers. The self-motivated R&B artiste, who considers Donell Jones his idol, is a student of the Canadian University in Dubai and has won several musical contests. He has also been part of the MBC’s Arabs Got Talent for which he has travelled Bahrain and Lebanon.

Feras was thrilled by the response he got at his maiden live performance in Sharjah though he was born and brought up in the UAE.

The young singer, who loves crooning Hip-Hop numbers, considers his style of music as experimental.

He was part of the musical band “Diligent Thought” till 2007, when the members decided to do solo projects, while coming together occasionally for music sake.

The festival will conclude on Friday with a night dedicated to poetry.