RIYADH — Rotana Audio-Visual Company signed an agreement with Sout Al Jazeera Group Company to purchase the works and lyrical archives of the renowned Arab singer Mohammed Abdo.

The agreement, which is the largest artistic deal in the Middle East, was signed by Rotana CEO Salem Al-Hindi while Sout Al Jazeera was represented by star singer Mohammed Abdo in a recent ceremony held in the presence of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of General Entertainment Authority.

Speaking on the occasion, the GEA chief said that it is the largest deal of its kind in the Middle East. He emphasized that “this may be the most expensive archive sold in the world.” Al-Sheikh said that the importance of this deal lies in the long history of Mohammed Abdo, who is the most eminent among the artists in the Arab world, with his great history, composition and popularity.

“The management of this rich artistic content has moved to a major professional company in this field, which owns great and distinctive capabilities for dealing with these important works. In addition, this deal prevents the recurrence of the difficulties that we usually face with artists after their retirement and disagreements with their families in managing and preserving their works,” he said.

“It is courageous for Mohammed Abdo to hand over a precious part of his creative pieces for which he worked hard for a long span of sixty years. It’s like handing over one of his sons, and this artist made great efforts over the past decades until the era of the present wise leadership that supports all arts.”

Al-Sheikh said that the catalog of archived songs that Rotana received includes 122 albums. On each page of this catalog are dozens of songs. He noted that there are songs that may be re-recorded, especially after Mohammed Abdo’s songs were presented last season with hologram technology and some of them were recorded in a modern way.

“We at the General Entertainment Authority support archiving the artistic history of Saudi artists, and Mohammed Abdo remains far ahead of the rest of the artists.”

Al-Sheikh thanked Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal for his support of Saudi artists on all Rotana channels, praising the company, its professionalism and technical expertise, and its support of Saudi and Arab art with hundreds of millions during the last period.

On his part, Mohammed Abdo, talked about his career and the different stages it went through. “Sout Al Jazeera Company went through difficult circumstances at its inception in the 1960s. There were many offers to purchase this audio library since its inception through phonograph records. It was the first company to establish a cassette factory and the first company to set up a studio with the latest equipment.”

“All these works and contents are stored and preserved, and in line with the suggestion of GEA chief, this artistic content was transferred to the largest company that owns new technology in artistic production,” he added.

For his part, Rotana CEO Salem Al-Hindi said that the rich artistic content of the Arab artist, which spanned 60 years, has moved to be managed by the company, hoping that Rotana will be faithful to this great legacy and preserve it.

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