NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) will be hosting Ramadaniyyat for the second time, a series of diverse public events for Ramadan. The events will be hosted jointly by NYUAD's three public-facing institutions: The Arts Center, The Art Gallery, and The Institute, under the theme of Al-Andalus. The events will take place from the 3rd of April to the 6th of April.
Nadia El Cheikh, Vice Provost for Cultural and Research Engagement at NYUAD, stated, "We are excited to once again come together and reconnect with our community and the wider public at NYUAD for the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is a time for spiritual reflection and connection, as well as an opportunity to appreciate the arts and the power of expression."
She added, "This year's theme, Al-Andalus, refers to the period when Muslim sovereigns ruled over parts of the Iberian Peninsula. The theme aims to share the remarkable story of a unique time in history when Muslims, Christians, and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences, encapsulating stories of a time when these three groups managed to sustain relationships that enabled them to coexist, collaborate, and flourish."
The programme will feature a series of activities and will begin with a talk in Arabic (with simultaneous English translation) at The Institute on April 3rd, which will explore the interwoven relationship between poetry, philosophy, and music. Poet Mahdi Mansour and musician Faraj Abyad will discuss Andalusian poetry and classical music with poet, critic, and media expert Barween Habib, and delve deeper into contemporary poetry and music, exploring the profound impact the Andalusian Maqamat have had on modern Arabic poetry.
On April 4th, The Arts Centre will host a special edition of its contemporary Arab Cinema series, CinemaNa, featuring four short films by Emirati filmmakers. CinemaNa is a collaboration with NYUAD's Film and New Media programme.
On April 5th, The Arts Centre will also present the world premiere of Andalusian Love Story, composed by Faraj Abyad. Andalusian Love Story is a mix of contemporary and classical poetry blended with classical Egyptian and Syrian sounds, based on a series of love letters written between Ibn Zaydun and Wallada Bint Al Mustakfi. The music performance will be followed by an interactive workshop on April 6th on how to set Arabic poetry to music using the Arabic Maqam and rhythm.
The Art Gallery will present a workshop on April 6th, led by artist and curator Zuhoor Al Sayegh, who will explore natural healing processes passed down throughout generations, using plants and herbs often sold at Hakeem (Arabic for 'wise' and 'healer') spice shops that are ubiquitous in the UAE. Combining oral history shared by participants with books on Andalusian plant medicine from the NYUAD library, the group will be invited to document, imagine, write, and research recipes that can be relevant and accessible today.
A suhoor will be served nightly after the events throughout the programme for the NYUAD community and the general public.