Memory of Egypt's Um Kulthoum dominates Arabesque Festival in Montpellier

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 May 2015

The festival commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Egyptian legend’s death with performances, a roundtable and an exhibition

Om Kolthoum
Arabesque Festival for Arab World Art celebrates Om Kolthoum. (Photo: Ahram)

This year’s Arabesque Festival for Arab World Art, which will run between 12 and 24 May in Montpellier in France commemorates the 40th anniversary of the death of legendary Egyptian singer Um Kulthoum through a number events including musical performances, films, exhibitions, and roundtables.

The Fourth Pyramid exhibition, which is spread over four different venues, features a collection of photographs of the Egyptian diva, her designer dresses and stage costumes, as well as records and videos.

The Kawkab El-Chark (“The Star of the East”) ensemble — the name is a reference to the appellation given to Um Kulthoum — which founded in 2014 by musicians from the Cairo Opera House will perform on 17 and 18 May.

On 23 May, Arabesque will host a roundtable entitled “The Eternal Um Kulthoum” in the presence of Ysabel Baudis, the author of Works on Um Kulthoum, journalist Saleh Guemerich and Rabah Mezouane, head of programming at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.

The festival will also feature a film of Um Kulthoum’s iconic performance at the French Olympia Theatre in 1964, the revenue of which was donated to the Arab armies during the Arab-Israeli war. The Olympia Theatre is the only European venue that hosted the legend.

This is the tenth annual Arabesque Festival for Arab World Art.

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