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A summer of culture on the way

RENOWNED Lebanese singer Magida El Roumi will open this year's Bahrain Summer Festival.

The fifth annual event will also feature classical music performances, Bahraini folk dances and children's favourite cartoon character Scooby-Doo.

It will run from August 18 until September 9 and is being held as part of celebrations to mark Manama being named Capital of Arab Tourism 2013.

"The festival is taking place a little later than usual this year to allow time for Ramadan," said Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa.

"We will try and reach people who cannot normally reach our events.

"To this end, we will be holding an event in each of the governorates. We will hold concerts of traditional Bahraini folk music in each of them."

The concerts will be held at Bahrain Fort in the Northern Governorate, Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa House in Muharraq, Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort in the Southern, Bab Al Bahrain in the capital and Isa Town Walkway in the Central Governorate.

Shaikha Mai was speaking during a Press conference yesterday held in Bab Al Bahrain Mall.

She said the ministry will hold popular concerts at larger venues to accommodate around 5,000 people.

"We're aware there is a great demand for the one-night only concerts," she said.

"Usually we hold them either in the Bahrain National Theatre, which can hold 1,000 people, or the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC), which can hold 2,000.

"This year we will be creating a venue so that they can accommodate 5,000 people to give more people the opportunity to attend."

Starting off the festival on August 18 is Ms El Roumi with her concert 'A Message of Love and Peace'.

A Reflection of Thais, a trio of Thai musicians, will take to the stage on August 20 at the Cultural Hall near Bahrain National Museum.

The event, organised in collaboration with the Thai Embassy, will see the trio play both Thai music and Western classical compositions.

Scooby-Doo will enthral children as a troupe of performers take on one of the most well-known animated series.

The show consists of an original script and soundtrack, and will be held at the BIECC from August 21 to August 25.

Bahraini folk music will be performed every Thursday and Friday, from August 22 until September 6 at various sites across all five governorates.

German group Sanostra, which features a group of dancers and acrobats, will perform an eclectic show filled with cutting-edge video projections at the BIECC on August 29 and 30.

The latest Arab Idol - Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf will also perform as part of the line-up on September 1, a mere two months after he won the hit show.

Children will also be able to transport themselves to a magical toy factory with Barney the dinosaur and his friends at the BIECC from September 2 to 6.

Iraqi singer Fareeda Mohammed Ali, widely considered to be one of the best female vocalists, will also perform from her large back catalogue on September 5.

Bringing the festival to a close is Bollywood dance show Mystic India, a bright and colourful performance that highlights India's identity and explores the fusion between authentic Eastern and Western influences.

Throughout the festival, Nakhool City will be held at the BIECC, featuring a large number of workshops from across the region and the world, including ballet, puppets and arts and crafts. laala@gdn.com.bh



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