Muharraq Nights Festival, city’s premier December cultural event gets underway Thursday

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Manama, Nov. 30 (BNA): The Muharraq Nights Festival will open on Thursday evening, December 1, 2022, in Muharraq's historic old quarter. The major cultural event is co-organized by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research as part of the Pearling Path project. The festival will feature a wide variety of events at numerous venues across the city on the weekends of the first two weeks of the month (December 1-3 and December 8-10) between 05:00 p.m. and 09:00 p.m.


On this occasion, Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, said: "The Muharraq Nights Festival demonstrates the significance of the city as a local, regional and global cultural hub. It was the first capital of Bahrain, the largest pearl trading centre in the Gulf region, and the cradle of Bahrain's literary, scientific, and cultural movements". 


Shaikh Khalifa indicated that the festival is consistent with the city's designation as a "Creative City of Design" by UNESCO and is an investment in the cultural infrastructure improvements made over the past few years. He added that the Muharraq Nights Festival features a wide variety of art and design-related events at landmark locations across the city, including UNESCO World Heritage sites and homes branching from the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research.


He urged the people of Bahrain to attend the festival, noting that it features activities for people of all ages and backgrounds, is great for families, and will give visitors a new perspective on the city of Muharraq.


Muharraq Nights Festival is one of the most significant and largest cultural events held in December. It will take place all over the city, from the northernmost Siyadi Majlis to the southernmost Qal’at Bu Mahir, and will feature a wide variety of activities, such as musical performances, exhibitions, workshops, markets, and much more. Activities at the festival will be split into eight categories to appeal to a wide variety of age groups and interests: Arts, Design, Crafts, Food, Music, Cinema, Activities and Tours.


You can visit or follow @PearlingPath on Pearling Path's social media platforms to learn more about the festival's schedule, dates, venues, parking locations, and registration-required events.


The public will be able to view a number of exhibitions and works of art, including "What She Sees" by Mhairi Boyle at the Pearling Path Visitors Centre, "Post-Fiction: Manama" by the Al Riwaq Art Space at Amarat Al Doi, "To the Rhythm of Pearls" by Ishaq Madan at Amarat Fakhro I & II. The festival also includes the exhibition "My Sorrow, How Fleeting are Those Years" by Last Oil Well at the Exhibition Space, "At the Edge" at the Memory of the Place - Bin Matar House, "All-Purpose" at House of Architectural Heritage, "Otolithe" by Hasan Hujairi & Christine Rebet at the Fusoos Square, and "Belonging" by Marwa Rashid Al Khalifa at the Archaeologies of Green. Visitors to the festival can also stop by a variety of art studios and galleries, including the Busaad Art Gallery, Studio Anne Holtrop, Ta'a House, and others that are scattered throughout Old Muharraq. 


The public is invited to the Suq Nights in Amarat Fakhro I & II, where designers and entrepreneurs showcase their original creations and goods that cater to a variety of tastes and interests. Additionally, they can check out the Suq Al Qaysariyyah, which has many newer stores and design studios.


Shops selling traditional swords, gold and jewelry, the world-famous Bahraini Halwa, woodwork, antiques, and Kurar embroidery will all be open to visitors during the Muharraq Nights Festival so that they can meet the artisans and learn more about their work. 


In order to enrich the city's cultural offerings, the Muharraq Nights Festival offers a variety of perspectives on eating Bahraini and contemporary cuisine at venues like the Suq Al Qaysariyyah, Archaeologies of Green, Siyadi Shop, House of Coffee, Lugmatina House, and others from the city's rich cultural past. At Al Dana Square, part of the Pearling Path site, you'll find the "Suq Al Dana," where hardworking families and local merchants set up shops to sell food and drink to the public to the tune of traditional and modern music.


The Muharraq Nights Festival will feature musical evenings for fans of authentic Bahraini melodies and music at various locations across the city, starting with Qal'at Bu Mahir, which will host folklore performances by renowned groups like the Qalali Folk Band, the Dar Bin Harban Band, the Ismaeel Dawas Band, and the Shabab Al Hidd Band.


Dar Al Muharraq will only have folklore performances on Saturdays of the festival, while the Mohammed bin Faris Music Hall will only have evening performances on Thursdays. Ahmed Al Qasim, Mohamed Aseeri, Mahmood Al Hashemi, Zeyad Sabt, and Ahmed Al Basri will deliver contemporary music performances in Amart Fakhro I, while Mohammed Jabbari and Nabil Mohamed will perform in Fusoos Square, within the Pearling Path site. The Sami Al Malood Band, Ertijal Band, and others will perform a mix of folklore and contemporary music at Al Dana Square.


At the Pearling Path Visitors Centre, the Muharraq Nights Festival will screen films by Bahraini directors in collaboration with the Bahrain Cinema Club, and Suq Al Qaysariyyah will show the "Oral History" documentary series, which was produced by the Culture Authority and features various facets of Bahrain's tangible and intangible heritage. 


In addition, with the support of the French Embassy in Bahrain, the Alliance Française, and the Instiut Francais, the Fusoos Square within the Pearling Path site will host two screenings of Christine Rebit's animation "Otolithe," an ode to the world's oldest jewel, the pearl, and is inspired by Fjiri, the traditional songs of pearl divers in the Gulf region, on December 9 and 10. Hasan Hujairi, an artist and musician, created stunning audio performances for each presentation, which will be followed by a panel discussion about this artistic collaboration. 


Family movie nights will be held at Qal'at Bu Mahir, featuring kid- and adult-friendly films. In addition to kayaking trips between 9 am and 5 pm, oyster flicking in Qal'at Bu Mahir, cycling, a program for the Khalifiya and Sophia Libraries, and a Kids Activity Corner with storytelling events, workshops, and other activities, the festival offers a variety of other activities. The Muharraq Nights Festival will organize tours around the Pearling Path, Fakhro House, Siyadi Majlis & Murad House, multi-storey car parks, a photography tour, and a food tour to familiarize visitors with the city's historical and cultural sites.


The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities would like to thank the Muharraq Nights Festival's contributors, which include the National Bank of Bahrain, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health (National Genome Centre), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information Affairs, Muharraq Municipality, Radio Bahrain 96.5, the French Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Alliance Française, Instiut Francais and Edamah. The Authority also thanks its staff, artists, designers, and creators, as well as everyone who contributed to the success of Muharraq's most significant cultural event. 


The Muharraq Nights Festival sheds light on the Pearling Path, the second site of the Kingdom of Bahrain to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as the cultural and social practices and intangible heritage associated with it, which embody the pearling era's legacy in Bahrain. The site encompasses 3.5 kilometers of pristine coastline, three pearl fisheries, sixteen historic buildings, and public squares, all within the historic city of Muharraq.