Arab stars praise role of Sharjah in promoting Islam and its values of tolerance and love
SHARJAH- The Sharjah Media Centre’s Ramadan Majlis hosted a group of stars from the epic Clusters of Light – a theatrical blockbuster which marked Sharjah’s inauguration as Islamic Culture Capital 2014. The evening was held Wednesday evening, the 9th of July, in the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre and a large crowd of people from a range of different nationalities.
Held at Expo Centre Sharjah under the title ‘Cross Spaces Dialogue’, the session included artists Khalid Al Sheikh, Lotfi Bouchnak, Ali Al Hajjar and director Ahmed Munjid Al Sharif, and was moderated by Prof Dr Nadin Al Assaad.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said that Clusters of Light was a gift presented from Sharjah to the world to make the peoples of the world aware of the noble values of Islam. He clarified that the epic theatre production made a breakthrough in theatrical shows due to the combination of the state-of-the-art technology used, adding that efforts are being made to schedule more shows in the Al Majaz Amphitheatre and in Arab and foreign countries.
The session was attended by HE Ossama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre, His Excellency Khalifa Al Shaibani, General Manager of ‘Wekaya’, HE Hisham Al Madhloum, Director of Art Directorate at the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah, Dr Perwin Habib, Poet and Presenter at Dubai TV, Dr Jasim Khalfan, a national activist, and a number of prominent figures from cultural, artistic, and media circles.
HE Osama Samra, Head of the Media Committee of Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital Celebrations 2014, said that the production saw a great deal of pressure and tension due to time constraints. The team was coordinating the building of Al Majaz Amphitheatre, composition of the work, rehearsal and so many other related tasks in a span of four months. Yet the team members were happy and proud of the work they are doing to highlight the true picture of Islam and underline the role played by Sharjah in promoting peace and love among people.
Dr Nadin Al Assaad expressed her happiness at being in Sharjah which is, according to her, the region’s destination of choice for cultural activities.
Singer Lotfi Bouchnak described his feeling when he received the offer to participate in Clusters of Light, saying that from the instant he read the script for the first time he found himself in every single scene and moment. He added that he never accepts any work that does not add value to his career and that he took part in Clusters of Light because he was sure that the show would remain in memory forever.
Bouchnak clarified that Clusters of Light as a highly valuable production as it provides a true picture of Islam and promotes the Islamic message of tolerance, love, and peace to a war torn world. He added that works such as these are extremely important in recent days to dispel the myths and misconceptions about Islam in the West and to highlight the Islamic values of acceptance of others, coexistence, respect, justice, and benevolence.
Composer Khalid Al Sheikh recalled the first moments when he received the script via email, saying that he did not understand the complicated idea at first, so he decided to travel to Sharjah to meet the team. He felt that he was going to embark on an exceptional production about the history of Islam.
Khalid Al Sheikh praised the support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who met the team and visited them during the final rehearsals before the premiere of Clusters of Light.
He said that His Highness’ directive to present an unprecedented show that highlights the true picture of Islam was a challenge for all members of the team to live up to responsibly and produce an epic from Sharjah to 1.5 billion Muslims across the world.
Singer Ali Al Hajjar revealed some impressions of non-Muslim actors and actress behind the scene, saying that many of them cried during rehearsal as they were deeply impressed by the Islamic human values, which were new to them.
Al Hajjar presented the artistic lessons learnt from the work, saying that Clusters of Light proved that beautiful composition and stunning visuals are able to inspire people and make difference even when concerned with well known historical issues and facts.
He added that the work was like an opera, because there were more songs and music in the show than acts and performances.
Director Ahmed Munjid Al Sharif spoke about some technical details, saying that the real work was to convert poetry into visual theatrical scenes with a focus on using lights to express the light of faith.
He added that music and composition has contributed to deliver the word to audience in straightforward way.
Al Sharif added that theatre is no longer a static art, but a one that combines tempo with stunning visuals, and takes care of composition and content. He clarified that composition has refined the word and brought it closer to people.
The 6th session of Sharjah Media Centre’s Ramadan Majlis is scheduled next Monday July 14, and will discuss the Direct Line programmes, in presence of Mohammed Khalaf, manager of Sharjah Radio and TV, Abdullah bin Khasif from Ajman Radio, Rashid Al Kharaji from Noor Dubai Radio, Ahmed Al Mujaini from Abu Dhabi Radio, and Mohammed Ghanim Mustafa, Director General of Ras Al Khaimah Radio”.