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Welcome to the latest edition of The Arts Edit, the weekly newsletter from The National's Abu Dhabi newsroom rounding up this week's most noteworthy arts and culture stories.


As we reach the end of the first week of Ramadan, Maan Jalal has been revisiting some beloved classic Ramadan TV shows. From 1979's Abnaie Al Aezzaa Shokran (Thank You, My Dear Children), which launched the careers of several Arab stars such as Hassan Hosny and Farouk Al Fishawy, to social dramas such as Theeab Al Jabal (The Mountain Wolves), there’s plenty to catch up on, or relive.

Abdullah Al Sadhan and Nasser Al Qasabi are back with Tash Al Awda. MBC
Abdullah Al Sadhan and Nasser Al Qasabi are back with Tash Al Awda. MBC

Speaking of classics, the beloved Saudi comedy series Tash Ma Tash has finally returned, following a 12-year hiatus. With comedians Nasser Al Qasabi and Abdullah Al Sadhan healing the rifts that resulted in the show's cancellation in 2011, Saeed Saeed has reviewed the first four episodes to see if the duo can revive their chemistry for Tash Al Awda (Tash: The Return).

Emirati singer Hussain Al Jasmi has also released a song for Ramadan, Bab Rizq (A Door to Blessings), for the holy month. Liza Ayach explains the meaning and symbolism of the song, which aims to inspire hope and peace through its accompanying music video.

Hareth Al Bustani
Arts & Culture Editor



Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum, known as Gem, has launched its inaugural arts programme with an exhibition from Susan Hefuna. Running until June 15, the Traces of Egypt show features 28 costumes made of Egyptian cotton, which pay homage to the Khayamiya tradition of patterned and colourful appliques dating back centuries.

Hefuna's Traces of Egypt. Photo: Grand Egyptian Museum
Hefuna's Traces of Egypt. Photo: Grand Egyptian Museum

Saida El Harkany, cultural programming director at the museum’s operator Legacy Development and Management, says: “We want to send a message across that the Gem is a destination and not just a museum of ancient civilisation. It’s also a contemporary art platform, where we have programming across the arts, design, crafts, even gastronomy.”

The museum recently launched a membership club for artists, designers and craftspeople to showcase their work in five temporary exhibition spaces. Other plans in the pipeline include international art exhibitions, film screenings, performances, talks, book launches and a family weekend.



William Parry spoke to Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters about his legal battle against Frankfurt municipality, which is trying to cancel his shows in the city over his views on Israel and Palestine.

Over his career, Waters has repeatedly faced accusations of anti-Semitism over support for the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law through economic pressure.

Waters denies accusations of anti-Semitism. EPA
Waters denies accusations of anti-Semitism. EPA

However, the artist refutes the claims, arguing that conflating racism with criticism of government policy is “nonsense”. Munich council has reinforced this stance, having backtracked from initial plans to cancel his shows there.

"I'm so happy to be going to Germany,” Waters says. “I'm going to spread my message of love and reconciliation with all my friends and fans there, and there's hundreds and hundreds of thousands of us. They all want to come to the show.”




  • The Sharjah Biennial 15 Film Programme, Al Hamra Cinema — April 1
  • AlUla Design Award submission deadline — April 12
  • Alonsa Guevara's Counting Leaves exhibition at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai — until April 25



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There are a variety of reasons why Chinese Indians make the Achipur Pilgrimage, from preserving the traditions of their ancestors to connecting with the broader community. Photo: Puja Bhattacharjee A pilgrimage honouring India's Chinese community