Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s latest initiative is a three day festival (24-26 November) that aims to rediscover and celebrate traditional sacred music. Envisioned as “a testament to tradition, wisdom, and the power of togetherness”, it “aims to bring people closer to heritage, diverse cultures, and to each other.”
It’s not just music; there will be “immersive art installations, an indigenous craft-market, wholesome cuisines, as well as mind and body wellness activities and workshops” (yoga, breathwork meditation, and Zikr are mentioned). The music comes with laser projections on to the dunes and mountains to create “a visual and auditory spectacle that will leave all in attendance in awe”.
The line-up includes …
- Nawa Band, founded in 2009 by Ibrahim Muslimani in Aleppo, performs sacred and secular compositions of Muwashahat and Qudud, particularly forgotten masterpieces from the 20th century.
- Fanna-Fi-Allah celebrated traditional Sufi Qawwali ensemble
- Peia and Band Peia Luzzi, an American-born song collector and multi-instrumentalist, draws inspiration from Irish and Old World European folk music
- Dhafer Youssef The Tunisian singer and oud player discovered jazz during his schooldays. He’s made six albums that exhibit his love for Indian and Nordic rhythms
- Maria Coman A singer with a deep passion for Orthodox Byzantine music
- Khusugtun Classical Mongolian folk music, blending traditional instruments with Mongolian khoomei/huumii (throat singing)
- Rodrigo Rodriguez, born in Argentina and raised in Spain, is a master of both classical Spanish guitar and the traditional Japanese Shakuhachi flute. His compositions span New Age, World Music, and Contemporary genres
And on the wellness side:
- Kino MacGregor is the entreprenoeurial yoga enthusiast behind the pioneering yoga TV network Omstars
- Master Can, apparently a 34th generation Shaolin warrior monk, will share the wisdom of QiGong and martial arts
- Lina Nahhas is an Arab-Canadian based in Dubai will be using movement and “the nourishing energy of her dynamic practice” to “set spirits free and ground them in the present”
- Farima Berenji, Iranian-American dance ethnologist and Yarsan Sufi Master, will share her uniquely spiritual and healing renditions of the ancient and sacred dances of Persia
Day passes are AED 554 (or AED 1,030 for Golden Circle access), three-day passses are AED 1,497 or AED 2,780 respectively. They don’t include anything other than access to the stages.
Tanweer’s organisers are keen to emphasise the location, Sharjah’s Mleiha desert, by offering “meaningful add-ons” like camping under the stars, horse riding, and moon gazing. There will also be guided excursions to Jebel Buhais and the rather good Mleiha Archaeological Centre.