Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Institut Français in the UAE host Poetry Night 2021 to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day


Abu Dhabi: In celebration of the World Arabic Language Day, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) – part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the Institut Français in the UAE, and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (IMA), join hands to host the Poetry Night 2021, along with Louvre Abu Dhabi (LAD), Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (SUAD). Taking place on 18th of December 2021 at the LAD from 7 to 9pm, the event will offer audiences a mesmerizing experience that blends performing and visual arts with poetry.

Poetry Night has been organized by the IMA in France and 15 Arab countries since 2016. It is an emblematic night that promotes dialogue, tolerance and celebrates the beauty of languages. Taking place this year in the UAE capital, the event as part of the ongoing collaboration between the IMA and ALC. The agreement signed between both entities in November 2021, represents one of the most significant milestones that solidify the cultural ties between both countries and is aimed at consolidating efforts to reinforce the Arabic language’s position on the global cultural map, promoting the International Certificate of Proficiency in Arabic (CIMA), and strengthening collaboration across other cultural areas. The Poetry Night presents an opportunity to celebrate these cultural and historic ties between France and the UAE by showcasing their creativity and rich linguistic and artistic scenes.

H.E Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France to the United Arab Emirates, declared: “What a beautiful celebration of arts and languages at Louvre Abu Dhabi – an emblematic institution of inter-cultural dialogue. It will be a moment of great beauty, thanks to the cooperation between the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, and the Institut français in the United Arab Emirates, but especially thanks to presence of the poets, musicians, and visual artists”.

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, said: “A cultural and artistic event of this kind plays an important role in gathering innovators and creative minds from various disciplines and countries under one roof, in one diverse and unique artistic melting pot, to promote cultural synergy and open up new prospects for direct communication with inspiring displays that blend poetry with other modern artforms.”

“Poetry Night is one of the many aspects of the cultural collaboration that marks the recent partnership agreement between the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Paris-based ‘Institut du Monde Arabe’, which aims to celebrate the Arabic language and demonstrate its aesthetic and agile properties,” HE Bin Tamim added. “The agenda moving forward includes many landmark events under this constructive partnership, all of which are geared towards advancing the Arabic language on the world stage as a language of culture, science, and creativity, and promoting its use in every field.”

Manuel Rabaté, Director of LAD, said: “We are proud to host this evening of poetry, language and art among our esteemed peers at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Telling the stories of our world in Arabic, and through poetry, speaks to the rich heritage of this artform, the poetic prowess of the language and its continued celebration through the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Institut du Monde Arabe partnership. Tonight, we celebrate the beauty of Arabic language across many cultures and through the talents of many artistic disciplines in a museum whose mission is to tell stories of cultural connections.”

Prof Silvia Serrano, Vice-Chancellor of SUAD, commented: “Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is glad to participate in this year’s edition of “La Nuit de la Poésie” which is dedicated to travel and cross-cultural exchange. This theme echoes the university’s motto « A bridge between civilizations ». It is a significant event especially for our students, who wrote poems in three languages (French, English and Arabic) under the leadership of the French Studies Department. These poems reflect their personal experiences, imagination and their desire to share beyond any borders and ages.”

Poetry Night 2021 will feature a mix of poetry, rap, music, and visual arts performances, offering the public an immersive experience with the theme of travel, in a journey around the world celebrating the history of cultural connections.

With the artists Amal Alsahlawi, Sherine Tohamy, Rohan Houssein, Kaspar Ravel, and students from the Department of French Studies at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Aysha Alblooshi, Alyazia Alharmodi, Malick Traoré, Aziz Diop, Mariam Alhosani , Aisha Alaleeli, and Shahd Talaat.

This event has limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, to attend the event, please register through the website.  -ENDS-

Important notes:

–        This event has limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions and is only accessible through registration: [link]

Security measures:

–        Social distancing of 2m is maintained.

–        Masks must be worn at all times.

–        Attendees must present a green Alhosn pass.

The artists:

Rohan Houssein

Inspired by his travels, Oriental poets, and hip hop, Rohan Houssein expresses himself throughout a “geopoetic” rap, open towards the world. Exile, memories of a peaceful native Syria, and the place of the artist in the world are some of the themes discussed in his work. In 2018, he published his first collection Divinâmouras well as the albums Universal love and Esthète. Rohan Housein also a painter and an audiovisual director: his Capsule videos “The World is Yours” allow you to tour the world using poetry.

Amal Alsahlawi

Amal Alsahlawi is a poet born and raised in Sharjah, where she studied Arabic literature at the University of Sharjah. Her first collection of poetry published in 2020 was warmly received by readers. Her poem “The wonders of time” was successfully presented at the MET – New York as part of the MET live arts initiative by Faraj Abyad in July 2021. She has participated in many events, including a poem reading at Hekayah for NYU Abu Dhabi, and others at the UAE University in the city of AlAin. In her poetry, Amal Alsahlawi addresses feminism, philosophy and existentialism using freestyle and classical poetry. She wants to address the anxieties of modern life.

Kaspar Ravel

New-media artist and off/online curator, from the art subcultures of the internet, Kaspar Ravel studied computer science and theater at Sorbonne University to explore the surreal and poetic politics of data. Inventive computer hacker, he navigates through technological innovations the current standards to be able to dissect, understand and alter them and to reuse them as spaces for experimental practice and integrate in them alternative ideologies. By working on analogies between physical and digital bodies, he establishes popular languages with the goal of demystifying technology and uncovering the coexistent virtual realities of the world in which we live.

Sherine Al Tohamy

Sherine Tohamy is one of the first graduates of Bait Al Oud in Egypt with a very good mention. She has been teaching at this institution since 2002, first in Cairo and then at Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi, since 2009. She was an Assistant Professor of Oud at New York University Abu Dhabi. Sherine Al Tohamy has also released three albums and given numerous concerts around the world, as a soloist or with international bands. Since 2011, she has been leading the first women’s music group in the United Arab Emirates, NAJMAAT.

SUAD students:

Aysha Alblooshi, Alyazia Alharmodi, Malick Traoré, Aziz Diop, Mariam Alhosani , Aisha Alaleeli, and Shahd Talaat.

About the Institut Français in the UAE:

Institut Français in the UAE is the cultural branch of the French embassy in the UAE, and part of a wider network of “French Institutes” across the world. As a government agency, its main mission is to share French cultural, intellectual, and academic production and expertise, and develop the teaching and learning of French across the world. Institut Français in the UAE also coordinates the UAE’s network of French schools, and Alliances françaises of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

It is involved in a vast range of activities, including the organisation of and participation in exhibitions, lectures, shows and fairs, film festivals, concerts, dance and theatre shows, training teachers of French language, promoting French higher education and supporting French cultural industries around the world. 

About Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre:

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, established following a directive from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, works to support Arabic language development and modernisation through comprehensive strategies and frameworks, enrich the scientific, educational, cultural and creative contributions of the Arabic language, promote Arabic language proficiency and cultural understanding, and support Arab talents in the fields of writing, translation, publishing, scientific research, arts, content creation and organisation of book fairs. The Centre works to realise its foundational vision through dedicated programmes, human expertise and meaningful partnerships with the world’s most prestigious technical, cultural and academic institutions.

About Louvre Abu Dhabi:

Created by an exceptional agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by Jean Nouvel and opened on Saadiyat Island in November 2017. The museum is inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and its monumental dome creates a rain of light effect and a unique social space that brings people together. Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates the universal creativity of mankind and invites audiences to see humanity in a new light. Through its innovative curatorial approach, the museum focuses on building understanding across cultures: through stories of human creativity that transcend civilisations, geographies and times.  The museum’s growing collection is unparalleled in the region and spans thousands of years of human history, including prehistoric tools, artefacts, religious texts, iconic paintings and contemporary artworks. The permanent collection is supplemented by rotating loans from 13 French partner institutions, regional and international museums. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a testing ground for new ideas in a globalised world and champions new generations of cultural leaders. Its international exhibitions, programming and Children’s Museum are inclusive platforms that connect communities and offer enjoyment for all.

About the Institut du Monde Arabe:

The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) was designed to establish strong and lasting links between cultures and cultivate a genuine dialogue between the Arab world, France and Europe. This multidisciplinary space is a privileged place for the development of cultural projects, often designed in collaboration with institutions, creators, and thinkers from the Arab world.

The Arab World Institute is fully anchored in the present. It intends to reflect all the energies of the Arab world and to mark its unique place in the landscape of cultural institutions. Debates, symposia, seminars, conferences, dance performances, concerts, films, books, meetings, language and civilization courses, major exhibitions, allow the IMA public to confront this unique and living world every day.