NYUAD Arts Centre to host National Day events on Nov 28
‘Hekayah - The Story’, which is part of the Abu Dhabi City of Music events, will take place at the university’s East Plaza Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)’s Arts Centre will celebrate the UAE’s 51st National Day with a series of musical events.

The eighth edition of ‘Hekayah - The Story’, which is part of the Abu Dhabi City of Music events, will be organised on November 28 at the university’s East Plaza. It will bring together poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and storytellers from diverse backgrounds and cultures to showcase the beautiful diversity of the UAE.

The season’s theme is directly inspired by the name of the event, Hekayah - The Story. Through poetry, spoken word and song, the artists will share their stories and narratives of home, family, heritage, and nation, in all the complexity those concepts contain, asking questions about what ‘home’ means to each individual.

Over the years, Hekayah has been one of the most important vehicles for The Arts Center to celebrate local and regional talent, from award winning artists and writers to emerging student talents and everything in between. It is designed to reflect the depth and breadth of the UAE and the many communities that call it home.


The lineup of performers for the event was selected through a collaborative curatorial process by key players in the UAE’s cultural, poetry, arts, and writing communities, including Farah Chamma, Osama Mootassem, Maryam Khalifa Alshehhi, Dorian Paul Rodgers, and Bill Bragin.

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Among the live performances will be spoken word poetry by Emiratis Ali Al Zaabi, Fatema Al Fardan, Maitha Alsuwaidi, American artists Dorian Paul Rogers and Marion Wrenn, Polish artist Monika Pawlowska, Palestinian artist Samar Abdel Jaber, and American-French-Palestinian artist Nathalie Handal. There will also be musical performances by Hungarian artist Bea Laszlo, Nigerian artist Jiire Smith, and Egyptian artist ZigZag Ghanim. Asian dance group Moving Mudras will also regale the audience with a show.

“Hekayah is a significant event to The Arts Center because it allows us to expand beyond our knowledge and relationship through its collaborative curatorial process. Through this process, we are introduced to artists we might not have previously known, as well as shine a light on community artists who may have been at The Arts Center previously, whether as NYUAD students and faculty, as performers at Rooftop Rhythms’ monthly open mics, or in the case of an artist like ZigZag Ghanim, part of a previous production, Sima Dance Company’s Rhyme,” said Bill Bragin, executive artistic director at NYUAD Arts Centre.

“Hekayah creates a transnational space for the celebration of UAE National Day and acts as a platform for Emiratis [and expats] alike to pay tribute to the place we all call home.”