Moscow Emirati
Emirati band performing at the Moscow Red Square on Saturday Image Credit: Supplied

Moscow: A touch of Emirati flair has been added to Moscow’s merriment surrounding its 872nd birthday celebrations, witnessed by the Russian capital in the past few days.

The rhythmic playing of tambourines and lively songs by the Sharjah National Band have walked Moscow’s streets covering key landmarks including the Moscow International Book Fair site, the Gorky Theater and the historic Red Square. The band has amazed locals, filling the air with the authentic sounds and beats of Emirati culture, engaging spectators and onlookers across age groups.

The parades were part of Sharjah’s participation at MIBF 2019 as their the ‘Guest City’. Dressed in pristine white Kandoras, members of the Sharjah National Band performed songs inspired by the perilous experiences of the UAE’s pearl divers, the hardships travellers faced while crossing its vast and arid desert, and other scenes and stories that have shaped the nation’s history and identity.

Sharjah’s cultural programme designed to celebrate its selection as Guest City at the ongoing Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF-2019), features a series of panel discussions and folk shows.

Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage, commented: “The celebration of Sharjah as the Guest City of MIBF 2019 represents one of the biggest celebrations of Emirati culture and heritage in Russia. We were keen on sharing our truest traditions with Russians through our songs, rhymes and folk dances. We were delighted to see the huge turn out and were impressed by the interactions between our performers and the show’s attendees.”

Sharjah Band
Emirati band performs at the Moscow Red Square Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah Pavilion

Sharjah’s pavilion at the Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF 2019) is attracting Russian and international crowds seeking to try out traditional Emirati rituals put together by Sharjah’s cultural entities.

Book lovers are taking their pick from a collection of 59 Arabic language books published in Russian for the first time. Female visitors are having pictures taken in burqas (veils) and Emirati folk attires accessorised with traditional pieces of jewellery. Their male counterparts meanwhile are trying on the kandura (men’s attire), gutra (head dress) and iqbal.

Another section of the pavilion hosts Emirati artists drawing henna designs on the palms of visitors as they sip on hot gahwa (Arabic coffee) being served to them in the traditional handle-less cups, called finjaan. Also present is Emirati calligrapher Khalid Al Jallaf, who is taking no more than a few seconds to etch their names in the three Arabic calligraphy styles of Thuluth, Naskh and Diwani.

The activities are a continuation of Sharjah’s efforts to promote Arab and Islamic culture worldwide by sharing its history and is achievements in literature, music and art. Sharjah is the ‘Guest City’ at MIBF 2019, which concludes on Sunday.