Dialogue Festival: Gesture of cultural cooperation [Archives:2005/879/Culture]

September 22 2005

The French Embassy launched the Festival Dialogues events in Sana'a on Sunday Sept 18 at the Great Hall, Sana'a University. Speeches were given on the occasion, explaining the importance of dialogue among cultures. Dr. Saleh Basurrah, Rector of Sana'a University, appreciated the French initiative and revealed bonds of cooperation between Sana'a University and the French Cultural Center. He also announced that a book on the Yemeni civilization will be published collaboration with the French Cultural Center.

The French Ambassador pointed out in his speech the importance of Arab contribution to intercultural dialogue. He referred to great Arab thinkers and philosophers such as Ibn Roshd and Ibn Kholdoun whose works are taught at the Sorbonne.

Shadow Theater:

A shadow theater play was staged. It is a modern type of art consisted in a screen on the stage with the players hidden behind it. They recited Yemeni and French poetry to the accompaniment of loud music by Abdullatif Ya'qoob, while certain manipulation of light shed from behind and created shapes and images on the screen forming an essential part of the story of the poem. It was an interesting and purposeful show attended by members of the diplomatic corps, French language students and the interested audience.

Street arts:

On the following day, Franco-German street performers made their way down the street from the German House to The French Cultural Center, surrounded by spectators in different ages. They made a spectacular show to the accompaniment of music. Some of the performers were making shows with sticks, others were juggling balls, but the stilt-mounting man drew the bulk of people with his freakish appearance. The spectators were very amused and many of them took shoots of the performers with their cameras and mobiles.

The repeated the show the next day at al-Tahrir, being the city center, al-Tahrir area is very populous, and a huge crowd gathered around the street performers. Children and grown-ups spent good time watching the exotic circus performances.

The troupe will be performing in Aden streets on Sept 24, 2005.

Other activities:

The Festival included chorals by Yemeni and French singers in the city of Sana'a. According to Mustafa Imran, French Cultural Center's Public Relations Officer, the Center participate today, Thursday Sept 22, in Damt Tourist Festival, a way to contribute to Yemen's Revolution celebrations.

The French Cultural Center and a photo gallery by Henry De Monfreid, will officially be opened on Saturday 24. Henry de Monfried was a French writer who lived in the region and visited Yemen, and the Yemen-based French Cultural Center is named after him.