The Twins Folklore Musical Group from al-Mahwa to the open airThree women and three thousand dreams [Archives:2003/675/Culture]

October 9 2003

Fikri Qassim
For Yemen Times, Sana'a

Bob Marely was a black American with curly hair but this didn't stop him from singing and this did not stop millions of both black and white music lovers adore his music and rock on his tunes although his grass cigar did not leave his lips at all.
From Cuba to al-Mahwa where the discriminated live in Taiz 260 kilometres south of the Capital Sana'a. and from the sky scrappers to tin huts and ivory hearts even if the faces seemed more tanned and more tired. Yet all this did not stop Thikrayat, Pardias, and Huda from singing like nightingales and dancing like Gardenia flowers sometimes in the darkness of unforgiving traditions. Three artists with different names and features but they have the same dreams and they have called themselves the Twins Group for Folklore Music.

Who are they?
The eldest is Thikrayat Ali Murshid 35 years old, she started singing 15 years ago encouraged by her husband, Huda Ali Salem 23 years old sings at homes always and in family celebrations while the 17 years old Pardais who is the group leader's – Thikrayat- daughter sings in weddings. All three adore Lahji singing and are grateful to artist Saleh al-Ja'adi. Thikrayat says: “He was the first to introduce us and encourage us to becoming professional singers. Before that we used to sing out of boredom in our hearts, today we sing to get rid of the boredom in other people's hearts.”

The beginning
They started differently, sometimes individually on various occasions, but the first appearance for them face to face with the public was at the 13th anniversary celebrations of the unity in the Maryrs Square in Taiz. “For the first time I have felt I am a Yemeni citizen was when I participated in this important event.” Thikrayat comments, and Huda added “I cried out of happiness, we thought that such participations and celebrations are not for us, we felt we belonged somewhere else” while little Pardias says: “That day I understood the meaning of the Yemeni Unity”, wiping her tears.
While big artists aspire to live on huge amounts of money, Thikrayat says: “God will give us what's enough, it's sufficient that we are popular and bring happiness to people's lives. This is our biggest success.” Pardias adds: “I want to sing everywhere and music for me is a road I chose to walk, and my parents have always supported me”. Huda joins in saying: “we earned clean money with our own sweat, we live in honor and that is enough, art has taught us the true meaning of feelings, what more can we ask?”

People in their lives
Abbai al-Jawhar, Muzil Farhan, Abdullah al-Rowashid, Mohammed Sad Abdullah are the singers Huda is influenced by, she conveys a sad touch as she sings. While Thikrayat on the contrary adores Lahji music and Sana'ani music and she sings those types in parties explaining that “a man has to be proud of his country's traditions and our traditions are rich.” Pardais does not wear glasses yet is so influenced by artist Aziza Jalal as she admits : “I dream of being like her one day, and I will buy glasses like hers and will start wearing them immediately.”
The reason behind the unending giving of this group is that all three have a caring and understanding husbands, who originally are actually artists but not as famous as their respective wives.