The cultural strategy of the Department of Culture and Tourism emphasises the diversity of cultural expressions and initiatives. To reflect the importance of the cultural heritage of the emirate, the Department of Culture and Tourism launches a diverse musical programme, with the objective to put culture and heritage at the forefront of the development plans for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
Bait Al Oud was established in Abu Dhabi to provide an innovative platform for the younger generations, and a renowned centre for Arabic music. Since its opening in 2008, Bait Al Oud stands as an important milestone that delivers an understanding of Arabic musical instruments, and their return to the vanguard of the contemporary music scene, with an increasing number of young musicians choosing to be part of it.
The story of Bait Al Oud goes back to when I started the project in Tunisia in 1993. My goal was to have musicians in each house in the Arab world. In October 1998, Bait Al Oud was launched in Cairo by the Egyptian Opera House, with the support and faith of Dr Ratiba Hafni, the great opera singer. Gradually I was able to visualise my dream with Arabic music being more present than ever. With time, newly developed projects were being implemented at Bait Al Oud, and an increasing number of young men and women obtained soloist and master certificates, and instrument teaching certificates. Bait Al Oud in Abu Dhabi is a central point of this Arabic musical renaissance, as it features the staff and facilities to succeed as a civil, cultural and creative project.
This way is not only our way, as it has also become the way of many students who now have the same dream that I had as a child. Yet, their dreams are bigger. Dreams must grow, develop and change as well. As the world advances its scientific achievements, it advances in its dreams too.
When I am in front of students as they declare their distinctiveness, holding an instrument they love that becomes a part of their personality, I find the courage to keep on with the work we have started. The dream extends from their fingertips, and hope increases towards the fulfilment of the promise that we announced when opening in Abu Dhabi.
It has today become a beautiful family looking at you with love. So listen well to the voices of hope as they play music, for they are the future of our dreams, and the fruits of our cultural roots, for which we will always fight. Listen to these fingers as they play a symphony of dreams, not as fingers that dream but as fingers that are walking on their dream paths.