With support from the UAE Embassy and as part of the Year of Tolerance, a song, titled, "Du'ou 'al Khashab" (Knock on Wood), was released in Beirut. The song is a musical collaboration between the UAE and Lebanon.
The project is the brainchild of Emirati artist Hussain Al Jassmi and Lebanese artist Marwan Khouri, and its online revenue will be donated a year after the launch of the song to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The launch took place during a press conference in Beirut, under the patronage of Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon, and with the attendance of Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon; Fouad Makhzoumi, Chairman of the UAE-Lebanon Parliamentary Friendship Committee; Ziad Hamza, MBC Group Director of Audio and Music; Dani Sirafi, Director of Artists Affairs of the MBC Group, and many artists and journalists.
The project, which aims to consolidate the relations between the UAE and Lebanon, is being managed by Hamza, and the song's lyrics were written by poet Ali Al Khawar and Khouri, who also composed the music. Al Jassmi and Khouri performed the song produced by artist Mahmoud Al Eid and Dani Khouri.
During the event, the song was performed for Ambassador Al Shamsi, who blessed the work and supported its launch.
Speaking at the event, Al Shamsi highlighted the strong bilateral relations between the UAE and Lebanon since the era of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in light of the UAE's wise leadership, which supports, in every forum, Lebanon's president, government and people.
He stated that the project represents the deep relations that connect the two countries, not only on a political level but also in terms of culture, arts and literature while adding that it expresses the friendship between their peoples.
"This work reflects the true image of what brings our countries together, especially as the song's revenue will go to charitable and humanitarian works, which we are prioritising and adopting in all our initiatives and activities," he further added.
Al Shamsi also spoke about the announcement declaring 2019 as a Year of Tolerance in the UAE, stating, "The Emirati leadership realised at an early stage that advancement could only be achieved through diversity, which enriches modern life and gives it dimension and meaning. Today, while I am with you, we are witnessing this first of its kind activity. I feel happy, because of the bridges of peace and tolerance that connect our countries."
He then thanked Hamza, who is the creator of the project, which aims to enhance Emirati-Lebanese relations, as well as Al Khawar and Marwan Khouri, who wrote the lyrics, composed its music and performed it, in cooperation with Al Jassmi, who delivered, through his voice, a message of love. He also praised the efforts of the project's working team and everyone who contributed.
"I am honoured and pleased to sponsor this excellent occasion. Ambassador Al Shamsi made himself know to us by launching similar initiatives, which are characterised by intellectual, emotional and humanitarian advancement. The project is the first of its kind and aims to advance our relations to a new level, as well as complement other initiatives and add another dimension to them. It is also characterised by the meeting of Al Jassmi and Marwan Khouri, who represent the cultures of our countries," Hasbani said.
"What brings the UAE and Lebanon together is a relationship of love, friendship and mutual respect, and this initiative reminds everyone of what brings us together. This work combines art and social responsibility, which characterise Lebanon and the UAE. I want to thank every Emirati who supported Lebanon with their minds and intelligence, and every Lebanese who showcased their energies, capabilities, intelligence and love," he added.
At the end of the launch, Al Shamsi presented an honouring armour to Hamza and Marwan Khouri as a token of appreciation for their creative contributions.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs