Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sands of death

May I call him a friend? Yes, I sincerely think I can. I’ve known him for two years now, I had first met him during the organisation of a festival around Arabic music and we even had dinner with the great Lebanese musician Marcel Khalifé, just the three of us, an unforgettable evening indeed. Then we crossed through each other in cultural centres, listening to music coming from everywhere in the world, from Morocco to China. In the last few months, we met again more officially to start preparing a festival of Arabic music and performing arts, which will take place from the end of October until mid November in Antwerp and Brussels. As usual, my friend showed an incredible energy and will to share his knowledge and passion, truly believing in the power of arts and on its ability to gather people from different cultures. That is why I’ve always respected him and shared his ideas of communication with people. Today, while getting back to work on our next project, I’ve learned that my friend wasn’t here anymore. He flew away, somewhere between the earth and the sky, in a place where the sand and the wind mingle. On his journey to the endless desert, he didn’t only leave his projects behind, but also his love for them. If life goes on, it does because those who die leave us with a life worth living. And it is what my friend did, giving us his passion, his sincerity, his ideas, so we can pursue what he’d started, so we will go on sharing.

To Addi Yahya who passed away in August 1, 2007


Erinc Salor said...

I guess I can claim that I have experienced some degree of personal loss throughout my childhood and the dominating feeling of all was, emptiness. That gaping hole that the passed away leaves you with.
I also suppose all the beliefs and theories concerning the afterlife primarily aims to fill that hole, that emptiness that our minds simply cannot comprehend...Each of us have our own ways of dealing with that and all of them are valid..as long as it gives us peace, until it is our turn to join the emptiness.

Bijan said...

Sorry to here such sad news.

Regarding the festival, should you realise it, do let me know. I'll try and pass by Brussels.

Whenever I go to Cairo, I usually try to visit the few cultural centres I know of. Most focus on the usual Oud-based traditional Arab music but there are others presenting the contemporary (and young) Egyptian music scene.

Sometimes that even includes women making rock music, as this time. It was a strange experience to witness a massive crowd of young Egyptian men literally rocking their socks off to the hard rock of 5 young girls singing about love, relationships and all the other well-known "getting-of-age"-stories.

It's so important to show that side of Arab music, too. I may write some lines about it if I find the time.

Ayse Erin said...


I'm really glad we're going to show some different things made in many Arab countries, from Maghreb to Syria. People really need to see that there isn't just one culture but many, and also, that it isn't just made of so-called traditional music or art form. For instance, we're going to host a dance performance, not the best I've ever seen, but still worth looking at just because it's daring to show something else, it goes beyond what one should expect, especially from Arabic artists. The festival is called MOUSSEM and will take place at BOZAR from November 2 to 10, with music (traditional, rock...), cinema and performing arts. Let me know when you'll be in Brussels!