For nearly a decade, Yemen has been marred by war, instability, and a deepening humanitarian crisis. Amid these challenges, a group of 30 Yemeni musicians has embarked on a mission to transform the world's perception of their country using the rich tapestry of Yemeni music.
For 90 minutes, their melodies echoed through the Mogador Theatre in Paris during the Yemeni Tunes in Paris concert last week.
It could be just the beginning – the ensemble has played in Cairo and Malaysia and, according to 32-year-old Mohammed Al Ghoom, architect of the project, are determined to spread not only Yemeni musical heritage, but a message of peace through culture.
More than 1,500 people gathered to witness this captivating performance of 10 musical pieces by the virtuoso musicians.
“We are here to reshape the world's perception of our country,” Al Ghoom said.
“Yemen is not merely a theatre of war; it is a land of unparalleled cultural diversity and vibrancy that the world deserves to know about.
“We bear a mission and carry a clear message. Yemenis not only yearn for peace but can also be ambassadors of peace, with music as our instrument,” Al Ghoom said, describing their inaugural European concert.
Despite the formidable challenges that accompanied their European odyssey, the musicians remained unwavering in their determination to perform in the heart of Paris.
This concert is a part of the Heritage Symphonies project, a concept born in the turmoil of Yemen's conflict. The inaugural concert took place in Malaysia in 2019, followed by a triumphant performance at Cairo's Opera House in 2022.
Buoyed by these successes, the musicians set their sights on Europe, selecting Paris as their destination.
“Paris, as a major epicentre of culture and the arts, was the ideal choice for us,” said Al Ghoom.
For nearly a decade, Yemen has been marred by war, instability, and a deepening humanitarian crisis. Amid these challenges, a group of 30 Yemeni mu…
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