On the occasion of UAE Union Day, music maestro AR Rahman and a 52-member all-female Firdaus orchestra paid special tribute to the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Titled ‘Singing for the Children of Zayed’, the concert at the circular atrium of Burjeel Medical City paid tribute to the teachings of the visionary leader, who believed that children were the true wealth and strength of the country.
In a moving moment, as the all-female orchestra began the melodic evening with an inspiring rendition of the national anthem ‘Ishy Bilady’, a giant crystal pendulum in the atrium began to draw a portrait of Sheikh Zayed. The orchestra was led by conductor Monica Woodman and the musicians performed from two floors of the hospital while captivating patients, healthcare professionals and visitors.
Watch the performance of the national anthem below:
“Firdaus Orchestra is an attempt to have an original entity from Expo City, Dubai. They are the pride of the United Arab Emirates,” Rahman, the Oscar and Grammy-winning musician, said of Dubai’s Firdaus Orchestra, which is mentored and supported by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.
After a powerful performance of the national anthem, the musicians performed a specially selected list of songs, including Danse, Barroco Flamenco, Ouarzazate, Ecstasy of Gold and Spirit of Rangeela.
The musical gift of a diverse and talented group of musicians captivated patients.
“In the midst of difficult times, this musical celebration was a source of comfort and inspiration. It was a healing experience that reminded me of our shared humanity and the strength of our community,” said Abdul Rahman, a patient.
Omar, a teenager recovering from injuries sustained during the Syrian earthquake, was among patients enjoying music as patriotic fervor reached its peak.
New video for hope, peace.
On the sidelines of the event, Rahman announced his next song, a collaborative effort with Burjeel Holdings, dedicated to the United Arab Emirates.
“The idea is to create a song of hope for Burjeel Holdings. This is a song for the UAE to honor all those who work selflessly. The world needs hope today. I hope the song brings peace, understanding and joy. My prayers to all the people who need to be cured in this hospital,” Rahman added.
When the concert ended, a brilliant golden portrait of Sheikh Zayed was complete in all its glory.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings, said: “We want to thank the leaders of this country for giving us the opportunity to serve the people of this great country. “We stand tall in this dome without forgetting the heroes and martyrs of this country of Covid-19.”
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