Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Monday, Apr 15, 2024

Soulful Arab, French songs mark opening of Francophonie Festival

The Francophonie Festival began with a captivating performance by French-Egyptian opera singer Farrah El-Dibany, whose white and gold ensemble harked back to ancient Egypt.
Joining her were musicians Mina Barsoum (piano), Ahmed Boustaji (oud), and Aymen Attitallah (percussion), transporting the audience through a blend of Arab and French musical treasures, honoring icons like Fayrouz, Dalida, and Farid Al-Atrash.

El-Dibany's performance in Jeddah combined classic French and Arabic hits, celebrating the cultural fusion the festival stands for. The French consul-general in Jeddah, Mohammed Nehad, highlighted the festival’s role in enhancing French ties with Saudi Arabia and global communities through educational, cultural, and business collaborations.

Diplomats, expatriates, and local officials joined cultural aficionados at the opening, where the Alliance Francaise's director in Jeddah, Larry Lamartiniere, praised El-Dibany's act as the perfect kickoff for the Francophonie Month 2024 celebrations in Saudi Arabia.

Events lined up for March include concerts, cultural nights, children's workshops, and film screenings, all showcasing the diversity of the French-speaking world.

Originating in 1970, the festival solidifies cultural connections and supports human development among French-speaking nations. Saudi Arabia's iteration facilitates cultural and educational exchanges.

Notable forthcoming events feature a performance by Benjamin Piat, the French University Graduates’ Night, and a children's workshop by the Alliance Francaise, culminating in a screening of the French film “Divertimento.” Other festivities, such as culinary showcases, traditional dances, and discussions, will be held by Senegal’s consulate and at the Francophonie Village.

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