Arabia Late @ The British Museum

The British Museum put on their Arabia Late event last night, and Middle East LDN were on hand to live Tweet the event.

While there were a lot of family friendly activities, like henna tattoos and a world-weave map, there were also plenty of events on offer for other, older visitors. Various musical ensembles and artists were on throughout the evening, such as Ahmed Mukhtar, playing traditional oud music, as well as drama and dance groups, such as the Khayaal Theatre Company, performing an excerpt from their production of ‘Conference of the Birds’.

Al Farabi Ensemble at the British Museum’s Arabia Late event. Photo: Laurie Tuffrey

Directed by master reedflute player and Louai Alhenawi, the Al Farabi Ensemble’s classical Arab Sufi museum, filling the cavernous Great Court was one of the musical highlights of the night.

…though sadly, we were a little too busy to stop, because…

Mohammed Ali speaking at the British Museum’s Arabia Late event. Photo: ALIWAY

Here’s a round-up of our Tweets at the time:

To read our full piece on Ali’s talk, click here.

Silk Roads performing ‘Labbayk’ at the British Museum’s Arabia Late event. Photo: Laurie Tuffrey

‘Labbayk: I Am Here’ was commissioned especially for the Arabia Late event, and was partly inspired by the Hajj pilgrimage, the subject of one of the British Museum’s key exhibitions this year. Exploring “purification, touching, circling, magnetic force, and receiving”, it was a beautiful, visually-stunning piece. Take a look at their website here.

Silk Roads at Arabia Late. Photo: Laurie Tuffrey

Another piece specially made for the event was this traditional Mahmal, a modern version of the one on display in the Hajj: Journey to the East, created by community groups in Camden.

Mahmal at the British Museum’s Arabia Late event. Photo: Laurie Tuffrey

All in all, it was a fantastic event, with some fascinating talks set side-by-side some wonderful performances, all in the exquisite location of the British Museum. Arabia Late 2013, roll on.

Laurie Tuffrey

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