Classical Arab music singer follows passion for Tarab style

Saudi Arabia-based Suaad Mohammed, 50, regales her audience with her classical Arab voice at Bait Ziryab in Historic Jeddah on Friday. (AN photo)
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Updated 08 May 2022
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Classical Arab music singer follows passion for Tarab style

  • Saudi-based Suaad Mohammed, 50, used to be a computer science instructor, but is now focusing on her true passion: The classical Arabic sound of Tarab

JEDDAH: Historic Jeddah has been reviving traditions, whether through renovating old spaces in the city or embracing classic Arab music.

The Kingdom has witnessed many rising women music artists from the younger generation, but one passionate woman regaled her audience with her classical Arab voice at Bait Ziryab in Historic Jeddah on Friday.

Saudi-based Suaad Mohammed, 50, used to be a computer science instructor, but is now focusing on her true passion: The classical Arabic sound of Tarab.

“I have been engrossed in original classical Arab music in all its forms since childhood. I loved listening to Umm Kulthum, Fareed, Warda, Talal Maddah and Mohammed Abdo,” she told Arab News.

Her father had a strong interest in the music style, which Mohammed inherited.

“I would listen to their music daily with my father and therefore my ears always would soak up this type of sound. When I grew up a little, I began to sing. I sang by myself, with my friends, at school, in family gatherings and such, until I grew up and I felt that I might be able to pursue a career in this field; so I started singing more professionally and looking for people or entities that could refine my talent,” she said.

“I will alway continue to develop myself in this field. I am trying to refine myself and refine my talent by communicating, and getting in touch with those who are interested in this field, like professionals,” she added.

The singer said that she does not have a favorite singer, and that it is the song that attracts her.

“And when I am interested in the song, I am interested in the singer, but of course there are Tarab icons such as Umm Kulthum, Fareed, Warda, Talal Maddah, Mohammed Abdu, Fawzi Mahsoun, Abdel Halim Hafez, and of course, Mayada Al-Hanawi from the new generation,” she said.

Mohammed added that most of the songs of Saudi Khaleeji singer Abdul Majeed Abdullah appeal to her and she loves to sing them, too.

“As for the icons, they are the basis for me. I love these Tarab icons in particular, because I can’t say I’m a Tarab singer unless I have established myself in authentic Tarab,” she said.

“I love these classical Tarab singers. But I also love innovation and that’s why I listen to relatively new singers such as Hussein Al-Jassmi, Rashed Al-Majed and Abdul Majeed Abdullah. I consider them to be a new and different generation that sing differently,” she added.

Mohammed said that her late father was deeply immersed in Tarab music to the point he set up speakers in each room of their home.

“Tarab music would always accompany him in all occasions and all parts life, whether joy or sadness. He put speakers in all the rooms of the house and whenever he would play a song, the whole house must listen to it as well,” she said.

Bait Ziryab owner Abdullah Al-Hodaif said that the cafe serves as a music and cultural hub where artists can perform. Its mission is to revive classic arts, he added. “Bait Ziryab aims to be a meeting place for classical arts in the heart of Jeddah.”

Al-Hodaif told Arab News: “Bait Ziryab has been accustomed for years to revive the classic Saudi songs by hosting events on a weekly basis by inviting those interested.”


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.