Yabous Productions organizing The Arab Festivals Networking Conference at El Sharjah

East Jerusalem, Palestine – Under the slogan of “Ten
years of Bonding” Yabous Productions is planning to organize in 2005 a
number of events, some of which are the annual events that the Yabous
calendar regularly features (The Jerusalem Festival from 21- 30th of
July, The Film Festival 10-17th of June, The Jerusalem Concert Seasons,
etc.), and others are special events in celebration of ten years of
cultural and artistic communication with the International community and
the Palestinian public in particular.Despite the limited possibilities for interaction with the Arab World
because of the principled position of committed Arab artists against
normalization, the great drive to achieve Arab-Palestinian communication
will try to take new forms.

From 20 – 24 April 2005, the Arab Festivals Networking Conference
organized by Yabous Productions will be held in Sharjah under the
patronage of Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi, Member of supreme
Council & Ruler of Sharjah, and official bodies including the
Palestinian Minister of Culture, Yahya Yakhlef, and the Minister of
Media and Culture of the Emirates, Abdullah Bin Zayed.

Many representatives and directors of festivals (The Arabic Music
Convention & Festival – Cairo, Jerusalem Festival, Fez, Salala, Mawazin,
Marrakech, Aghadier, Jerash, Byblos, Medina, Rabat, International
Bahrain Festival, Muscat, The Jordan Song Festival, International
Festival of Carthage, Sharja Biennial, Sour Festival and The
International Timkad Festival), as well as Palestinian and Arab cultural
organizations and production companies are invited to attend the
conference, together with renowned journalists from the Arab and
international media and art critics (Pierre Abi Saab, Magdi Ghoniem,
Antone Baroud, Fadi Matar, Marwan Sawaf, Barwein Habib, and Obedo Basha),
in addition to coordinators of European and international festival
networks and funding organizations concerned with Arab artistic
activities, and some renowned Arab artists living in their countries or
abroad (Marcel Khalife, Naseer Shamma, Tawfik Faroukh, and Fathi Salameh),
and a number of Palestinian artists (Suhail Khoury, Ahmad Khatib, Yousef
Hbeish and Ibrahim Attari).

The main topics of the conference sessions and workshops include
discussing the extent to which Arab festivals have contributed to the
development of original artistic Arab production and their role in
deepening and consolidating a sophisticated artistic culture amongst
Arab audiences and supporting Arab artists and disseminating their
artistic works.

The role of Arab festivals, cultural organizations, and funding
agencies in supporting Arab artists and promoting their work is another
topic to be highlighted in the conference, in addition to discussing the
level of coordination between Arab music festivals. Another main issue
is the contribution of the printed and audiovisual media in promoting
refined Arab music festivals and introducing them to Arab audiences, in
addition to looking at the possibility of expanding their scope of
concern in sophisticated festivals and the follow-up on the part of the
critical media, with special focus on the role that satellite TV
stations can play.

It is hoped that at the closing of the conference an ad hoc committee
will be selected to follow up on the formation of the forum for six
months, after which the first board for the forum will be elected.