The Zubair Corporation recently concluded the popular Al Bara dance contest for children at the Salalah Tourism Festival 2015.
The traditional dance contest, organised in conjunction with the Majan TV channel, is supported by the Corporation as part of its strategy and vision to nurture and preserve Oman’s national heritage and performing arts.
Commenting on the popularity of the contest, Ibrahim Al Salmi, Social Communications Manager at The Zubair Corporation noted, “The Corporation places a great interest in nurturing the development of Omani youth across different fields. Supporting the Al Bara dance for children stems from the Corporation’s concern to preserve the cultural heritage of Oman, and specifically the unique traditions within the Dhofar region. This age-old dance sheds light on a very important component of our cultural heritage in the Sultanate and will also help maintain this art among the new generation.”
He added, “The Salalah Tourism Festival 2015 was an excellent opportunity to present this traditional performance art in a contemporary way. For higher levels of engagement with the community, The Zubair Corporation regularly updated social media followers with the pictures of qualified teams throughout every level of the competition. Congratulations goes to all the participants for their outstanding performance.”
The Al Bara dance competition witnessed participation from a large number of children from the Dhofar region, and a huge attendance of fans of this performing art. Being one of the traditional arts of the region, the Al Bara contest enjoyed active following from the audience, who attended the contest, or by watching Majan TV who broadcast the competition. The competition was presented by the broadcaster Rami Al-Mushaikhy, who initiated the idea, and stressed that children participate in order to instill the importance of preserving the cultural heritage and the unique qualities of the Dhofar region among them.
Rami Al-Mushaikhy commented on the significance of the competition, saying, “Al Bara is one of the most prestigious, genuine and enthusiastic cultural arts, hence the idea to teach it to the next generation, especially since it has been recently listed by UNESCO.”
“The Salalah Tourism Festival witnesses a great number of visitors, and it is the best time to organize such competitions which will popularize this dance form among the Omani youth. We intend to take advantage of this experience and study the possibility of holding similar competitions in the future through a series of competitions in the upcoming tourism festivals to demonstrate and maintain Omani traditional arts. I take this opportunity to extend our special thanks to The Zubair Corporation for sponsoring this competition, ensuring its success and providing every logistic and financial support.” He added.
A jury panel was present at the contest, and the photos of the competitors were displayed via The Zubair Corporation accounts on Twitter and Instagram. The idea was well received from the audience as well as the followers on social media platforms.
Iyad Mohammed Ahmed Safrar, one of the participants commented, “It was a wonderful contest, which gave us the opportunity to learn a lot. Al Bara is one of my favorite traditional arts, I will do my best to develop my performance, and participating in this contest is the first step towards improving my performance and preserving the traditional and cultural arts of Oman. I take this opportunity to thank the organizers, and the brilliant broadcaster Rami Al-Mushaikhy who encouraged us during the contest to do our best. I would also like to thank The Zubair Corporation who gave us the opportunity to participate and have an unforgettable experience” he added.
AbdulRahman Ali Qatan added, “I would like to thank The Zubair Corporation who organized this contest, and the jury panel. Congratulations to the winning teams and good luck to the others in the coming contests.”
A number of teams from different parts of Dhofar region participated in the contest, each team consisting of two participants. The contest saw keen competition between the teams, and four teams were qualified for the finals. The Zubair Corporation social media accounts witnessed huge participation from fans, with some images receiving over 1,000 likes, demonstrating the popularity and reach of the competition. One of the goals of the contest was to highlight this art among large number of people, especially the youth of Oman. Some participants also proposed interesting ideas on how to promote the Omani cultural heritage.
All participants showed enthusiasm to win the contest, through continued practice to perform on certain national songs, and unified customs. Parents were also enthusiasm for their children participation, with one parent, Hamid Bashir commenting, “It is a good idea to have such contests. It encourages the youth to hold on the heritage and arts. It was also an opportunity for the contestants to get to know each other and build friendly relationships.”
“We are looking forward to see similar competitions in the future including Zamil, Sharh and other cultural arts specific to the Dhofar region. We would like to thank The Zubair Corporation, organizers and supporters.”
The Zubair Corporation has supported a range of traditional arts and young Omani artists and regularly holds exhibitions at Bait Al Zubair for Omani artists.