May 2020

Artists eL Seed and Diaa Allam Collaborated in Live-streamed Art Performance in Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s First-ever Ramadan Series

Artists eL Seed and Diaa Allam Collaborated in Live-streamed Art Performance in Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s First-ever Ramadan Series

Well-known artists took live submissions from followers to incorporate into artworkArtists eL Seed and Diaa Allam, both beloved for work that beautifully applies traditional Arabic calligraphy in a contemporary art context, live-streamed a collaborative art project on eL Seed’s Instagram account last night. In “This Too Shall Pass,” the artists invited social media followers during the performance to share with them a single word that describes how they feel, whatever it may be at that moment. They then incorporated that word into the work they were producing in real time, with the intention of highlighting that it is okay to express how we feel no matter what our current state of being. The resulting work was a message of hope rendered in splendid calligraphic designs.

H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation said: “We all share a responsibility, alongside government, institutions and individuals, in helping fight this global pandemic. We stand united with them in support of our frontline workers in the fields of health, safety, community, food and medicine, inspired by the determination of our wise leaders, and observing the national cautionary procedures in place in response to the virus.”

Her Excellency continued: “Like these artists’ use of traditional Arabic calligraphy in a contemporary art context, this live interactive art performance is a wonderful combination. This merging of the arts with modern technology makes for a brilliant collaborative effort by a French international calligraphy artist of Tunisian origin and a young artist from the Emirates.”

eL Seed said: “For me, art is a way to bring people together. You can put people on the same level, the perception is the same.”

Diaa Allam commented: “In these unprecedented times, where social distancing is a must, we are blessed to have other ways to bring us together. As an artist I feel responsible of presenting a message of Hope and Unity on social media platforms as staying connected, united and hopeful is the best way to move forward side by side together.”

The event was part of ADMAF’s first-ever series of bespoke music and visual art performances the organization is bringing to families during the holy month. The series of online broadcasts features world-famous singers and artists from the Arab and Islamic world blending modern and traditional forms. In addition to eL Seed and Allam, the line-up includes UK-based award-winning composer and singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf, Lebanese Opera Diva Hiba Al Kawas and legendary Egyptian Islamic Sufi chanter Sheikh Mahmoud Tohamy.

Following the two artists on May 9 is the exclusive release of Mahmoud Tohamy’s “Harmonies of Our Heart.” The bespoke concert will include a set of religious poems and prayers with a modern touch. Mixing music from the Orient with Western beats, this spiritual performance of chanting and litany creates a unique platform to showcase the beauty held by these Arabic words.

The dynamic series of performances for Ramadan is organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) to honour the art and music, the experiences, and the creativity that we share as human beings. The series is part of “Culture is Humanity in Solidarity,” ADMAF’s new digital campaign.

ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.

For all the information on ADMAF’s Ramadan series, please visit and follow ADMAF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Schedule of remaining performances in ADMAF’s Ramadan series:


Sheikh Mahmoud Tohamy Saturday 9 May at 9:30 pm GST on ADMAF’s Facebook page
Hiba Al Kawas Monday 11 May at 10 pm GST on ADMAF’s Facebook page
Sami Yusuf Wednesday 13 May at 9:30 pm GST on ADMAF’s Facebook page



Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Tolerance

Founded in 1996, ADMAF is one of the oldest, not-for-profit cultural organisations in the Arabian Gulf. Pioneering new artistic practices, it seeks to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue and inspire a renewed interest in the creativity of the UAE and Arab world. Often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, it delivers multidisciplinary initiatives for people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities through the Abu Dhabi Festival, year-round youth platforms and community programmes.

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