QNET, along with the Iraq Ministry of Culture and UNESCO, sponsored the world-renowned Al-Mutanabbi Festival this June in Baghdad, Iraq. The festival is hosted on Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi Street, a winding 1000-feet long road noted for its colourful books stores that line both sides of the street.
Named after the famous classical Arab poet Abu at-Tayyid al-Mutanabbi, the street is synonymous with art and intellect and came into infamy after a car bomb blew it up in 2007. The festival has been revived since then and focusses on poetry and culture and is seen as a celebration of free expression in a country that personifies resilience despite its turbulent past.
Organised by a group of young Iraqi volunteers who call themselves ‘Our Youth Is Changing’, the Al-Mutanabbi Festival began in the evening and included a wide variety of concerts, workshops and visual art performances. Over 350 people attended the street festival from all over Iraq and included people from various age groups and cultural backgrounds. It was a great revival of an old tradition and a celebration of the human spirit.
Hosted on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al-Mutanabbi Street, QNET not only participated as one of the main sponsors but also as volunteers. Many of our QNET IRs channelled the spirit of RYTHM and attended the event and helped the organisers with the festival. The festival was also covered by many media houses, including Al Jazeera.
The Al-Mutanabbi festival was a heart-warming tribute to traditions of the past. Artists, Poets and singers performed songs and music inspired by the ancient Iraqi singing styles and artwork inspired by Baghdad, especially the street. It was an evening of laughter, intellectual stimulation, cultural education and so much more. We, at QNET, cannot wait to be a part of many more such events.
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