Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, March 18, 2023 Egyptian Islamic singer Mahmoud ElTohamy receives a special recognition award at the Abu Dhabi Music Festival
ElTohamy received “Special Mention” alongside Emirati composer Ihab Darwish as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival Awards.
The duo were honored for their “excellent work on the commission and epic production of the Abu Dhabi festival” Symphony for three’, as festival organizers put it.
“I am honored to have a long-term partnership with the UAE and ADMAF, which has always been carried out professionally and to world-class standards,” ElTohamy told Ahram Online after the ceremony, thanking the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Festival.
Founded in 2004 as part of ADMAF’s contribution to the UAE capital’s designation as a UNESCO City of Music, the Abu Dhabi Festival commissions, produces, preserves and exhibits music and art with the aim of creating a rich cultural experience in the UAE and beyond.
The Abu Dhabi festival’s main prizes went to American composers Academy Award winner David Shire and Emmy winner John Debney and film music producer Robert Townsend; Nasser Sharma As the festival organizers put it, “because of the outstanding contributions they have made to music throughout their lives”.
The award was presented by Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak and ADMAF Founder Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo.
The trio, composed by Shire, Debney and Darwish, was composed by many musicians from around the world, including ElTohamy.
It was commissioned last year to mark the planned Abraham Family Home It combines a synagogue, a church and a mosque in an interfaith complex on Saadiyat Island.
“In four years of collaboration with the UAE and ADMAF, I’m proud that we’ve come out with work that elevates the art form of Islamic chanting. It’s really boosted my projects on Islamic chanting and the revival of Arabic fossa poetry,” added ElTohamy .
Known for Qamaron and El-Burda among many other traditional poems, ElTohamy, 44, started his career as a child following in the footsteps of his father, Sufi pioneer Sheikh Yassin ElTohamy.
He sang Sufi poetry to crowds sometimes reaching hundreds of thousands at traditional Sunni Islamic events across the country, as well as at large religious events in Cairo’s Al-Hussein and Al-Sayeda Zeinab districts.
Eltohamy teamed up with Egyptian Grammy winner Fathy Salama and his band, Sharkiat, in 2018 to launch a Sufism and Modernism.
He has also collaborated on various projects with the younger generation of music producers, including Rouh El-Maliha with Molotof, a major figure in the Egyptian rap scene, best known for Wegz’s hit single Dorak Gai.
Islamic Sufi graduates of El Tohamy Chanting school Founded in Cairo in 2014, he has also participated in several Abu Dhabi festivals including a trio symphony.