By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The Australian Embassy in Kuwait hosted a performance ‘The Art of Oud’ on Tuesday by Australian award-winning oud player Joseph Tawadros at Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre to strengthen bilateral cultural bonds and facilitate dialogue through the universal language of music. Speaking to Kuwait Times, the world-renowned oud player and composer Tawadros expressed his joy to play for the first time in Kuwait, noting his excitement to share ‘The Art of Oud’ with the people of Kuwait.
“I am here to perform original music that I composed. People may not be used to it, but I bring some colors to the oud. It is a mixture of Australian and Arabic music, since I was born in Egypt but live in Australia. I believe that through music, we can create a universal connection that transcends cultural boundaries,” he said.
Tawadros noted that oud is a strong Arabic voice. “I was born to Arabic music, but in Australia, I was able to find similarities with other types of music, and that’s what I implemented. It just happened to have a style like that,” he said. Tawadros believes Kuwaiti audiences will walk away with something new, that oud can present differently, and there are other voices in oud not only Middle Eastern ones. He admitted that being in Kuwait, the land of oud, is a risky place to play, but audiences still can all benefit from because music is global. He indicated that during his two days in the country, he had the chance to explore the culture, historical souq in Kuwait City and traditional Kuwaiti cuisine.
“It is our privilege to host Joseph Tawadros as part of our cultural diplomacy program here in Kuwait,” Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy Amanda McGregor said. “His unique talent and cross-cultural perspective make him an outstanding representative of Australia’s diversity and our rich creative landscape. Joseph’s visit will contribute significantly to the already strong cultural ties shared by Australia and Kuwait,” she stressed.
“Australia’s creative sector is as rich and diverse as our people and draws inspiration from every corner of the globe. Through cultural exchanges such as these, we hope to foster mutual understanding, appreciation and a shared love for the arts,” McGregor added. The Australian Embassy in Kuwait thanked Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center and LAPA LOYAC for their support of this program. Following his performance, Tawadros held a special oud masterclass at LAPA LOYAC on May 24, an exceptional opportunity to allow local musicians to learn from one of the masters of the oud.