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Yemeni Youth Orchestra Takes Traditional Music Global in Bid to Bridge Cultural Divides

The cover image: Hadhrami Orchestra in Kuwait, 18-19 February 2024.


Hadrami Orchestra Concert

• The Hadrami Orchestra concert, part of the Heritage Symphonies Project, showcases Yemeni music to bridge cultural divides.

• Led by Maestro Mohamed Alghoom, the project presents traditional Yemeni music in a contemporary orchestral format.

• The project has been performed in Malaysia, Egypt, France, and Kuwait, highlighting the cultural richness and enduring spirit of the Yemeni people.

• International relations researcher Muneer Binwaber highlights the project's unique perspective on Yemen, challenging the one-sided portrayal of the country by Western media.


As part of its national celebrations, the State of Kuwait witnessed the Hadrami Orchestra concert on February 18 and 19, which is part of the Heritage Symphonies Project. In this project, a group of passionate young Yemeni musicians are using their talent to bridge cultural divides and showcase the rich heritage of their nation through a unique orchestral project.

The Heritage Symphonies Project, led by Maestro Mohamed Alghoom, presents traditional Yemeni music in a contemporary orchestral format, captivating audiences worldwide. Their innovative approach breathes new life into age-old melodies, fostering understanding and appreciation for Yemeni culture beyond the headlines often dominated by conflict.

The project's debut concert took place in 2019 in Malaysia, followed by successful performances in Egypt, France, and most recently, Kuwait. Each performance transcends mere entertainment, serving as a powerful statement about the cultural richness and enduring spirit of the Yemeni people.

In an article on the Medium platform, international relations researcher Muneer Binwaber says: "The Western media often portrays a one-sided picture of Yemen," pointing to the fact that through the music, the project wants to offer a different perspective, one that highlights the beauty and vibrancy of our culture."

The Heritage Symphonies Project exemplifies the growing role of non-state actors in cultural diplomacy, In cooperation with governments. These groups possess greater flexibility and agility, allowing them to tailor their initiatives to specific audiences and respond effectively to emerging opportunities. Additionally, their grassroots connections enable them to build deeper and more genuine relationships with local communities, fostering authentic cultural exchange beyond official channels.

The project's success underscores the transformative power of cultural diplomacy in promoting understanding, building bridges, and rewriting narratives. As their music transcends borders, it serves as a potent reminder of our shared humanity and the potential for music to connect us all, even amidst global complexities.



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