Summer of 2022 has come to a close and with that we feel the need to recap this rich summer and note the major events that have taken place.
When it comes to events, 2022 didn’t disappoint. With several prominent international celebrities popping up within the MENA region, it was great to see COVID-19 restrictions ease and people enjoying the events with some semblance of normal.
Starting With Egypt, there were two major concerts, one at the very beginning of Summer, with American band Maroon 5, having their concert at the base of the Giza Pyramids, with hundreds of screaming fans standing near the stage enjoying some of their most iconic tunes.
A first of its kind, a rap festival was held at the Cairo International Stadium, the Urban Festival was an interestingly unique experience, and as Omar Gawdat, Founder & CEO of Beatroot Records, explained, it was “absolutely a push for the rap community and a way to expand throughout the country.”
Later that same summer, multi-Grammy award-winner John Legend blessed the sandy shores of Egypt’s north coast with his sultry voice, wooing everyone in attendance, where he sang some of his memorable songs like “All Of Me” and newer ones too.
Another big highlight that had all of Egypt talking was Hend and Suzanne, the first two women in Egypt to operate the Metro trains in the capital, Cairo. Even though the news was met by some people with some skepticism, they performed well and continue to make us all proud.
On the other side of Africa, Morroco finally eased up its safety restrictions enough to have the beloved Timitar Festival in the coastal city of Agadir, where it highlights and celebrates the North African Amazigh culture and attracts local and international guests from all over the world.
Moving on to Saudi Arabia, two major events caught our eye; the first was the Gamers8 festival in Riyadh, one of the biggest of its kind in the world; it featured a plethora of amazing artists, both international and from the region. Arab singers like Amr Diab and Nancy Ajram took to the festival’s stage, as well as others, including Marshmello and the Black Eyed Peas, creating an extraordinary atmosphere.
The second was the Anime Village extravaganza which not only included a whole celebration of the Japanese anime with competitions and cosplay but also featured musical performances by several artists, including the Japanese band, JAM, making them the first Japanese band ever to perform in the kingdom.
On the other side of the spectrum, an exhibition named “Hijrah: In the Footsteps of the Prophet,” awed visitors in Dhahran. The research-based artistic exhibition at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) took a deep hard look at the eight-day and 400 km journey the Prophet Mohamed and his companions took escaping from the Meccans’ persecution and death threats over 1400 years ago. It included a wide variety of things to see, artifacts and replicas from the period, newly commissioned art pieces, auditory-visual experiences in both Arabic and English, a theater performance, academic research by renowned scholars in the field, and a cinematic retelling of what happened, among others.
In the UAE, things weren’t that different as they kept the summer vibes going with artists and comedians taking center stage at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, such as Louis Tomlinson, Majid Al Mohandis, and Assala Nasri.
Another big highlight this year happened at the Dubai Opera, one of the biggest cultural landmarks in the city, as it surpassed a million visitors and had over 1,200 different shows performed on its stage since it first opened its doors on August 31, 2016.
The Royal Hashimite court had a lot to be pleased about, as Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan officially got engaged to Rajwa Khaled bin Musaed bin Saif bin Abdulaziz Al Saif. The engagement took place on August 17th, at Rajwa’s father’s home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Everybody was in smiles during the ceremony, where the Crown Prince presented his now-fiancee with a gorgeous ring that cradled a pear-shaped diamond, flanked by smaller supporting stones.
We Said This: We Had An Amazing Summer This Year, And We Can’t Wait To See What Comes Next!