Al Azi, art of performing praise, pride and fortitude poetry

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Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Al Azi is a traditional poetry recital performed by a group of individuals without rhythmical or musical instruments. It consists of a full-rhymed poem based on traditional poetry and the lines of poetry are sometimes interposed with sayings and proverbs. Bearers and practitioners include the poet, performer, chorus and audience. The practice strengthens bonds and is connected with knowledge and practices related to nature. Al Azi was performed regularly by communities until the mid-1900s, when performances began to dwindle gradually. Due to development, thousands of inhabitants moved from the desert to urban areas, and the economic boom from 1970 to 1990 led to citizens abandoning employment in traditional sectors and the culture and arts associated with such activities. Another factor has been the enactment of State laws instead of traditional tribal customs. The number of poets has decreased greatly over the past twenty years. Despite these challenges, Al Azi has withstood extinction thanks to the efforts of a number of creative people and traditional art troupes. The practice enjoyed a revival several years ago when it was introduced into national events, with a highly successful theatrical production, and media coverage has helped revive Al Azi, encouraging more poets to compose Al Azi poems.

Bin No’man troupe performing during Alqattara Heritage Festival in the traditional Thursday and Friday Souq AlAin
UAE citizens showing Al A’zi in a parade during the 44th National Day
Performing Al A’zi in the opening of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, Abu Dhabi 2016
A poet demonstrating Al A'zi for the participants of the workshop with community participation for the preparation of the nomination file (Al A’zi), March 2016, Al Ain
A group of performing art in Fujairah open theatre , 19 February 2016
More than a 60 thousand of audience react with the famous performer and poet Aidha Al minhali in Zayed football stadium, 2 December 2015
Researchers participating in the workshop with community participation for the preparation of the nomination file (Al A’zi), March 2016, Al Ain
Students participating and performing Al A’zi in Fujairah International Arts Festival, 19-29 February2016
Community members of Al A'zi art moderating and participating actively in Al A'zi wokshop in AlAin, from the left Dr Saeed Al Haddad, researcher and performer, Khalfan AL Kaabi, Manager of the Heritage Village and Salem Al Neyadi, poet and performer of Al A’zi
Husain Al Jasmi, the famous singer, presents Al A'zi art in the Opening of AlWathba Festival, reciting the words of the poet Saif Al Kaabi , with the participation of five thousand presenters and performers and a large number of horses and camels, 2014