Sheikh Zayed Book Award Names Omar Khairat Its Cultural Personality

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 16 May 2023
Sheikh Zayed Book Award Names Omar Khairat Its Cultural Personality
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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has named renowned Egyptian musician Omar Khairat as the Cultural Personality of the Year for its 17th edition, in honor of an illustrious, decades-long career of timeless musical creations that have contributed to shaping the Arab region's collective cultural consciousness.

The SZBA Board of Trustees supported the Scientific Committee's decision to name Khairat the Cultural Personality of the Year in recognition of his extraordinary talent and artistic output.

Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of  Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said, “Each year, the Cultural Personality of the Year award honours a prominent figure who has contributed to the advancement of Arabic culture and promoted peaceful coexistence. This year, we are proud to select Omar Khairat, one of the most renowned and celebrated musicians in the Arab world.

“His constant striving for excellence and innovation has seen the artist make an incalculable impact on the music industry and the wider cultural landscape, as well as foster important cross-cultural dialogue. His passion reflects Abu Dhabi’s vision to nurture creativity and harness the power of the arts to build bridges and transcend borders,” he added.

Omar Ali Mahmoud Khairat was born in Cairo in 1947 into an artistic family. Khairat, who loves the piano, was among the first to graduate from the famed Conservatoire music institute, where he studied piano under the Italian Professor Mario De Caro.

Then, he went on to study music composition at Trinity College in London, where he established himself as a professional composer who formulates his own musical visions with distinctive musical phrases.

Khairat began his career by joining the 1960s-era Egyptian rock group Les Petits Chats. His music was notably impacted by his drumming work in numerous bands, as heard in songs like "The Maid" and "Arabian Rhapsody," among others.

As his career developed, Khairat wrote scores and soundtracks for numerous series, fusing western orchestral music with oriental melodies using western instruments like the piano, xylophone, clarinet, oboe, and saxophone,, in addition to oriental instruments like the violin, accordion, lute, and qanun.

His most notable works include ‘The Case of Uncle Ahmed’, ‘The Miser and I’, ‘The Conscience of Abla Hikmat’, ‘Ghuayish’ and ‘The Night Fatima was Arrested’.