Riwaq Al Fikr- ADMAF Talks

Conversations with legendary artists and performers 

A series of online and in-person talks and lectures where world-renowned musicians, composers, conductors, choreographers and performers of all kinds visit university campuses to have dynamic conversations with the youth of the nation.

Education and Community Programme

Narratives of the Moriscos’ Expulsion in Spanish and Arab Thought

This talk analyzes the different representations of the Moriscos’ history in Spanish and Arab thought from the early modern era to today. First, it examines the evolution of the presence of this history in the literature and historic texts of the Spanish golden age (XVIe-XVIIe centuries). Secondly, it studies Spanish and Arab treatment of the subject in the XVIIIe and XIXe centuries, which means through the newspapers, writings of a historical nature, travel literature, novels, plays, etc. Thirdly, the talk explores the contemporary Arab literature and historic representations of the Moriscos’ history, and considers: how did it evolve quantitatively and qualitatively.

Simultaneous English interpretation will be provided.

NYUAD Campus, Conference Center Part of the “Al-Andalus” Series
February 15, 2023 6:30‐8pm



Houssem E. Chachia, Assistant Professor of Early Modern History, University of Tunis

In Collaboration with

Music and Artificial Intelligence

In collaboration with Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence

Date: 6th March 
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: MBZUAI – Knowledge Center – Auditorium

As the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) spreads, many industries have become increasingly interested in how they can leverage the rapidly developing technology. In this thought-provoking panel, leading experts in the field of music and artificial intelligence explore how new AI technologies can create unique forms of artistic expression across music and the performing arts, and its implications for the future of music.


  • Gus Xia: Visiting Assistant Professor of Machine Learning – MBZAI
  • Hasan Hujairi: Music Department Manager- Sharjah Performing Arts Academy
  • Mohammed Al Ogaily: VP Product Anghami

Open to Public

Moderated by: Mariam Al Askari


In Collaboration with

The Intellectual Crossroads of Al-Andalus: How Andalusi Scholars Shaped the Global Islamic Culture

Date: 7th March 2023
Time: 6:30 pm
Venue: NYUAD Campus, Conference Center

Living in a land situated in one of the edges of the Islamic world, the inhabitants of al-Andalus saw themselves as somewhat isolated, an island surrounded both by the sea and the Christians. Their scholars exerted themselves to keep contact with the central lands of Islam by performing the travel of study (riḥla fī ṭalab al-ʽilm), bringing back books and ideas produced elsewhere. The traveling of knowledge, however, was not unidirectional: from very early on, Andalusi scholars made important contributions to the “global” Islamic culture. This talk discusses these contributions and the reasons for their success.

Open to Public

Speaker: Maribel Fierro

In Collaboration with

The World of Claudiabasel

In collaboration with American University of Sharjah

Date: 8th March
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: American University of Sharjah, the CAAD auditorium AD1-102

Join Jiri Oplatek, founder of the Claudiabasel Design Studio and accomplished graphic designer, as he presents a lecture on his design practice and philosophy. Drawing upon the rich heritage of Swiss graphic design, Jiri will examine how traditional design principles intersect with contemporary techniques in his work. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of Jiri’s design process and his role as a leader in the graphic design community.

Open to Public

Speaker: Jiri Oplatek

In Collaboration with

Emirati Musicians: Challenges and Opportunities

In collaboration with Berklee Abu Dhabi

Date: 13th March 2023 
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Berklee Abu Dhabi 

Rising Emirati musicians discuss the challenges encountered in pursuit of their dreams and the unexpected opportunities born out of them in this engaging panel discussion reflecting the 20th-anniversary edition of Abu Dhabi Festival’s theme, ‘The Will for Evolution’.

Open to Public


  • Ihab Darwish: Emirati composer, Universal Music Artist, and Recording Academy voting member.
  • Elham Al Marzooqi: First Emirati professional female cellist and member of Emirati music trio, member of the Firdaus Orchestra in Dubai
  • Fatima Al Hashmi: Emirati opera singer
  • Mariam Ayda “MINOVA”:  Alternative/indie artist based in Abu Dhabi

Moderated by:  Saeed Saeed Features writer for The National

In Collaboration with



Stay connected and subscribe to the Abu Dhabi Festival newsletter