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Malaysian singer Maizurah’s song is on YouTube

The blockade of Qatar is now entering its second month, and shows no signs of letting up any time soon.

Many people within the country have responded with patriotic car parades; wearing t-shirts, stickers and posters bearing the image of the Emir; and participating in hashtag campaigns on social media.

Recently, two separate musicians decided to offer their support by writing and performing songs that celebrate the defiant stance taken by Qatar’s leaders against their neighbors.


The first is Malaysian singer Maizurah, who calls Qatar her “second home.”

The public relations officer has lived in Qatar for three years. In a statement, she said that the GCC crisis had “really affected her personally” as Qatar had been “a country of opportunity” for her.

Her song, which was co-written with British songwriter and producer Ben Haynes, is entitled #StayStrongQatar.

Its lyrics urge Qatar to “keep your head high and never lose yourself.”

They continue:

“They can block you
They put you down
But they can’t break you.

Stay Strong, stand on your own.
Keep on going don’t lose yourself.
Stay Strong, you’re not alone.
Spread your wings and believe in you.”

American satire

While Maizurah’s song is an upbeat call for unity, American performer Jim Terr has taken a more wry look at the situation.

In his song, the Qatar Guitar Blues, Terr pokes fun at US President Donald Trump, who has expressed support for the blockade.

The satirist also describes Qatar as “for that region, at least, a shinin’ star.”

Additionally, Terr defends Al Jazeera and strongly criticizes Egypt (“When Egypt’s askin’ for a fight, You must be doin’ something right”), as well as Saudi Arabia:

“And Saudi’s no more just desert nomads.
They got the US by the gonads.
The 9-11 terrorists came from there
But they’re our pals, so what do we care?”

What do you think of the songs? Thoughts?

Soloist David de Winter, Qatar Concert Choir


Soloist David de Winter, Qatar Concert Choir

As the end of this year approaches, singers and musicians from around Qatar are preparing for more than half a dozen concerts and events around town.

Two of Qatar’s largest amateur choirs, the Qatar Concert Choir (QCC) and Doha Singers, will each host three such events in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) has five concerts scheduled, including its inaugural collaboration with the QCC.

Giovanni Pasini, conductor of Qatar Concert Choir


Giovanni Pasini, conductor of Qatar Concert Choir

The two groups will together perform Broadway Melodies on Dec. 9, singing numbers from well-known musicals including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, A Chorus Line and Mamma Mia.

The event is part of a festival of music taking place at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC). Tickets are QR50 and can be bought online from the QPO.

QCC Conductor Giovanni Pasini, who is also principal viola at the QPO, said:

“We’re thrilled to be singing with QPO. It sets the bar higher for us and this show gives us the chance to sing great music by modern composers that’s loved by millions around the world.”

Earlier the same day, the choir will team up with the Doha Baroque Ensemble in Music For the Tempest, also at the QNCC.

Together, the groups will perform music written by different composers for William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. Tickets are QR50 and can bought via QPO’s website.

Wider repertoire

QCC used to be known as the Doha Bach Choir.

But it changed its name to reflect the wide repertoire of musical styles its singers perform, Pasini said. He added:

“We’re ambitious about where we want to perform, our range of music and the audiences we want to reach. We’re a choir, we’re in Qatar and we give concerts of all kinds, so the new name says exactly what’s in the tin.”

Pasini, who has played with QPO since he arrived in Qatar nearly three years ago and conducted the QCC choir for most of that time, said he was “very proud” of the new partnership with the orchestra.

One of the highlights of the QCC’s December schedule will be the return of its rendition of Handel’s seasonal choral work Messiah, following a successful event last year.

Qatar Concert Choir


Qatar Concert Choir

There will be two performances of this – at Doha English Speaking School (DESS) on Nov. 29, and the following day at the Anglican Center in the religious complex.

Tickets cost QR100 and are available through Q-tickets.

The choir meets weekly during most of the year, although rehearsal schedules get much busier in the run-up to concerts.

Potential new members audition to join, and existing members are also required to re-audition for their place each year, “just to make sure we’re still up to scratch,” tenor singer Andrew Whitman told Doha News.

Whitman, an Al Jazeera English producer who has been with the choir for the past 18 months, added:

“It’s been amazing. Most of us come to Doha to work but if all we do is work and no play, it can be a difficult existence.

It’s added another dimension to my life and its taken my singing to a completely different level.”

Season finale

Another of Qatar’s choirs, Doha Singers, is also about to embark on its line-up of three seasonal concerts.

One of its biggest events will be Under the Mistletoe, which the choir will perform alongside the Doha Community Orchestra, Doha Community Wind Symphony and the Doha Youth & Junior Choir.

Around 250 singers and musicians will take part in what has become a popular annual event, which will be held this year on Dec. 10.

The Doha Singers

The Doha Singers/Facebook

The Doha Singers

There will be two concerts – a matinée and an evening performance, and tickets are QR75 or QR60 if bought before Nov. 30 from Q-Tickets or a choir member. The venue of the event cannot be publicly announced for security reasons.

Two days prior, the choir will also perform festive songs during A Cold December Night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

John Warren, chairman of the Doha Singers, described it as a “truly unique experience combining festive music with the relaxation of the beach and refreshments throughout.”

Tickets cost QR100 for the Dec. 8 event and can be bought from the hotel’s reception area.

Finally, a select group of around 18 singers will perform the free, public event A Capella on Dec. 2 by 51 East in Lagoona.

Meanwhile, the QPO has a number of other events on the calendar for next month.

For illustrative purposes only

Qatar Philharmonic / Facebook

For illustrative purposes only

One of the highlights’s of their season finale will be Classics from Film and Opera.

Some of the best-known themes from film and opera will be performed at the QNCC on Dec. 9, including music from Independence Day, The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Superman and The Magnificent Seven.

Tickets can be bought from the orchestra’s website and cost QR100.

Do you plan to attend any of the events? Thoughts?

Bryan Adams concert flier

Alive Entertainment

Bryan Adams concert flier

Bryan Adams is set to return to the stage in Doha early next year with a gig at the city’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The 56-year-old Canadian star will perform at the beachside venue on March 15, 2017.

He will also be performing in Dubai just prior to his Doha appearance, with both concerts forming part of his ‘Get up’ world tour.

This is Adams’ third appearance in Qatar, after a well-received concert at the Intercontinental Doha in 2010.

His first visit here was on behalf of “Reach Out to Asia” in 2006.

Ticket sales and prices

Adams has been a rock musician for more than 30 years, selling millions of records worldwide, including chart-topping singles like Summer of ’69 and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.

In recent years, he has also received critical acclaim for his photography,  including being awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society in the UK.

Tickets haven’t gone on sale yet for his Doha gig, but fans can register their interest at and will be notified when they are available.

Bryan Adams

Alive Entertainment

Bryan Adams

Prices will range for QR300 for general entry to QR500 for the fan pit. Doors will open on the night at 6pm, with the show starting at 8.30pm.

Do you plan to go? Thoughts?