DOHA: The situation in Gaza is a disgrace to Arabs and the entire humanity, said famous Tunisian musician Lotfi Bushnaq at Katara’s Cultural Café on Monday.
“What is happening in Gaza is a disgrace to Arabs and humanity, and everyone bears responsibility — journalists, writers and artists, and anyone who has a voice in the Arab world,” he said, with a feeling of regret.
Bushnaq, who rose to fame as a singer, composer and oud player, is running a small cultural centre which has a group of Palestinian artists, a personal initiative to express love for the Palestinians.
Cultural Café is a regular activity at Katara Cultural Market during Ramadan.
On the current situation of arts and culture in the Arab world, he said there are many intellectuals and innovators but people don’t feel their existence because of media neglect.
He stressed the importance of culture and the need for its development in the hearts and minds of the people as development in all its forms stems from culture.
The Arabs, he said, has culture as their most important wealth, but to date there is no cinema or book that represents them.
“The American economy, for example, depends primarily on the culture, contrary to what has been adopted by the Arabs in their economy,” he said.
He praised Katara’s role as a platform for culture and heritage in the Arab world and was impressed by the achievement of the large space allocated for exhibitions and cultural activities.
“I congratulate Qatar and Arab nations for this and hope others will have the same initiative.”
Reflecting on his career, he said he never planned to be famous when he was young, but has always wanted to leave a lasting mark on people’s memory.
Born in 1954, Bushnaq has been United Nations Goodwill Ambassador since 2004. He blends passion, politics, heritage and creativity in his music in which modern and traditional elements come together, making him one of the most important symbols in Tunisian and Arab music. Yesterday, he performed his new religious songs at a concert at Katara Opera House.