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The making of a modern epic

More than 70 artists representing the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg have completed recordings of the momentous operetta the “Clusters of light” in the German capital, in the presence of Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 Celebrations; Mohamed Khalef head of Sharjah radio & TV, and Sharjah Media Centre Director, Mr. Osama Samra. Led by German composer Christian Steinhauser, the distinguished Berlin Orchestra maestro, the epic's inaugural performance will take place on 26 March at the Emirate of Sharjah’s 4,500 seat Open Majaz Island Theatre. Steinhauser is one of Europe's most highly acclaimed musical talents. His unique fusion of the classical orchestral sound combined with high-end technology features makes him a luminary in Berlin’s art scene, as well as on the global stage. Among his most famous musical works are compositions that were played during the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. His Highness’ keenness on presenting an exceptional work came from the wish to reflect the values of Islam that find expression through love, justice and tolerance. His Highness insisted on presenting a work that remains alive in the memory of coming generations due to its high-level technical and innovative standards. Hence came the selection of the epic poem, “The Clusters of Light” , which combined the radiant words of Saudi poet Dr. Abdul Rahman Ashmawi, with the great talent of Bahraini musician and composer Khalid Sheikh, along with four stars from the Arab world: Hussein Al Jasmi, LotfiBouchnak, Ali al-Hajjar, and Muhammad Assaf. These artists lead a cast of 200 actors in an innovative approach which simulates the glorious dawn of Islam, and tell the biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, since his birth until his death. wanted to commission an artwork celebrating Islam, clarifying its tolerance and promoting its human values. This is to be an artwork recorded for posterity and engraved in the memories of coming generations. We wanted to commence our festivities with this great theatrical artwork re-telling the tale of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him a tale which shows how Islam was involved in moving the world out from the Middle and Dark Ages before it. The story of the Prophet also shaped the first milestones of the Islamic Civilization that was characterized, back then, with respect for reason and a love of culture, science and prosperity. We have insisted on making this artwork monumental in its equipment, details, expertise and energies, so as to befit our Glorious Prophet (peace be upon him) and the religion in which more than a billion people around the world believe. This show will be the talk of the Islamic world for months and years to come. With this oratorio production, we worked with a large number of global and Arab technicians and cinematographers, as well as the historians and scholars of the story of the Prophet, peace be upon him. We worked with people with international reputations in theatre, to ensure it would be as technically exceptional as any telling of any other story. From Sharjah, the Islamic Capital of Culture, we dedicate this artwork to the entire world, with its various nationalities and ethnicities, doctrines and affiliations, and invite them to hear the story of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and about Islam. We wish to enrich the global intellectual system by promoting the intellectual achievements of Islam all those centuries past, which serve and highlight the Islamic Culture, in order that present and future generations can draw reason, passion, and inspiration from a proud past.