Z Rain - Ziyad Matar / Press

“I was invited to the recent opening reception of the AD Arts Collectives inaugural exhibition ‘Art for All’ held in collaboration with the Emirates Writers Union at Abu Dhabi’s National Theatre. The evening showcased and celebrated the creativity of the twenty-seven exhibiting artists who hail from around the globe and now reside in the capital. The opening night also featured live music from Ziyad Matar, Egyptian singer-song writer Sarah El Gohary and her band and live poetry.”

“Ziyad Matar has so much to thank the country for that he never misses an opportunity to express his feelings in the way he prefers being heard: through his music. The singer and songwriter, who composed the YouTube hit Proudly Emirati in May after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed a decree granting citizenship to children of Emirati mothers married to foreigners, has written a new song for National Day. Ya Biladi (My Country) is a departure from his usual style and includes a mix of English and Arabic lyrics, performed on a guitar.”

“بنات زايد: بعد إصدار سمو الشيخ خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان قراراً رئاسياً بتجنيس أبناء الإماراتيات الذين تخطوا سن الثامنة عشرة ، قام الفنان زياد مطر - إبن مواطنة إماراتية من أب صومالي - والذي حصل على جنسية الدولة بتنفيذ أغنية وطنية بالتعاون مع عائلته تعبيراً عن شكرهم وإمتنانهم لمكرمة رئيس الدولة ولحصولهم على جنسية دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة.”

“When Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced a decree granting citizenship to children of Emirati mothers married to foreigners, it was a dream come true for Ziyad Matar. Born to an Emirati mother and Somali father, the singer-songwriter decided to show his gratitude by releasing the song Proudly Emirati, produced by his family. "Me and my family were extremely happy and wanted to do something to show our deep gratitude to His Highness. With me being a musician and my brother's flair for poetry, we agreed a song would be an ideal way to express this," says Matar, who formed the band Zihab in 1998 and released a rap album, Zihab 2000, which sold more than 20,000 copies. The song Proudly Emirati, initially meant only as a gift for the President, was released at the end of May in Arabic. Matar now hopes to appeal to a wider audience when the chance to produce a video with English subtitles presents itself. ”