“And my love became such, I needed not myself You remained enough, and the only one.” Ghalia Benali croons the words of Persian mystic, poet, and Sufi teacher Mansour Al-Hallaj. Instead of her usual environment of soft stage lights and swaying fans, Benali is alone with a solitary camera. And yet the Tunisian songstress embodies all the grace and lightness her audience is familiar with. Even alone, quarantined in her apartment, she exudes both ageless joy and curious wisdom.
In ‘Poetry is a Jewel,’ her new partnership with legendary Egyptian jeweller Azza Fahmy, the self-styled ‘musical storyteller’ will be gracing us twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, with virtual performances of the words of renowned Middle Eastern poets, in YouTube videos produced by Benali’s own Mwsoul Art Foundation. “The genius of Arabic literature shines through in these elegant poetic vignettes, which always inspire me,” shared Azza Fahmy on Instagram. “I am happy to share the vast richness of our written heritage through the unique talent of my dear friend and artist, Ghalia Benali. Thank you for your efforts, bringing together authenticity and modernity.”