Cablegate: Enaging Younger Bahrainis with Rock and Roll
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UNCLAS MANAMA 000162
DEPT FOR ECA/PE/C/CU; NEA/PPD JDAVIES AND JKINCANNON;
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP OEXC SCUL KPAO BA
SUBJECT: ENAGING YOUNGER BAHRAINIS WITH ROCK AND ROLL
1. PAS Manama engaged younger and more diverse
Bahraini audiences by programming American rock `n'
roll band "Circus Guy" from January 14-18, 2004.
Circus Guy's program included performing live on Radio
Bahrain's popular weekend music and interview program,
an acoustic performance for critically ill children and
their families at a local hospital, and performing at
the Bahrain Mall, where Bahraini and Saudi families and
teenagers congregate on weekends. Emboffs attending
Circus Guy's performance at the Mall witnessed Saudi
and Bahraini women in their black "abbayas" smiling and
gently swaying to Elvis Presley along with their
teenage sons and daughters. The four-member group also
performed jointly with young Bahraini musicians at
popular jazz club "Likwid" and conducted an afternoon
guitar workshop for young music students at the Bahrain
Music Institute. At "Likwid," Circus Guy jammed with
local Bahraini band "Myoclonic Jerk" fusing diverse
musical styles and promoting mutual understanding with
an audience in the early twenties. All performances
received good coverage in the Bahraini media.
2. Post recommends Circus Guy for similar programming
in the region. The musicians were perfect good-will
ambassadors, impressive in their performances, warm and
culturally sensitive with Bahraini contacts, adaptable
and easy to program. Since the musicians are in their
twenties (and two are Iraqi-Americans), they related
particularly well with youth and families. The
vocalist is currently studying at the American
University in Cairo, and she sang several songs in
Arabic, to the delight of audiences.
3. Post warmly thanks PAS Kuwait for identifying
Circus Guy and offering to share them with neighboring
posts, and especially for taking care of the mind
boggling logistics related to getting four musicians,
and their gear, to the Gulf. We also appreciate the
funding support provided by PAS Kuwait. Due to the
continuing resolution, we would not have been able to
program Circus Guy without Kuwait's cost sharing.