Iranian singers perform at historic ‘Persian Night’ in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula

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Fans were treated to the first of a two-night concert being described as historic on Thursday as Iranian singing legends like Andy and Shahram Shabpareh took the stage at the Winter at Tantora festival in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula.

The “Persian Night - Music Without Borders” two-night event began with performances by Iranian singer Andy at the Maraya Concert Hall in al-Ula.

Cyrus Saidi, the Iranian-American talent manager behind the night event celebrating Persian music in Saudi Arabia’s Winter at Tantora Festival describes the performances by Iranian singers in al-Ula as historic and groundbreaking.

“I for one, especially living in America, but being from Iran, it's a huge, huge pleasure to be in this country and also in al-Ula, because it's such a huge historical site. So, from a historical and cultural perspective, I'm just in awe of the nature and sort of the cultural significance of this region,” Saidi told Al Arabiya English.

“We were kind of actually pinching ourselves to see whether or not this is a reality. And it's actually happening. It sunk in when we landed in Saudi Arabia the first time a few weeks ago, and met with the team here and realized that this is actually something significant, huge, and historic,” Saidi added.

The reason many are calling the two-night event in al-Ula as historic is as many of the Iranian singers taking the stage in Saudi Arabia like Shahram Shabpareh, Leila Forouhar, Ebi, Sasy, Shadmehr Aghili, Andy, and Arash Labaf are banned from performing in their own country Iran.

“This initiative is in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's focus on recognizing al-Ula as a cradle of diverse civilizations and cultures throughout the ages, and establish the Winter at Tantora Festival as a hub for cultural fusion and a bridge for cultural dialogue, ideas exchange and transmission of culture,” the Royal Commission for al-Ula said in a statement when it first announced the event.

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