Feel like you need an injection of colour, creativity, music- in other words, just some good old art- in your life? Then make sure you attend one of Elham’s monthly gatherings. We are pretty sure you are going to get hooked!

Elham was founded three years ago by an artist and two writers, including the award winning Ali Al Saeed. This grassroots organisation aims to provide a platform for up and coming artists– writers, poets, musicians; you name it- to share their work with others. The founders also hope that by doing so, members of the audience will be encouraged to create their own art. Hence the group’s name, "Elham", meaning "muse" or "inspiration" in Arabic, and the group’s slogan "Let's create".

What we like best about Elham? The fact it is by the people, for the people. In other words, while it is always nice to see art festivals and events organised by governmental agencies, it is even better to see groups like Elham around, because they embody the essence of Bahrainis passion for creativity and art.

"Held in collaboration with the Qal'at Al Bahrain Site Musuem (through the Culture and Information Ministry). The Elham Arts Festival '09, which ran from May 13th to May 16th, featured workshops on photography, filmmaking and performance art, a big music concert drawing hundreds of fans, two art exhibitions, as well as poetry recitals, readings and an outdoor screening of short movies which were projected over a big wall (the museum building)", said Ali Al Saeed, founder of Elham. If that wasn't enough they also launched the very first music compilation CD by local bands and musicians which is being distributed to the public. This festival marked the end of the third season of Elham, before the group goes on hiatus for the summer. The festival was definitely a success, and we’re sure that next year's festival is going to be even bigger and better. We are already itching for September to come around, so that the monthly gatherings can keep us going until the next festival!

For more information, check out Elham Bahrain's site here  http://elhambahrain.net/

– Noora Abul. Images courtesy of Elham Bahrain

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