My world: Emirati singer Ahmad Bukhatir

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Old 15-Apr-2011
My world: Emirati singer Ahmad Bukhatir

UNP ImageI first heard nasheeds from my Kuwaiti college mates and was instantly inspired.

Nasheed singing (singing without the accompaniment of musical instruments) is a new recording genre and I am happy to be able to follow my heart. I realised the power of my voice and [how moving it was] when my sister's friend shed tears while listening to my singing. I was taken aback by this reaction, but I immediately knew this was what I wanted to do.

I am like an open book.

I believe that if you bring happiness to other people there is a greater chance that they will reciprocate. Life is not just about financial stability. Observing the living conditions of people around the world helps us appreciate the blessings we have. Bad things can happen to anyone so it is important to have empathy and be willing to help out.

I believe in working smart along with working hard to suit the needs of the present economic scenario.

I embrace the latest trends. I am obsessed with the power of technology and love gaming - enough to open my own game production company. I joined my father as a board member in the Bukhatir Group and rose to diversify our portfolio to include advertising, health and well-being, construction and now game production. My father is a business tycoon who worked very hard to build his empire. He taught me the value of hard work.

I have a lovely family.

My family includes two boys and a girl, my wonderful wife who completes me and a long list of relatives. I believe it is vital to spend quality time with our children, love, educate and equip them with the necessary skills to face the world. Our culture and tradition influence the way we look at the world.

I was a spoilt child who never had to do anything on my own. I never even made my bed, food was always on the table, and I got everything I wanted without putting in much effort.

My primary education took place in Sharjah at the Choueifat School and Halwan Government School. One reason I chose to do my higher studies in the UAE was because I didn't want to lose the comfort of my home. I was the first Emirati to graduate from Al Ain University in Management Information Systems (MIS). At the time, most of the students from the UAE were not keen to enrol on courses where the language of instruction was English because it was considered too tough.

I discovered myself when I was fighting boredom.

I was totally bored after graduation even though I was helping my father run his business. I complained to my elder brother about my restlessness and he asked me to join him. He had his own studio and produced audio cassettes of nasheeds. The tunes I heard there did not appeal to me and I mentioned that to the team. My brother then asked me to produce something which I found to be of value. I found some pleasant lyrics and presented them in my own way. The team was astounded and asked me to join in their next project. I was surprised that my tune was part of an album and it was being sold.

I composed eight songs for the first solo album Farthaki with encouragement from my brother and his team.

Since then, I have sung nasheeds based on simple yet complex subjects like love, relations, ethics, peace and so on. I have also sung in English and French and acted in video albums for these nasheeds.

I was chosen to be the brand ambassador for du (in 2010), considering the fact that I represented the youth and was a local celebrity aiming high and charting my own course. Having fans worldwide helped me understand the significance of conducting myself in a way that promotes the values of the UAE.

I hope to be an ambassador of peace to the world. I want to sing for the restoration of peace and happiness in the world.

Quick questions

Do you have a role model?

There are several personalities that I look up to but my role model for [enjoying life] is my aunt, Nafeesa, who lives life to the full.

Could you list some places where you have performed?

I have done concerts all over the world and am very happy about people loving me and my voice. I performed in Durban on New Year's Eve to a crowd of 35,000 people. I also have had concerts in India, Australia, London, Canada, Kuwait and Yemen.

Interviewed by Sami Said Ali, a Sharjah-based freelancer

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