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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Fiascos affect Arab music awards
Abbas Ibrahim of Saudi Arabia, Nancy Ajram of Lebanon and Asola Nasri of Syria
Abbas Ibrahim of Saudi Arabia, Nancy Ajram of Lebanon and Asola Nasri of Syria were at the awards
Lebanese stars dominated the inaugural Arabian Music Awards in Dubai on Sunday, but the event was plagued with technical and organisational problems.

Lebanese singer Elissa took best music video award, while young stars Iwan and Carole Samaha won best male and female newcomer awards.

But the two top prizes - best male and best female act - were not awarded because the event had run too long.

"There were a lot of technical errors," said organiser Mohamed al-Mulla.

The live broadcast on Lebanon's Future Television was two hours late, and then had to be taken off the air after only eight minutes because the hosts' microphones were not working properly.

The winners' trophies could then not be found.

Nancy Ajram
Nancy Ajram won best female newcomer

"I know we've all had a lot of difficulties tonight, but this is the first time we've had the Arabian Music Awards," Waqas of hip-hop group Outlandish said when his group took to the stage.

Egyptian rap band MTM took best modern Arabic act.

Arab performers at the event ranged from Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram and Algerian star Cheb Mami, while British singer Sarah Brightman also played.

International push

The event had been planned to raise the international profile of Arabic music - but many of the biggest stars in the Arab music world did not turn up to the event.

Most of the categories were split between the different regions of the Arab world, though most of the region's stars come from Egypt or Lebanon.

"We are out to make Arabic music international," said Shuckri Bundakji, the Middle East representative of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI).

"International music accounts for 30 percent of sales in the Arab world, but Arabic music from the region accounts for only 0.3 percent of sales in the rest of the world."

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