Showcasing Arab culture

By | Category: Travel news

queens-of-syriaToday, the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF), the UK’s biggest annual celebration of Arab arts and culture returns to Liverpool for its 15th year. Running until the 24th of July, the ten day, festival has 35 events that include 147 UK and international artists and performers.

Founded in 1998, the charity began by organising charity and community programmes, launching the festival proper in 2002. Now it has become the premier Arab arts festival in the UK. Thousands enjoyed last years’ festival and many more are expected this year

The aim of the festival is to bring celebration of Arab culture to venues across the city and showcase the richness and diversity of Arab culture through the visual arts, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and special events. One of the reasons that it has proved so popular is that it caters for families as well as the so there are three key free family-friendly Arab extravaganzas taking place over two weekends.

Family Day

Family Day

Tonight and tomorrow night, for example, you can see  Queens of Syria , at the Everyman, a groundbreaking theatre piece created and performed by female Syrian refugees who will tell the audience, first- hand, of the harsh realities of lives torn apart by conflict.

Lest you think it will be serious and heavy-going, try attending the comic play Love, Bombs & Apples next Thursday and Friday at the Bluecoat which is the latest work from award winning playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak. This one-man show is performed by actor Asif Khan, who takes audiences on a journey through four different scenarios, laden with cultural comment and explored through humour. Or how about Arabs are not Funny on Saturday 23rd as stand-up comedians Omar Hamdi, Nabil Abdul Rashid, Bilal Zafar, and Ella Al-Shamahi take to the stage of the Bluecoat.

Over the centuries, Liverpool has offered a home to people from around the world. In Migrant Stories at the Bluecoat on July 23rd, LAAF will team up with Liverpool Welcomes to give audiences the opportunity to hear people who have travelled from the Arab World, and now live in Liverpool, to hear personal stories in their own words and recounting their own geographical, cultural and emotional journeys to the city.index

To wrap things up there is a final family day on Sunday 24th at Sefton Park Palm House which brings big-name international acts such as  47SOUL and Tarabband to the stage, alongside traditional dance performances and whirling dervish Mahmoud Pharaon. Audiences can also enjoy storytelling, cultural cuisine, children’s crafts and an Arabian souk. For the first time, Family Day takes place alongside Liverpool International Music Festival Summer Jam, and LAAF will also be presenting music acts on the Mellowtone Bandstand during the course of the weekend.

What began as a community project and charity is now so much more. Now it has national and international standing as a vehicle for widening the appeal of Arab culture.

Images © Liverpool Arab Arts Festival


If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,