EVENT: The Cultural Scene: January - February 2018
Here is Pamela Ann Smith's summary of some of the upcoming cultural events in London that have a Middle East flavour. To attend any of these events, please contact the organisations/venues directly through the links in the articles.
Arabs Are Not Funny
9 - 30 March, Rich Mix,Bethnal Green Road. Arabs are not funny Janine Harouni joins fellow comedians Esther Manito, Isabelle Farah and Fatiha El-Ghorri in this special edition of the wildly successful Arts Canteen production. Part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival running in London throughout March, it proves the naysayers wrong.
In Conversation: Saeb Eigner & Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
11 March, Delfina Foundation, Catherine Place. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, which is building a prominent and publically accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. He is a collector-in-residence at London’s Delfina Foundation in March and a contributor to its Collecting as Practice Programme. Saeb Eigner is the author of Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran, a former advisor to the British Museum, former governor of the London Business School and a commentator on the Middle East. This exchange promises to be highly original as well as insightful. Tickets can be purchased here.
Edward Said London Lecture 2018
27 March, Royal Geographic Society. Israeli journalist and author Amira Hass has titled her speech Preventable: Israeli Fantasies and Techniques of Population Expulsion after being chosen by the Lecture’s Organising Committee for what one member, Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, has called her “uncompromising commitment to justice.” A resident of Gaza for five years, she has lived in El Bireh, near Ramallah, in the West Bank since 1997. Her lecture draws on examples collected from her own daily life experiences, as do her two books, Drinking the Sea at Gaza (Metropolitan, 2000), and Reporting from Ramallah, (Semiotexte, 2003). Tickets are available from The Mosaic Rooms, Cromwell Road. More details are here.
Exclusive Middle Eastern Club Night
Saturday Nights, March & April, Mia Lounge, Swiss Cottage. Serving authentic Lebanese dishes and street food in the heart of North London, this hidden oasis has now launched a series of weekly musical events focussing on the modern beats of the Arab world’s best clubs, whether in Marakesh, Dubai or Sharm El Sheikh. Guest DJs are featured along with, on 24 March, a special performance of belly dancing. Complete with a dedicated VIP area, it is suitable for birthdays and other private events, or a just great night out. Special cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, along with multi-flavoured shisha, are extra treats. Take a look: Mia Lounge.
Opening Night Gala, MFest
27 April, The British Library, Euston Road. Featuring music by acclaimed Palestinian singer Reem Keilani and a keynote speech by Turkish writer and political commentator Elif Shafak this event launches the UK’s first festival dedicated to the culture and ideas of Britain’s Muslim communities. Covering literature, visual arts, theatre, poetry and dance, as well as music, the 3-day celebration includes workshops, panel discussions and family attractions as well as topical discussions about identity, race, domestic and global politics. It is aimed at both Muslims and non-Muslims. Here are more details.
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