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Explore Contemporary Arab Culture At London's Shubbak Festival
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Explore Contemporary Arab Culture At London's Shubbak Festival

Picture of Biya Haq
Updated: 6 January 2017
Take a look into the wonderful world of the Middle East this summer through the Shubbak Festival, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture. Experience the realm of Arab tradition as the festival’s third outing presents UK premiers and new artists from all across the Arab world, from the 11th to the 26th July.
Shubbak Festival 2015
Courtesy Shubbak Festival 2015

With over 15 locations across London, the festival will present a number of special events and attractions for everyone to come and see, including ‘Hafla on the Square’, a family-friendly afternoon of live music, art and drop-in workshops. Be ready to construct an art installation, join in a drumming line with Farouk Al Safi and watch graffiti artist Aiman Ajhani create new works at the event.

Also be sure to look out for the festival’s attractions at The British Museum, full of Sunday performances, drawings, debates and talks. Join artists Radouan Mriziga and Nazir Tanbouli at the Great Court as they work together to create a show in drawing and performing. Listen to a lecture on the ‘Disappearing Cities of the Arab World’ and experience a guided tour of ‘From the Figurative to the Abstract’.

The weekend of the 25th to the 26th July will hold the Shubbak Literature Festival at the British Library Conference Center, presenting the ‘best in contemporary writing from the Arab world.’ Some of the finest writers of Arab literature will come and join the festival in readings and storytelling. Everything from poetry, fiction and graphic novels to new literary forms and performance is included.

The festival will also bring focus on London Arab theatre. Watch Love, Bombs & Apples, a play by Hassan Abdulrazzak at the Arcola Theatre. Also catch Radhouane El Meddeb’s play, When the Arabs used to Dance at The Place. Both the plays will have post-show or pre-show Q&As with the audience to really allow them to understand the thought process behind them.

For a very special event, at the end of July the Mayor of London’s Eid Festival will be held in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the end of Ramadan. It will include food, festivities and live music open for children and families and anyone who wishes to join in on the celebration.

The festival will be a great chance for Londoners to expand their horizons, have an amazing experience and see a whole new side of Arab culture, tradition and society.