Curious Inbox

  • Astrolab - Artist Anissa Berkane -

Curious Inbox

Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.

Borderline + Welcome to the UK: They are back! Expect humour, horror, live music and candy floss. The creators of 'Borderline' have developed another project titled 'Welcome to the UK', with the opportunity to see both shows in the same day! Borderline is a satire of the Calais Jungle devised and performed by a mixed ensemble of refugee and European performers. It premiered in November 2016 at the Cockpit Theatre and has been touring since nationally and internationally. Welcome to the UK becomes the brand-new story set on this side of The Channel. The Borderline is a truly unique theatre ensemble shortlisted for the Community Integration Awards. It was created by PSYCHEdelight, a Theatre Company of Sanctuary led by Sophie NL Besse, a writer director and psychotherapist. Three years ago, they all embarked on an artistic and human adventure to raise awareness and change the negative narrative often associated with refugees. Taking place 22 January-16 February, 2019 at the The Bunker, 53a Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU.

Arabs Are Not Funny!: After 26 sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s 'Arabs Are Not Funny' is back with a very interesting line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. Widely regarded as one of the hottest comedy nights among the Arab community in London, comedians with roots in the MENA region attempt to prove the naysayers wrong! Six hand-picked comedians are coming together; and, if you like controversial, modern chat, they will bring it in spades. The confirmed line up includes: Mo Magaleo (British-Moroccan background), Yazz Fetto (Iraqi-Christian heritage), Mustafa Fecto, Nabil Abdulrashid (Nigerian descent), Mo Saffaf (British-Syrian MC), and Cansu Karabiyik (Kurdish-Danish). Taking place 8 February, 2019 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Le Trio Joubran: Oud masters and innovators Le Trio Joubran perform music from a career spanning fifteen years including their anticipated new album 'The Long March'. From a family steeped in Arabic music, the three brothers Samir, Wissam and Adnan Joubran have been touring the world with their ouds. Through their mesmerizing songs they attempt to honour the struggles and oppression of indigenous peoples around the world and see their music as part of the Palestinian people’s effort for recognition. Their new record 'The Long March' is a landmark for the band, continuing to combine musical worlds with collaborations from Roger Waters and poet Mahmoud Darwish. Rock solos meet synths and Arabic verse; brooding and beautiful, contemplative and joyous. Taking place 3 February, 2019 at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS.

Stories From Within: Presented by Stories Art Gallery, this exhibition will show exceptional pieces by Syrian artists who tell a different and striking story about Syria and its people. The exclusive works, created by four acclaimed artists over the past seven years, stand as witnesses to life changes and documenting for an era using the mastery of art. The featured artists Nizar Sabour, Edward Shahda, Bassem Dahdouh and Asmaa Fayoumi are internationally renowned in the world of contemporary art since the 1960s. Exploring various themes, highlights include a visit to the ancient Aramaic town of Maloula (whose inhabitants still pray and speak in the language of Christ) and trying to relate to the bizarre transformation of humans into hybrid beings who are neither fully human nor beast. Looking also at the psychological impact of war and the anxiety of those left behind while in waiting for the unknown, the themes progress to a silver lining of hope and delivery from the intense state through the only way forward, which is love and compassion. Taking place 11 December, 2018-31 January, 2019 at Stories Art Gallery, 51-53 South Audley Street, London W1K 2AA

BAYT The Art of Arab Hospitality: The BAYT بيت (Arabic for home) exhibition is a part of an intercultural and interfaith project that will be on a tour around the UK for the next three years. It is a marriage between East and West, where the Abrahamic faiths entwine in harmony. The collection has been curated since 2003 by Hertfordshire resident and anthropologist Suhad Jarrar-Browne, who works relentlessly to showcase her unique collection that is comprised of traditional hand-embroidered antique dresses mainly from Palestine, plus other parts of the MENA region, tribal jewellery, Bedouin rugs, and various artifacts that represent different aspects of Middle Eastern life. Jarrar-Browne, who is of Palestinian descent, has travelled extensively across the MENA region and lived with Bedouin nomads and carried out research about their lives. She believes that sharing her collection will offer a better understanding of the Arab Muslim people and their cultures here in the UK. Taking place 17-26 January, 2019 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

London Night of Syrian Culture: An evening to celebrate Syrian music, food and culture. Co-organised by Syrian Voices, a UK-based platform that aims to bring Syrians in the UK together as a community and to shed light on their positive contributions to life in their host country, there will be a screening of short video portraits of Syrians in the UK and auctioning photographs by the accl imed photographer Mostafa Salloum, whose work captures the lives of children in Syria. Music will be provided by the London Syrian Ensemble, whilst food on the night will be catered by the professional cooks from Marhabtayn, a group of Syrian and non-Syrian Londoners who celebrate Syrian cuisine and hospitality in regular supper clubs and show solidarity with people in Syria and neighbouring countries. Taking place on 26 January, 2019 at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, 78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG. 

Shado Launch Party: The official launch of Shado and its first issue on the theme of 'Changing Perspectives: Stories of Migration'. Shado is a newly created online and print publication celebrating the engagement between arts, activism and academia, and their joint role in spotlighting marginalised issues. It exists to support the voices and work of those at the frontline of political, social and cultural change. The night will inlcude an art exhibition (photography and fine art from Abdulazez Dukhan, paintings from Noor and award-winning animation by Majid Adin). musical performances and talks from just a few of the incredible and talented people featured in the first issue. Taking place 25 January, 2019 at Stour Space, 7 Roach Road, London E3 2PA. Please note that tickets are free with an optional contribution either on the door or throughout the duration of the night towards Shado and the charity Help Refugees.

Banipal Book Club Meeting: The popular book club retruns and its first meeting of 2019 will be discussing 'Baghdad Noir', a collection of short stories featuring work by some of Iraq’s most well-known authors, including: Ahmed Saadawi, Muhsin al-Ramli, Sinan Antoon and Ali Bader. 'Baghdad Noir' is part of Akashic Books’ award-winning series of original noir anthologies. Attendess will be joined (in person or maybe via video link) by the book’s editor, Samuel Shimon, and by two of the translators whose work features in the book. Taking place 24 January, 2019 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE. Please note the Book Club meetings are free but you need to please RSVP either by email to or via the Facebook page.

Glass By Omar Khouri: A solo exhibition for the artist Omar Khouri that features his new body of paintings and work on paper. Exploring the separation between the Middle East and the West, it opens up a dialogue between cultures that see one another but often have difficulty communicating. Khouri then translates this in his work through a fragmentation of the face: one’s physical identity, the mind and its creation of the outside world. Also referring to the fragility of glass that is represented through cracks that pose a danger of being able to wound us whilst providing a path, he draws inspiration from classical Arabic geometric designs and Western traditions of classical portraiture, and inviting one to see past the individual being to a duality that connects everyone. Taking place 5 December, 2018-12 January, 2019 at The Park Gallery, 26 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF. 

Alaa Abu Diab Live in London: The Palestinian comedian Alaa Abu Diab will be in London for an evening of satire and comedy as part of his upcoming tour that will also be stopping in Ramallah, Lund, Amman, Haifa, Nazareth and Jenin. His razor edge wit and hilarious political commentary make this UK debut an evening not to be missed. Please note that this performance will take place only in Arabic. Hosted by MARSM it will be taking place 14 December, 2018 at DLT Lecture Theatre, SOAS University, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG.


Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.