The year is soon coming to a close having given the Arab-London arts and culture scene so much to learn from, appreciate, view, listen to, dance with; and, in some cases, cheer for with standing ovations. As it would take a much longer note to list all the wonderful highlights in my good memories for 2015, I've decided to create my own imaginary gongs to go to for each of the following categories.
If I had the resources, I imagine that I would give out real gold medals for the entries below. I've picked either one or two at the maximum - as I honestly couldn't decide! - based on what I attended, truly enjoyed and what made me feel engaged or challenged as a viewer, reader, attendee, listener, etc.
Without further ado, Nahla Ink's 2015 Arab-London Arts + Culture Gongs Go To:
Best Exhibition: 'Ricochet' by Abdulnasser Gharem (Asia House)
For more: http://asiahouse.org/events/gharem-studio-presents-ricochet/
For more in the press: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/sep/28/can-art-stop-jihad
Best Films: 'A Syrian Love Story' by Sean McAllister and 'The Wanted 18' by Amer Shomali
For more: http://asyrianlovestory.com/
For more: http://www.wanted18.com/
For more: http://www.nahlaink.com/reviews/wanted-18-how-18-israeli-palestinian-cow...
Best Play: 'Fireworks' by Dalia Taha (Royal Court Theatre)
For more: http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/fireworks
Best Two Books: 'Headscarves and Hymens' by Mona Eltahawy and 'Bride of Amman' by Fadi Zaghmout
For more: http://www.nahlaink.com/reviews/headscarves-and-hymens-mona-eltahawy
For more: Nahla Ink Review for 'The Bride of Amman' will soon be posted here.
Best Festival: Shubbak 2015
For more: http://www.shubbak.co.uk/
Best Musical Act: 47Soul
For more: http://47soul.com/
Best Comedy: 'Arabs Are Not Funny!' (Arts Canteen)
For more: http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/arabs-are-not-funny220116/
Best Venue for Arab-London: Rich Mix
For more: http://www.richmix.org.uk/
Fortunately, you can still catch the films, read the books or buy your ticket for the next in the comedy series before it sells out. In fact, I put all of these out to you as recreational options if you have any free time over the holidays.
Do also check My Curious Inbox regularly to be fully in the know of what is happening in our beloved London town.
And with that I shall leave you with perhaps your very own wonderful memories for 2015 and also possibly - if you are ahead - with your hopes, goals and ambitions for the coming year.
Best wishes to all!
See you in 2016!
London, December 2015