'When Mariam Cries', Book Launch: Mariam Michtawi is a Lebanese-Syrian poet, writer and teacher. In 2013, she was confronted with the tragic loss of her young son who died of cancer, when the separation deeply affected her writings and inspired her to support and fundraise for children affected by the illness. Michtawi's earlier source of poetic inspiration was evoked also through the disparate experience of her son when he was dealing with the illness; when she remained with him for a year and a half at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Green Caravan Film Festival (GCFF): The traveling festival for social and environmental films comes to London from its Gulf headquarters for the first time. It will present a mix of feature length and short films, all chosen for their vital messages and the high quality of storytelling.
Maryam Saleh & Zeid Hamdan + El Far3i: Described as a magnetic collaboration, Maryam Saleh & Zeid Hamdan is an experimental musical partnership between Egyptian singer and songwriter Maryam Saleh, who is a powerful voice for her generation, and the pioneering electro-music producer Zeid Hamdan, who has also been named as the 'godfather of Lebanese underground music'. In 2012 the duo played their brand of Arabic trip-hop together in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe - including London, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam - having developed their own blend of traditional Arabic
Karama: One of the most popular Arabic bands in the United Kingdom, Karama is led by Moroccan Oud player Soufian Saihi and brings his compositions based around the oud, clarinet, double bass and percussion. Finding inspiration from the beautiful ecstatic Gnawa, North African and Arabic classical music as well as the diverse sounds of London, Karama’s members are also from Venezuela, Spain, Japan, Morocco and the UK.
Orange Blossom (France/Egypt): Performing as part of the thirteenth London Africa Music Festival, Orange Blossom offer electric whirlpools, electronic storms and Oriental arabesques: insolent mixing which is not satisfied with half measures. Their music suggests a free world of doubts where East and West fraternize with ease; an idea dreamed up by Carlos Robles Arenas (drummer, percussionist and composer) and Pierre Jean Chabot (violinist).
Arabs Are Not Funny! (Comedy): After two successful sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s humour -show is back with a new line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions, all looking for an opportunity to showcase their talents. The special guests headlining the show this time will be the stylish Tez Ilyas and the charming Imran Yusuf, with the energetic Welsh-Egyptian comedian Omar Hamdi hosting the presentation. Other supporting acts include Yacine Sekkoum, Dalia Malek and Marouen Mraihi.
Ramadan Night: An evening that revives the old Ramadan tradition from the Arab and Muslim world which gathers musicians, poets and story tellers after dark and the breaking of the fast, where the Rich Mix venue will be gently lit by candles and Arabic lanterns with songs and sounds that reach back in time through Arabic history.
Akala + Katibeh Khamseh: Eminent UK hip hop artist Akala will be headlining a unique show featuring Palestinian hip hop group Katibeh Khamseh as part of the Celebrating Sanctuary London Festival during Refugee Week UK. The award winning MC and founder of the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company is recognised as a visionary on the UK hip hop scene, pushing radical politics, poetry, social awareness and activism to the fore and being a modern day chronicler of the global struggle for equality.
Gaâda Diwane Bechar: A UK premiere for the Saharan group that will bring Sufi trance with invocative, authentic and fused tunes. A night of Diwane ceremony, showcasing the mystical strands of Sufism with Saharan rhythms building up to a crescendo, travelling from the deepest Erg in the Sahara through the Moroccan Essaouira to the high steppes of Algeria, all the way to East London! With the mondole, the guembri, the karakabous and the bendir, the Gaâda offer a mystical journey with warm sounds and hot rhythms accompanied by Aisha’s rich Saharan vocals and rhythms.
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh + 47Soul (Music): A restless and inventive performer and promoter of a wide range of music and artistic activity, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh is a leading figure in modern Arabic culture. The Palestinian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer has over the past few years collaborated in many music projects, released a debut album and founded eka3 (2007), a regional platform dedicated to promoting, producing, distributing, and touring independent Arabic music.