Arab culture in London’s limelight


London’s three-week long Shubbak festival of contemporary Arab culture opened on Monday on a strong note from Tamer Abou Ghazaleh, Zeid Hamdan and Maryam Saleh, performing together for the first time in Europe. The first week of Shubbak sped by with music, history, film and literature from across the Arab world.

The trio performed again later in the week at the charity event Sing for Syria. The show, not officially part of Shubbak, was possible thanks to the musicians being in town for the festival’s grand opening event.

Taking the opportunity to bring people together for this cause, a concert and auction were organized. The auction sold items ranging from Arabic records to recordings by The Beatles and zoomorphic Mahmoud Darwish poetry calligraphy prints. In that single evening, over £2,000 was raised. This money will be going with the 20 trucks set to drive from Germany and Belgium to the Syrian refugee camps on the border of Turkey. Carrying much needed food and medicine as well as toys and entertainment for the kids, the convoy is set to arrive just in time for Ramadan, which this year coincides with the month of August.

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Medieval Syrian Pottery” — Syrian medicine pot imported into medieval London circa 1300 (Museum of London photo)

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