Author: Jack Welsh

We are pleased to announced the launch of our new publication Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Download a PDF version of the book: Tomorrow Will Shine

Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones, the book brings together poems written by 20 Yemeni poets as part of the ongoing Yemen in Conflict project.

The poems were written in response to a series of creative writing workshops for the project co-ordinated by the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival between 2019 – 2021. The project was prompted by work done in association with the Universities of Liverpool and Leeds, and funded initially by the British Academy, and later Arts Council England.

Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project
Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones
Printed by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival
72 pages
ISBN: 978-1-3999-2917-2
Cover (pictured above)       

Poets included in the book:

Maliha Al-Assadi
Abdel Hakim Al-Qazi
Yousef Alshamiri
Haneen Ali
Maysoon Aleryani
Ahmed Alkholaidi
Salim Alshaayee
Ali Alsowrqi
Khaled Alshameri
Belqis Mohammed Alwan
Amina Atiq
Hamdan Dammag
Shadia Mohamed Hamood
Saba Hamza
Rasheed Nagi
Abdulkader Sabri
Sara Rahman
Janet Watson
Amerah Saleh
Ahmed Zaabar

Order Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Please note that book orders are processed and posted in the first week of each month. We will email to confirm once your book has been posted. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to post books to Yemen.

Elodie Sacher Photo of French grandfather picturing his 1960s travel through Morocco

For Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2022 we are pleased to be collaborating with A.MAL on two special online events:

Working with Family Archives from North Africa
Online panel discussion
Monday 11 July
5pm BST
This event will be-streamed on LAAF’s social media platforms.

Photographs, videos, recipes as well as poems and songs all exist as our own personal archives. How are these archives accessed, who has access and what are the ethics of working with them (or not)?

Multifaceted objects and visual documents, which are enmeshed in Europe’s colonial interventions in North Africa and its postcolonial resonances are held in family archives. Artists and researchers from North Africa and its globally dispersed diaspora as well as from the formerly coloniser countries return to these objects to access not only a part of family history, but also to take a glance at historically determined asymmetric relations between the Global North and the Global South.

Moderated by Jessica El Mal, A.MAL presents a discussion into this topic from the perspective of food historian Salma Serry of Sufra Kitchen, artist Imane Zoubai and media scholar Elodie Sacher. The diverse perspectives offered by the panel offer timely insight into the use of family archives.

For more information please visit:

Working with Family Archives, An Encounter
Online workshop
Sat July 16
11:00am – 1:00pm BST

Jessica El Mal and Elodie Sacher of A.MAL will guide you through a digital space for a fruitful exchange about exemplary approaches to working with family archives. Workshop participants will be invited to upload something from their family archive into a Google Drive before the workshop – this could be a picture, a recipe, a video, an audio track – anything. During the workshop, we will explore these items through discussion and writing activities, to question if and how we can encounter such objects, and what this means for the future.

For more information visit:

A.MAL is an art and research initiative exploring ecology, migration and globalization through speculative art and research projects. We cast a critical eye on past and present global issues while seeking to harness human connection and creativity to imagine a better, more hopeful future – always questioning, always exploring. We are keen to contextualize ecological concerns within contemporary global – in particular post-colonial – relations and climate justice in the context of North Africa.

It creates opportunities for collaboration and experimentation through paid artist residencies, paying for workshops and talks, and touring exhibitions across Europe/North Africa. We bring emerging artists and mid-career artists and creatives from Europe, North Africa and the diaspora, to engage in reciprocal learning and experience sharing.

A.MAL have collaborated with ONCA (Brighton, UK), International Lost Species Day, Dardishi (Scotland), P21 Gallery (London), Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (UK), The Arab British Center (London), Le Cube (Rabat), Pikala Bikes (Marrakech), Mahal (Tangiers) and the Africa/UK: Transforming Art Ecologies from New Art Exchange (Nottingham), as well as a wide network of individual artists across Morocco and Europe.


Image: Grandfather’s photo album picturing his travels through Morocco in the 1960s, courtesy of Elodie Sacher.

We are looking for committed volunteers to play a key part in realising this year’s festival in Liverpool (Thursday 7 – Sunday 17 July)

Key events we are looking for support include:

Performances: LAAF launch event (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Fri 7 July); London Syrian Ensemble (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Fri 15 July), Curfew (Unity Theatre, Sat 16 July)
Visual art exhibitions: Yemen in Conflict (various sites) and Impressions from an Archive/Hannaa Hamdache (Exhibition Research Lab, LJMU)
Family Day (Sefton Park Palm House, Sunday 17 July)

Volunteers will need to be available during the festival period and ideally commit to 2 shifts. The role will give volunteers practical experience of event support, audience engagement and artist liaison. It is a great opportunity to work closely with our team on an international festival.

Travel expenses will be covered, along with expenses towards lunch, if applicable for the shift.

A full volunteer induction will be held in Liverpool before the festival.

Interested? Please complete this online form before Friday 17 June:

2022 festival volunteers

Please use this form to express your interest in volunteering for Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2022
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Are there any restrictions to you doing work in the UK?*(Required)
Do you require a work permit to carry out unpaid work in the UK?(Required)

A Day in the Life – Arabic
A Day in the Life consent form – Arabic

If you’re an aspiring writer of Arab heritage, you need to know about a new international poetry and short story competition – with £1,000 worth of prizes to be won.  

The A Day in the Life competition is being launched by Liverpool Hope University in conjunction with Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Entrants of Arab heritage, under the age of 21, are being invited to submit either a poem, short story or video clip which shines a light on an aspect, either positive or negative, of their life in the Liverpool City Region.

It could be related to school, work, community or leisure time, and should give a snapshot of a typical 24 hours in the person’s life.

Applicants can use whatever medium they’d like – whether it’s written word, short video, a rap or a link to their TikTok or any other social media clip.

Both the Palestinian Writers Union and the Jordanian Writers Society are also hosting their own A Day in the Life competitions in their native countries, and delegates from each will Zoom-in to a special winners’ ceremony held in Liverpool in July during this year’s Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Professor Michael Lavalette, Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Hope, said: “This is a great opportunity for aspiring young writers and creative thinkers. What we really want to see are poems or short stories that really offer a window into someone’s lived experience. There are no restrictions as to what you might address – this is about how you interpret a day in your own life. Applicants can use a variety of mediums to capture their thoughts, whether it’s a written poem or short story, or whether you turn those ideas into a video or social media snippet. For me, the cross-national element of the competition is really exciting. Both Liverpool Hope University and LAAF are committed to fostering links between communities, and we hope this is a way to build further bridges. Of course the prize money isn’t bad, either!”

Afrah Qassim, Chair of LAAF, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Liverpool Hope University on this great initiative. Our 2022 festival theme is points of connection between cultures and this project encapsulates this wonderfully. From writing to video and audio clips, we can’t wait to see the creative responses in this cross-national competition.”

There will be two categories for applicants in Liverpool:

  1. 16 years and under
  2. 17 to 21 years

Prizes are as follows: 1st: £250 2nd: £150 3rd: £100.

The UK competition will be judged by experts from Hope and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and its community partners, with the winner announced during the organisation’s big summer spectacular on Wednesday July 13th.

One of those judges will be the award-winning poet Dr Eleanor Rees, who is also Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Hope.

Among the panel of judges from LAAF are prize-winning Yemeni novelist Hamdan Dammag and Amina Atiq, a Yemeni- Scouse poet, performance artist, creative practitioner and award-winning community activist.

The big reveal will take place at Liverpool Hope University’s Great Hall, located at the city centre Creative Campus, on Wednesday July 13th, as part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Founded in 1998, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is the UK’s longest-running annual Arab arts and culture festival, platforming the best UK and international Arab artists.  The festival creates a dynamic between traditional and contemporary Arab artforms, encouraging informed debate that explores, and increases, appreciation of Arab people and their rich cultures. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s work continues throughout the year, with a wide range of events and participatory projects that bring together artists and diverse communities. From Liverpool to the Arab world, LAAF builds connections that help more people to encounter and experience Arab culture in Liverpool and beyond. The year-round programme of artistic and cultural events includes Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, which runs this year from Thursday 7 – Sunday 17 July 2022. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Murad Sudani, General Secretary of the Palestinian Writers Union, said of the A Day in the Life initiative: “This competition is a great opportunity for young people in Palestine, Jordan and Liverpool to learn from each other and about each other’s lives. It is the first, but hopefully not the last, shared competition between students in our countries.”

Meanwhile the Jordanian Writers Society is chaired by Muhammed Khudair, a celebrated and multi award-winning poet.


Terms and conditions

The competition is open to those of Arab heritage either living in the Liverpool City Region (as well as separately in Palestine and Jordan). 

Any video-based submissions must be either one minute in duration, or less. 

Any written submissions must be of a maximum permitted 500 words in length. 

Categories for applicants are as follows:

1) 16 years and under

2) 17 to 21 years

Prizes are as follows, for each age group: 1st: £250 2nd: £150 3rd: £100.

Full details can be found at

To submit your application by emailing

Please include a filled-in Competition Consent Form, which can be found at:

Please also include contact details for either yourself or your legal guardian.

The closing date for submissions for applicants from Liverpool is midnight Friday June 17th. 

10 finalists from each entry category will be invited with their families to the event on Wednesday July 13th during Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2022.

Winners will be announced on the day of the event – if you can’t be there on the day, please nominate someone to collect the award for you.

Prize money will be awarded either via bank transfer or cheque, or, if the applicant is claiming asylum, via a gift card.

Yalla! Let's Stomp! Free Dabke Dance workshop on Wed 25 May
Yalla! Let’s Stomp!
Join us for a FREE Dabke Dance Workshop led by Sylvia Ferreira (Hawiyya Dance Company)
Time: 19.00-20.00
Address: FireFit, 115 Upper Warwick St,  Toxteth, Liverpool, L8 8HD
Hawiyya Dance Company founded in 2017 as an all-women’s collective who explore identity, culture and resistance through dance. The group uses folk dance ‘Dabke’ and contemporary dance to create narrative works that explore themes such as resistance, oppression, displacement, social justice, individual and cultural identity. The culturally diverse dancers unite in their commitment to anti-racism and anti-imperialism in all they do.
By booking only. Very limited places.
To book your place, email:
As If No Misfortune Had Occurred In The Night, 2022. Installation view at FACT. Image by Rob Battersby

Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind present a live audiovisual performance of their new Arabic-language opera. Performed for an audience for the first time by Palestinian soprano Nour Darwish, you are invited to immerse yourself in an unforgettable operatic experience at the brand new state-of-the-art Tung Auditorium at the University of Liverpool’s Yoko Ono Lennon Centre.

Nour Darwish will sing live on stage against the backdrop of Larissa and Søren’s new film, As If No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (2022), which has been specially recomposed for this unique event. Performed as a single aria, the audiovisual work poetically laments a century of Palestinian trauma, starting with the cataclysm of World War I. Nour Darwish’s solo performance will envelop you as it brings the “world-class” film to life, resonating throughout the remarkable acoustic performance space.

Larissa and Søren’s new commission, As If No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (2022), has received critical acclaim whilst on display at FACT as part of the current exhibition, Let the Song Hold Us. The exhibition continues until 19 June 2022.

Doors: 18:00
Performance + Q&A: 18:30 – 20:00
Event Ends: 20:00

Saturday 21 May, 18:30 – 20:00
Tickets General £12.50, Concession £10 (+ fees)
Buy tickets:

The performance will be followed by a live Q&A with the artists, hosted by Dr Nicola Triscott, Chief Executive/Director at FACT Liverpool.

“A sublime evocation of maternal grief” ★★★★ – The i

“The dramatic cinematography is arresting, but it is the content of the song that elevates the piece” ★★★★ – The Guardian

This special event is presented by FACT Liverpool and supported by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival strongly supports Liverpool Against Racism (LAR) a brand new festival in Liverpool which takes a stand against racism.

LAAF’s founder Taher Qassim, and creative producer, Laura Brown, will be taking part in the LAR conference, at The Spine, Paddington Village, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3FA on Tuesday 26 April 2022, between 9am – 6pm.

Championed by the Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson, Liverpool Against Racism will feature specially commissioned music and cultural events which will stimulate a conversation about, and action against, racism. With a focus on community cohesion, it will act as a platform for people and organisations to creatively respond to hate crime.

Running for a week, from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 April, the programming team – led by key music industry figure Yaw Owusu – is pulling together plans which will see live talks and debates as well as music and cultural events taking place across the city, featuring a diverse line up of local, national and international individuals and organisations who are invested in the charge for change.

The ambition for LAR is to set Liverpool apart as a city that doesn’t shy away from addressing the issue of racism and to celebrate diversity in all of its forms.

For more information about the programme, visit:


Family Day 2018 - AB Photography

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival returns this summer with ten days celebrating the best Arab arts and culture. Marking 20 years since the first festival was held in the city, organisers have revealed the popular Family Day returns as part of the programme, for the first time in two years, at Sefton Park’s Palm House.

With music, visual art, literature, film, performance, workshops, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival brings artists from around the world to the city, as well as providing a platform for those closer to home, as it allows people to experience and enjoy Arab culture. The longest running Arab arts festival in the UK, this year’s theme explores language and translation. It takes place Thursday 7 – Sunday 17 July 2022.

The ever-popular Family Day has been a firm fixture of the annual festival. Held at Sefton Park’s historic Palm House, which this year marks its 150th birthday, the event returns after a two-year break due to the pandemic. Held on the final Sunday of the festival, Family Day has grown each year, bringing together contemporary and traditional Arab cultural music and dance, along with authentic food, drink and family activities. This free event is an opportunity for Liverpool’s many communities to come together in a joyful celebration of Arab culture.

Other highlights of the 2022 programme include Curfew, a contemporary dance production presented by Hawiyya Dance Company and El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe at Unity Theatre. Supported by British Council and Arts Council England, the Liverpool show will also premiere the performance of another dance piece by Sharaf DarZaid, Love in the Time of Apartheid.

An exhibition by the Arab Image Foundation brings rare photographs depicting 100 years of Arab history and culture, which are never previously seen in Europe. Artists from Beirut Printmaking Studio have created new etchings in response to the photographs. The exhibition will be held at Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab at the School of Art and Design alongside a new video commission by emerging British-Algerian artist Hannaa Hamdache.

The full ten-day programme will be announced in Spring 2022.

Festival Chair Afrah Qassim says,

“After two years of programming both online and offline, we are delighted to be back to our ten days in 2022. Our festival has always been a celebration, a way to provide a platform to show the rich and diverse art and culture that comes from our Arab community. We are all looking forward to welcoming our artists and audiences back this July”.

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