Category: News

1pm (GMT) Thursday 29 April 2021
Zoom Panel discussion

Book free ticket your free ticket here.

Join Sherif Dhaimish, Ayat Mneina and Ghazi Gheblawi as they discuss the life and works of the late Libyan artist and satirist, Hasan ‘Alsatoor’ Dhaimish.

This event with Liverpool Arab Arts Festival marks the launch of, a new archive documenting the life and works of the late Libyan artist and satirist, Hasan ‘Alsatoor’ Dhaimish. The site, which features over 6,000 images, launches as part of Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution – A Libyan Artist in Exile, an Arts Council England-supported project, which features an upcoming exhibition at Hoxton 253, and a forthcoming biography by Sherif Dhaimish, published by Pendle Press in August 2021.

Hasan arrived in the UK in 1975 after leaving Libya when he was 20 years old. He began publishing satirical cartoons in 1980, working with publications such as Jihad and Al Sharq Al Jadeed for a number of years. Hasan, or Alsatoor (the Cleaver) as was known had settled into British life, but he remained dedicated to the fight for freedom in Libya all the way through his life. His work began to reach people across the globe when publishing with various oppositional Libyan news websites, his own blog and across social media.

For the first time, his published satirical works are featured in one place alongside Hasan’s paintings and digital artwork. Controversial, funny, poignant, brutally honest and often offensive, Alsatoor’s work offers a unique window into Libyan politics over the last few decades. Alongside this is a colourful collection of Hasan’s artworks he produced on canvas, paper and digitally that reflect his life as an exiled man.

This ambitious project continues to evolve with a show in Leeds in November and a variety of events throughout this year and next.

Speaker Bios

Sherif Dhaimish is a publisher and curator originally from Brierfield, Lancashire. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Leeds in Communications, and then worked as an English teacher in South Korea. After a stint of travelling, he returned to the UK to study at King’s College London where he received an MA in Critical Theory. A keen cyclist and swimmer, reader and watcher, Sherif now resides in southeast London with his girlfriend Sarah and dog Toto. He is the son of Hasan Dhaimish, the late Libyan artist and satirist, and Karen Dhaimish, a Pendle-based artist.

Ayat Mneina is a Canadian-Libyan activist, digital media strategist and researcher who grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty 1 territory. In 2011, she founded ShababLibya (the Libyan Youth Movement), a social media platform that counteracted the Libyan government’s media blackout by reporting the Libyan uprising using a network of sources on the ground and was widely used by international outlets as a source of reliable information on Libya. Ayat has traveled extensively to share her expertise on Libya presenting at international forums, media outlets and academic institutions including the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, UN Women CSW63, BBC Democracy Day, Yale, MIT, The Guardian, CNN, and Al Jazeera. For three years Ayat worked on political campaigns in Canada developing digital media strategy in Manitoba for Indigenous leader, author and politician Wab Kinew. Ayat is currently based in Toronto as a freelance analyst and digital media strategist as well as a producer and researcher for the documentary film Searching for Kikhia which focuses on the story of slain Libyan opposition leader and former Foreign Minister of Libya, Mansur Kikhia. In 2019, Ayat joined the Stories of Girls Resistance Project as the story curator for the MENA region collecting over 20 girls’ resistance stories that will be developed and shared on various platforms over the coming year. You can follow her on

Twitter @amneina.

Ghazi Gheblawi is a Libyan author, blogger, activist, and physician. He has been a leading public speaker on Libyan affairs, pushing for democracy, human rights, and freedom of the press in Libya. In 2004 he co-founded the Libya Alyoum (Libya Today) online newspaper and served as cultural editor until 2009. His award-winning blog, Imtidad, focuses on cultural and social issues in Libya and the Arab world. From the beginning of the Libyan uprising, Gheblawi gathered information and verified reports from activists inside and out of Libya using social media networks. In 2006, he began producing the Imtidad Cultural Podcast, a popular Arabic-language podcast which provided analyses of important news and opinion via interviews with intellectuals and writers. Gheblawi has also published two collections of short stories and poems in Arabic.

In post-Gaddafi Libya, Gheblawi has called for freedom of expression to be enshrined in the country’s constitution and for laws that protect the rights of journalists. In recent years, Gheblawi has continued to make public appearances, give interviews, and write articles, including a piece in the Independent, in which he said, “I believe that the astounding solidarity and creativity this revolution has unleashed is what will give Libyans the confidence in themselves that they need to rebuild the nation.” He was a judge for the prestigious 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing. He currently lives in Britain and works as a physician. His latest work can be found on his blog Imtidad.

Twitter: @Gheblawi

 Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution: Hasan ‘Alsatoor’ Dhaimish image                 Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution: Hasan ‘Alsatoor’ Dhaimish image
  • Liverpool Arab Arts Festival to receive funding from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund
  • LAAF among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will help bolster LAAF’s artistic and education programmes

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is delighted to have received a grant of £38,787 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including LAAF in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

This welcomed support will help LAAF to offset spending reductions due to the pandemic and bolster its artistic and education programmes. LAAF is thankful to both DCMS and Arts Council England for the support of its work.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Notes to Editors

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.


Generations for Change is an exciting, paid, development, and training opportunity for young people from Black, Asian and other diverse ethnic backgrounds who are aged between 18 – 30 years.  Funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, in partnership with Curious Minds, six organisations across the Liverpool City Region will be hosting a total of 6 young people, for six months, within their organisation.

The six host organisations are: Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Black Fest, Capoeira For All, Liverpool World Centre, Make CIC, Writing on the Wall.

The Generations of Change project will train, equip and upskill young people from across the Liverpool City Region to deliver a series of creative action research projects focusing on the key issues and inequalities faced by Black, Asian and other diverse ethnic groups in the Liverpool City Region.

For more information please download the Generations for Change Job Description & Role Specification.

Please visit: for more information.


We at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival stand firm in solidarity with those protesting against racism, anti-blackness, white supremacy, and state violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rodney King and all those who have been attacked and murdered before and since. Alongside calling for justice abroad, we must do everything within our power to ensure racial justice and equality within our own communities and workplaces as well.

Our remit is to bring the best of traditional and contemporary Arab arts and culture to diverse audiences here in the UK and internationally. We are proud to collaborate with an incredibly diverse range of artists through our work, which includes black artists who are from or have heritage in the Middle East and North Africa*, who face discrimination at home and abroad. We are asking how we can build upon the work we do to actively fight racism and anti-blackness in the UK, the Arab world, and anywhere our work reaches. We have set up a team within our board whose active role is to ensure our festival is continually thinking about and acting on these questions, not just now but into the future.

*With knowledge that there are numerous ethnic and racial groups in the region, and that there is a lot of complexity around how people describe themselves

Below is a list of articles that we have found interesting both in articulating our own experiences as well as helping us learn and further our understanding:

Anti-Blackness In The Arab World And The Violence That Doesn’t Get A Hashtag

Putting Afro-Arabs On The Map: The British-Sudanese Artist Reimagining London As An Afrabian Enclave

Palestinian Actress Maryam Abu Khaled Slams Arab Racism In Viral Video

Black Iraqis Say George Floyd’s Death Sheds Light On Their Own Centuries-Long Plight

Bookmark This: Are Acronyms Like Bame A Nonsense?

Black Arab women tackle racist beauty ideals and stereotypes:

Too Black to Be Arab, Too Arab to Be Black:

Black Lives Matter in the Arab World too

How to be an ally

Francesca Leigh, 5 Tips for Being an Ally:

Evelyn from the Internets, How To Be an Ally:

We’re absolutely delighted Liverpool Arab Arts Festival has been shortlisted for Arts Organisation of the year at LCR Culture & Creativity Awards 2020.

The awards night takes place on 19 February, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate those delivering culture across Liverpool City Region. It has been a challenging year for the sector, but ingenuity, courage and more than a little determination has brought some fantastic events and programmes to audiences.

Arts Organisation of the Year

We have been nominated alongside two excellent arts organisations

  • Writing On The Wall
  • 20 Stories High
  • Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF)

You can find out more about the awards:

Enter the #DressItUp Competition for the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards 2020

The Book of Ramallah
6pm (UK), | 8pm (Palestine) Thursday 25 February 2021
Watch via LAAF Facebook Page / Comma Press Facebook Page

Join Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Comma Press for a journey to Ramallah, as we reflect on the latest title in Comma’s series on ‘Reading the City’.

Edited by Beirut-born, Palestinian novelist, Maya Abu Al-Hayat, who lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah, this anthology explores the city in all its countless contradictions. The Book of Ramallah features stories from ten established and emerging Palestinian writers, including Anas Abu Rahma, Liana Badr, Khaled Hourani and Ahmad Jaber.

Ramallah is the cultural, commercial and governmental hub of the West Bank and the stories explore its defiance in resistance against the occupying forces, alongside its frustration and division by its secrets and conservatism. Characters fall in love, have affairs, poke fun at the heavy military presence, but also see their aspirations cut short, their lives eaten into, their morale beaten down by the daily humiliations of the conflict. Through humour, and precious moments of intimacy, however, we glimpse life inside this city of refuge; an image of hope abiding even under the eye of a merciless occupation.

The conversation event will discuss the book and the city, with readings from writers Ameer Hamad and Ibrahim Nasrallah, alongside editor Maya Abu Al-Hayat.

Author Biographies

Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in 1954 to Palestinian parents who were evicted from their land in Palestine in 1948. He spent his childhood and youth in a refugee camp in Jordan, and began his career as a teacher in Saudi Arabia. After returning to Amman, he worked in the media and cultural sector until 2006. To date, he has published 15 poetry collections, 21 novels, and several other books. In 1985, he started writing the Palestinian Comedy covering 250 years of modern Palestinian history in a series of independent novels. His works have been translated into English, Italian, Danish, Turkish, and Persian. Three of his novels have been shortlisted or longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) – sometimes referred to as the ‘Arab Booker’ – and in 2018 his novel The Second Dog War won it. In 2012 he won the inaugural Jerusalem Award for Culture and Creativity, and his novel Prairies of Fever was chosen by The Guardian one of the ten most important novels written about the Arab world.

Maya Abu Al-Hayat is a Beirut-born Palestinian novelist and poet living in Jerusalem. She has published two poetry books, numerous children’s stories and three novels, including her latest No One Knows His Blood Type (Dar Al-Adab, 2013). She is the director of the Palestine Writing Workshop, an institution that seeks to encourage reading in Palestinian communities through creative writing projects and storytelling with children and teachers. She contributed to, and wrote a forward for A Bird is Not a Stone: An Anthology of Contemporary Palestinian Poetry.

Ameer Hamad is a poet, short story writer and translator, who has published his work in numerous magazines and websites, including Beirut Literature Magazine and the New Arab website. He was born in Jerusalem in 1992, graduated from Birzeit University, with a major in Computer Science and is currently working on his first collection of short stories. 

Buy the Book of Ramallah:

This event will be streamed on Liverpool Arab Arts Festival Facebook Page

You can also watch on Comma Press Facebook Page 

Poster from A Girl from Mogadishu

A social activist and survivor of female genital mutiliation (FGM) will join speakers from Savera UK and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) for an event ahead of UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

On Thursday 4th February, global gender-based violence activist, Ifrah Ahmed, will join director, Mary McGuckian, Savera UK founder and CEO, Afrah Qassim and LAAF’s volunteer festival programmer, Professor Anahid Kassabian, for a panel discussion based around the Pembridge Pictures film, A Girl From Mogadishu, which was based on Ifrah’s recorded testimony and directed, produced and written by Mary McGuckian.

The ticketed panel event, which will discuss Ifrah’s story and the issues it raises around FGM and gender-based violence, will be chaired by Savera UK Patron and former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, Nazir Azfal OBE.

Winner of the Cinema for Peace Women’s Empowerment Award at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival, A Girl From Mogadishu is a powerful and inspiring film is based on the true story of global gender based violence activist, Ifrah Ahmed, who will join Mary McGuckian, Savera UK’s Afrah Qassim and LAAF’s Professor Anahid Kassabian for the event.

Fleeing war-torn Somalia in 2006 for the United States, Ifrah is trafficked to Dublin, Ireland where she applies for asylum. A traumatic medical examination reveals the extent of her mutilation as a child.

Traumatised by the memory, she channels the experience into a force for change and emerges as a formidable campaigner against female genital mutilation at the highest political echelons in Ireland, Europe and globally.

Starring Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder) as Ifrah Ahmed and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) along with Orla Brady (Picard, Rose Plays Julie) and Somali icon, Maryam Mursal the film boasts an original score by Nitin Sawhney and its title track also features Quiet by Milck, the unofficial anthem of the 2017 USA Women’s March.

A screening link to the film will be provided to all registrants ahead of the event – Talking FGM: An afternoon with Ifrah Ahmed the “Girl from Mogadishu” – which will also act as a fundraiser for Savera UK, with fifty percent of all proceeds f rom ticket sales being donated to the charity, which supports survivors and those at risk of harmful practices like FGM, forced marriage and ‘honour’-based abuse.

Speaking ahead of the event, Afrah Qassim said: “A Girl From Mogadishu is a powerful telling of Ifrah’s incredible story. It addresses so many issues faced by those at risk of FGM and other harmful practices, here in the UK and across the globe, while also highlighting the power of speaking out against these practices.”

Professor Anahid Kassabian, from LAAF, added: “Film has the power, almost more than any art form, to help communicate what people are experiencing and the challenges they face in a way that inspires empathy and understanding. This is how we build change. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this film has, and the conversation that comes from it.”

To buy tickets to the event click here

Listing information

Event: Talking FGM: An afternoon with Ifrah Ahmed the “Girl from Mogadishu”
Description: Online panel event discussing the Pembridge Pictures film A Girl From Mogadishu and wider issues around FGM and gender-based violence. A screening link will be provided to all registrants ahead of the event.
Date: Thursday 4th February, 2021
Time: 2:30pm – 4pm
Location: Online, registration essential
Tickets: £10 (£5 from each ticket sale will be donated to Savera UK)
Booking Link here

Job Opportunity: Marketing & Communications Manager

LAAF is seeking to recruit an experienced Marketing & Communications Manager to develop and manage marketing and PR for the organisation. The postholder will be a key part of a small senior management team and will make a dynamic contribution to realising LAAF’s overall vision. They will be responsible for instigating and delivering projects that align with strategic marketing goals, and for increasing awareness of LAAF in the UK and internationally.

Salary: £10,800 (£27,000 per annum pro rota at 2 days per week)
Responsibilities: Temporary/contract marketing freelance workers, interns, apprentice and volunteers.
Contract: Initial 12-month part-time contract.
Location: Office is based in Bluecoat, Liverpool. Remote working will be considered. Post holder will be required to attend occasional meetings in Liverpool and be available throughout core festival period in July, and during out of festival events which require marketing and PR support.

How to apply:

Please download the LAAF Marketing & Communications Manager Job Description and Equal Opportunities Form

To apply, please email the following to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Marketing & Communications Manager application’:

  • A covering letter (maximum 2 sides of A4) demonstrating your suitability to the role in relation to the Responsibilities and Knowledge, Skills and Experience.
  • Your CV
  • Contact details of 2 referees, one of whom should be a current employer
  • Completed Equal Opportunities form

LAAF is actively committed to widening access in the arts to support people from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and skills. We particularly welcome applications from ethnic communities currently under-represented in the arts.

Closing date: 12pm, Wednesday 17 February 2021.

Interviews will be held via Zoom w/c 22 February 2021.

Liverpool Friends of Yemen will be holding a digital vigil for peace in Yemen on Wednesday 9 December 2020.

Speakers and performers include:

  • Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan and Shadow Foreign Secretary
  • Paula Barker, Labour MP for Liverpool, Wavertree
  • Kim Johnson, Labour MP for Liverpool, Riverside
  • Saba Ahmed
  • Najib Alhakimi
  • Amina Atiq
  • David Harrison
  • Adam Kelwick
  • Sally Theobald
  • Taher Qassim MBE

The event will be held on Zoom and streamed live on Liverpool Friends of Yemen’s Facebook page.

Register for the event here: