Liverpool Arab Arts Festival

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) was founded in 1998 to increase awareness and appreciation of the city’s Arab community who, despite being one the earliest migrant communities in the city, remained invisible outside their immediate area.

Palm House in Sefton Park, Liverpool. CREDIT AB Photography

As part of their vision, LAAF’s founders formed relationships with local schools and delivered workshops that offered children and young people the opportunity to experience the richness of Arab culture through learning about Arab countries, traditions, costumes, cuisines, the Arabic language and so much more.

This volunteer-run project developed into the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival – the longest-running and most successful annual festival of Arab arts and culture in England.

LAAF 2019 Family Day. CREDIT Julia Thorne

QFI has worked with LAAF since 2019. Presently, in partnership with Liverpool’s Cultural Education Partnership, QFI is also supporting LAAF in an outreach project in schools that can earn participants a nationally accredited Bronze Arts Award and will help them gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work in the arts and cultural industry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this activity has been postponed and will take place during the 2020/21 school year.

The current environment is challenging, but LAAF’s work still continues around the year. As LAAF’s former chair Taher Qassim puts it: “We aim to represent Arab culture and Arab people in a positive way, and to harness that curious ability art has to allow one person, with one set of life experiences, to speak directly to the heart of another.”

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