London has played host to the biggest Palestine festival of 2018 with over 3,000 guests attending and a variety of shows, exhibitions, and stalls showcasing Palestinian art, culture, and history.
The event, hosted by The Biggest Palestine Festival group, is held over a period of two days every year in an exhibition center that holds up to 30 stalls as well as hosting musical performances, conferences, lectures and an array of art exhibitions.
#London has played host to the biggest #Palestine festival of 2018 with over 3,000 guests attending and a variety of shows, #exhibitions and stalls showcasing #Palestinian art, culture and #history. #MNA_English #MNA #Anglophones #Palestinian pic.twitter.com/1GIePaGkwF
— M N A (@mnaEN) December 16, 2018
Sasha, a 23-year-old postgraduate student who is half Palestinian, said:
“Palestine has become synonymous with politics and conflict and whenever you see Palestine being mentioned on the news, it is solely about its conflict with Israel and the illegal occupation taking place on its lands.”
The Palestine Festival to open its doors in London Middle East Monitor Palestinians in the UK are preparing to host the biggest exhibition of Palestinian culture, food, heritage and art to be held in the country in 2018 this weekend. https://t.co/DvoPkv9IHc pic.twitter.com/hjyXFKDb7Q
— Hurshal (@Hurshal) December 13, 2018
“This festival shows that Palestine and its people are much more than that. Palestine has an incredibly rich culture and history, one that is celebrated and cherished, not only by its people but also by many who aren’t Palestinian and that we will not be defined by this terrible conflict and we will not allow the Zionist oppression and occupation to bring us down.”
Among the many activities taking place, attendees enjoyed tasting and experiencing traditional Palestinian food such as Falafel, Kunafe, Humous, and Foul and listened to a variety of Palestinian music and dance such as the famed Dabkah dance by the Yasmin al-Sham group and Palestinian hip hop and rap by the Rap for Palestine group.
The event also featured poets and spoken word artists who humbled audiences by giving elaborate and emotive descriptions of the daily oppression face by millions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Artists such as Zakaria Haj Khalil, Yahya Hawwa, Rami El Hindi and Omar Al Saeidi were able to catch the attention of hundreds of people and demonstrate the variety of the Palestinian music, poetry, and spoken word.
Omar, an attendee from Luton, said:
“This is the strongest weapon that we as Palestinians have. Our culture and history will outlive the political parties, the politicians and political movements, so long as Palestinians remember their culture and history, Israel will never be able to defeat us”.
— Palestine Festival (@palfestivaluk) December 15, 2018
Among the many conferences that were held, one, in particular, was called the “British Palestinians’ Conference” and hosted a panel of human rights and political activists and professors from a number of British universities.
Rather than discuss the current political state of Palestine, a discussion that is routinely held in such events, the conference focused on the arts and culture scene coming out of Palestine and how Palestinian youth are making their voices being heard through art, fashion and poetry.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) December 16, 2018
Laila, a 22-year-old activist, said:
“The youth of Palestine are finding new ways to resist the occupation. By enhancing and promoting Palestinian culture and art, the youth are saying to the Zionist forces ‘we have a weapon stronger than the whole of your army and one that you will not be able to destroy with your bullets and bombs!’”
The event will run until Sunday and will be open to all guests free of charge.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)