Photography: Hawiyya Dance Company

LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL has announced a further wave of artists taking part in the July event. Added to the impressive array of performers unveiled earlier in the month are musicians WALEAD BEN SELIM, HELLO PSYCHALEPPO and DARAA TRIBES.

LAAF, the UK’s longest-running annual festival of Arab arts and culture returns this summer, connecting artists and audiences from across the UK and beyond. The festival will launch digitally from Thursday 9th to Sunday 18th July.

Appearing live and direct from Morocco and The Levant, LAAF online audiences will be treated to the rock, trip hop electro stylings of collective Walead Ben Selim and Widad Broco/N3rdistan, Hello Pschaleppo’s patented Electro-Tarab and Daraa Tribes’ fusion of ancestral tribal music and Saharan Blues.

The programme also features artist-in-residence and spoken word poet LISA LUXX, a British-Syrian performer who will reflect on identity, sexuality, belonging and gender, bringing her unique voice to the festival. She’ll be teaming up with social activist and playwright DAYNA ASH for Grinding Saffron; a night to reflect on LGBTQ+ culture within Arab society and communities.


Renowned Arabist TIM MACKINTOSH-SMITH will discuss his acclaimed book Arabs: 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires and award-winning Palestinian-American author, poet and artist IBTISAM BARAKAT will deliver a special workshop for budding writers.

In a celebration of Arab Cinema, LAAF will also share a programme of short films from Female Directors in today’s Arab World. Working in partnership with BBC Arabic Festival, each short film will guide viewers through the effects and consequences of war on individuals and their families, and the hope for freedom. DINA NASER, KATIA JARJOURA, YASSMINA KARAJAH and MARIAKENZI LAHLOU will each be showcasing their films, while the award-winning feature documentary Jaddoland follows filmmaker, NADIA SHIHAB through a trip back to her homeland in Texas. The film, an intimate portrait of a mother through a daughter’s eyes, raises questions about what we call home.

This year’s digital programme will see artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers connect virtually from their homes in Ramallah, Kuala Lumpur, Liverpool, Beirut and across the world.

For the full programme, go to

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