Arts organisations in Dubai to host events in solidarity with Palestine

Palestinian culture, craft, history and food will be celebrated through screenings, panel discussions and performances

As Israeli air strikes continue in Gaza, the Palestinian experience under occupation is receiving renewed attention around the world.

In recent days, cultural institutions and collectives, such as The Mosaic Rooms in London and Artists for Palestine UK, have called on individuals and organisations to support the Palestinian people.

Local cultural spaces are also putting together events that highlight Palestinian art, culture, history and food. Here is a list of coming events in Dubai that celebrate Palestine.

Unas Cultural Foundation

Unas Cultural Foundation is screening the film The Present by Oscar-nominated and Bafta-winning filmmaker Farah Nabulsi on Thursday. The short film by the British-Palestinian director gives a glimpse of the daily struggles of life in Palestine through the central characters of a father and daughter.

A five-minute short film focuses on Obaida Jawabreh, a teenager who lived in the Al Arroub Refugee Camp in the West Bank.

The programme begins at 8pm with servings of traditional Palestinian food by Chef Halawa. Screenings begin at 8.45pm and will be followed by a panel discussion.

The event is held at The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai.

Seats are limited; more information is available at instagram.com/unas.culture

Satellite

Art studio and platform Satellite is hosting two events, with the first beginning on Thursday, and running until Saturday, May 29.

The first calls for a collaborative intervention to build a temporary monument to Palestine. The public is encouraged to bring stones to Satellite’s warehouse in Alserkal Avenue over the coming days.

The second event, Open Mic Palestine, calls for individuals to come with stories, poems, songs and performances that celebrate Palestinian life. So far, at least 18 participants have registered. The event will take place on Saturday at 7pm.

Rami Farook, who established Satellite, says that the intent is “to show solidarity with the people of Palestine and hold space for others who wish to share. It also gives people an opportunity to be informed and educated in an entertaining manner.”

The temporary monument activation takes place from Thursday to Saturday, May 29; Open Mic Palestine is on Saturday at 7pm; both at Satellite, Alserkal Avenue; satellitespace.tumblr.com

Cinema Akil

Cinema Akil has put together a programme of screenings and discussions around an image's ability to instil empathy, with a specific focus on Palestinian creators.

The event On Walls & Images takes place on Monday at 7.30pm.

It will begin with a presentation by Gulf Photo Plus founder Mohamed Somji on the centre’s current exhibition The Sacred Space Oddity, which features works by Tanya Habjouqa that explore life in the occupied territories through quirky and novel imagery. Habjouqa will join via Zoom for a live Q&A session.

This will be followed by another presentation featuring Ramzi Jaber, the co-founder of Visualising Palestine, a resource platform that uses data visualisation to highlight stories of social justice in Palestine.

The event will conclude with a screening of Dima Srouji's short film Sebastia. In the film, Srouji, who is also an architect and designer, investigates the small archaeological town of Sebastia. Located on a hill north-west of Nablus, the town has been excavated repeatedly over the past century and is surrounded by Israeli settlements.

cinemaakil.com

Kave

Kave, an upcycling cafe located in Alserkal Avenue, is currently putting together Korba, a two-day programme intended to “honour, support and celebrate all things Palestine”, as the organisers describe it.

Taking place on Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29, the event includes tatreez (Palestinian embroidery) workshops, talks and a book club, along with a line-up of artist presentations and performances. The programme will run from 10am to 8pm on both days.

Kave will announce the full list of activities in the coming days.

instagram.com/kavepeople