London played host to the first Arab contemporary cultural festival on July 4. The festival will feature over 70 events in more than 30 key cultural venues throughout the city until July 24.
Around 100 artists from Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, along with others, are taking part in the event, which will display works of artists, musicians, performers and literary icons from across the region.
The festival is being hosted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson under the title 'Shubbak' which means 'window'.
Zeid Hamdan, a Lebanese musician and producer will be performing abroad for the first time. Mr. Hamdan describes himself as a producer who pushes musical boundaries.
Musicians will perform using traditional instruments like the “oud” alongside electronic beats, remixing classical Arabic songs. Popular songs also focus on political events happening in the region, with one song including the lines 'the people demand the fall of the regime' a chant echoed in the streets of Egypt and Tunisia. The slogan is still being chanted in Yemen, Libya and Syria.
Zeid Hamdan, Lebanese musician
Munira Mirza, Director of Arts and Culture for the London Mayor
Mustafa Ahmed Almenayan