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Jehan Bseiso & Nablus Chapter, Edward Said Musical Conservatoire (PalFest 2017). Photo by Rob Stothard.

2.30-10pm. Free. Please note that this event is limited capacity so come early to avoid disappointment. 

A day of literature, music and Palestinian food at the Arts Bar and Café, inlcuding contributions from: Maan Abu Taleb, Diana Buttu, William Dalrymple, Kassem Eid, Omar Robert Hamilton, Rachel Holmes, Hannah Khalil, Kareem Samara, Kamila Shamsie, Ahdaf Soueif and William Sutcliffe.

In Palestine everything, even the past, is penetrated by occupation.

“You can see the stony terraces and the centuries that coaxed them into fruitfulness, the Israeli wall severing them from their farmers, and the settlement road cutting through the sky above them, its supports digging deep into their soil. Nothing, not a single thing, is free of the occupation, its instruments, its outcomes.”
– Ahdaf Soueif

Since 2008, Soueif and her colleagues in PalFest, The Palestine Festival of Literature, have brought artists from outside Palestine to taste this bitter and complex experience, an experience evoked in ‘This is not a Border’ (2017). Breaking the cultural siege imposed by Israel, PalFest reaffirms, in Edward Said’s words, ‘the power of culture over the culture of power’ and strengthens Palestine’s cultural links with the rest of the world.

Artists for Palestine UK, launched in 2015, gives a platform to Palestinian voices, and campaigns against their silencing. There are many who would like art and culture to serve the project of occupation; APUK suggests a different role.

APUK and PalFest bring to London a day of music, literature and food, celebrating Palestinian culture and its long history. These are difficult times for Palestine, and the roads to freedom seem more cruelly blocked than ever. To enact hope, to demonstrate support, to explore modes of solidarity become urgent and necessary. Drinks from the Arts Bar & Café and food will be available on the day.


  • 2.30pm, Doors open
  • 3pm, Ten Years of PalFest: the Movie
  • 3.15pm, Panel discussion: Palestine and London in 2018 – Ahdaf Soueif MC, Diana Buttu and Rachel Holmes
  • 4.30pm, Coffee break
  • 5pm, Writers Respond: Where is Palestine From Where We Are Standing?
    (Maan Abu Taleb, William Dalrymple, Kassem Eid, Omar Robert Hamilton (MC), Kamila Shamsie, William Sutcliffe)
  • 6:30pm, Break for food
  • 8pm, Music from Kareem Samara
  • 9pm, Music from Asifeh / Stormtrap

Please visit our Booking Information page for more information on our venue and our refund policy. You can let us know your access requirements ahead of time by emailing

Palestine Festival of Literature | Artists for Palestine UK

Date and time

7 July 2018

Please note
This is now a past event.


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Tel: 020 7247 5102
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