South Belfast will host Northern Ireland’s first-ever Arab arts and culture festival this weekend.

Organized by the Crescent Arts Centre, the event will showcase the best of Arab culture and arts.

It will offer an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary Arabic dance workshops, music, storytelling, henna and calligraphy, as well as the opportunity to sample delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.

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This event is organized by Yallaa, a non-profit organization based in Northern Ireland in collaboration with the Crescent Arts Centre.

Yallaa means ‘let’s go’ in Arabic and the organization aims to promote Arab culture and heritage in Northern Ireland, breaking down barriers through art, music and food.

Founder and director of the Yallaa festival, Rym Akhonzada, explains that the festival is designed to showcase the culture of the Arab world and its people and to connect people through the shared enjoyment of art, music and food.

“I am delighted to be bringing the first ever Arab Arts and Culture Festival to Belfast and sharing some of the rich Arab culture with the people here.

“We are especially delighted to welcome the Hawiyya Dabke Dance Company and look forward to a must-see performance of traditional Dabke and contemporary dance.

“Delicious Middle Eastern dishes will be served in the evenings by chefs from our very own Yallaa’s Kitchen, an initiative that supports Arab refugees and migrants living in Northern Ireland through vocational training.

“Everyone is welcome and we hope that sharing good food and enjoying music and dancing will break down stereotypes and help people learn a little more about their Arab neighbors here at NI.”

The first-ever Arab arts and culture festival to take place in Belfast will be held this Friday, May 6, from 7-9 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Crescent Arts Center here.

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