Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) Gears Up for Family Day

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) Gears Up for Family Day

by Culture Liverpool

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) free Family Day returns to the Sefton Park Palm House this Sunday 15 July.

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) is in full swing and the biggest event in its calendar is this weekend.

The much-loved LAAF Family Day, which is the finale to the UK’s biggest annual festival of Arab arts and culture, will take place at Sefton Park Palm House this Sunday, 15 July.

The twentieth anniversary festival has seen a particularly spectacular line up so far this year. Launching on Thursday 5 July with the premiere of Bachar Zarkan’s Hallaj of Hope, the world-class music continued with a cutting edge co-headline gig from Arab supergroup, 47SOUL and dynamic Golan Heights duo, TootArd and performance from internationally acclaimed Tunisian singer-songwriter, Emel Mathlouthi.

The festival also showcased talents across multiple disciplines, with the spoken word performance What Do I Know? featuring Liverpudlian-Yemeni poet Amina Atiq, Waleed Akhtar and music of Ana Silvera, manga-inspired workshops from LAAF’s Artist in Residence, Asia Alfasi and a guided talk of the Tented Dreams exhibition, which features the work of Syrian artist Mohammad Amari and original artwork by refugees from the Za’atari Refugee Camp.

The glittering line up will continue on Sunday 15 July from 12:30pm as LAAF Family Day gets underway. Here’s what you can expect:

World-Class Arab Music

Once again musical talent from across the Arab diaspora will bring the spectacular grade II* listed Palm House to life and have visitors on their feet.

Simo Lagnawi & Gnawa London will bring the music of formerly enslaved black Africans to Liverpool, celebrating its unstoppable expression of freedom and liberation.

There will be a performance from The Yemeni Musical Group and the London Syrian Ensemble, a collective of some of Syria’s finest musicians based in the UK. The London Syrian Ensemble return to the festival for a second year to perform with special guest vocalist Osama Kiwan.

LAAF favourite, Danish-Palestinian percussionist Simona Abdallah, will also be back at the festival, bringing the beat of her Arab Darbuka drum and performing a fusion of ancestral Arabic rhythms, House, and Electronica.

Children’s Activities

Along with these exciting live performances there will also be inclusive and engaging family activities for children, including Henna painting, children’s crafts and interactive sessions with LAAF’s storyteller in residence Alia Alzougbi, who will be sharing folktales from the Arab world.


There will be a marketplace in the Palm House where guests will be able to purchase plants, Indian handcrafted clothes and purses and vintage items.

Community groups and organisations set to join in the Family Day fun with their own stalls will be the Liverpool Arabic Centre, Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

There will also be a holistic natural therapist, Reiki healing and massage therapy at the venue throughout the day.


For those who need to fuel up during the day there will be food on offer, including catering inside the Palm House serving up delicious Arab mezze food suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The Curry Pot will also be on site serving Samosas, Pakoras, Biryani Rice and other mouth-watering treats.

And with the glorious sunshine set to return over the weekend, there will be a ice cream van outside the Palm House, where visitors can grab Halal ice cream and lolly ices to help cool down.

Parking and Access

There is plenty of parking on Mossley Hill Drive and around Sefton Park, within close walking distance of the Palm House. The Palm House is fully accessible with a ramp, flat surface and a lift downstairs to the accessible toilet.

For more information on LAAF 2018

For more information or to request artist interviews, please contact Nikki Girvan on 078 3407 2989 or [email protected]

Listing Information

Event: LAAF Family Day

 Venue: Sefton Park Palm House

 Date: Sunday 15 July

 Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

 Minimum Age: Children must be accompanied by an adult

 Prices: Free

 Booking Details: Drop in

About LAAF

Founded in 1998, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is a registered charity delivering arts and community programmes that bring diverse cultures together, increasing appreciation and awareness of Arab culture and arts at a local, national and international level.

Our year-round programme of events and community projects includes Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, established in 2002 and still the UK’s premier annual Arab arts festival.

Each year, our festival brings a thrilling celebration of Arab culture to venues across the city and showcases the richness of Arab culture through a packed programme of visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and special events.

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