Christmas trees will be lit simultaneously in Glasgow Cathedral and in Manger Square, Bethlehem– part of the Bethlehem Cultural Festival which is coming to London and Glasgow next week.
It is a celebration of the rich and diverse cultural scene in Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean with music, food, discussion, theatre, film, dance, and heritage.
London Live: Thursday 2 and Friday 3 December
Glasgow Live: Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December
From Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 December Bethlehem Cultural Festival shines a light on the arts, culture and heritage of Palestine and the Mediterranean with live events in London and Glasgow as well as an online programme for global audiences.
The Festival, launched in December 2020, opens with two days of London Live on 2 and 3 December from West London venue Grand Junction.
A programme includes renowned Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan discussing Palestinian food and heritage with food writer Xanthe Clay and Sam Clark from Moro; writer Christiane Dabdoub Nasser on the unrelenting construction of borders; a new commission from Nay flute player Fais Ishaq; a talk on the wines of Palestine and Lebanon; Hawwiya Dance Company’s interwoven narratives of identity, displacement and resistance; Ahmed Najar and Ashraf Afifi’s play A Person Can Only Be Born in One Place; and the Galilee Quartet.
Then on 4 and 5 December the Festival moves to Glasgow, a city with long-established links with Palestine and twinned with Bethlehem.
Festival venues here are Glasgow Cathedral, the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Glasgow City Chambers.
The programme includes co-ordinated tree lighting in Manger Square, Bethlehem and Glasgow Cathedral; a film of skateboarding in Palestine; a discussion on women running the Bethlehem marathon; Palestinian alternative rock band Mafar; screenings and discussions from film-makers in Glasgow and Palestine and how film-making can bring hope; writer Christiane Daddoub Nasser on political ruptures; and Nay flute player Faris Ishaq travels from London to Glasgow to bring the festival to a close.
The Festival’s co-founders and directors are Melissa Scott (UK), Abdelfattah Abusrour (Palestine), Jonathan Brown (UK) and Michele Cantoni (Palestine).
Melissa Scott says:
“As much of the world’s thoughts turn to Christmas, the Bethlehem Cultural Festival team is bringing a diverse range of cultural events from Palestine and the Mediterranean to an international audience. We provide a platform for artists across the world to connect and work together to find common ground through their work and through panel discussions to address key issues that cultural practitioners face in their work. We are building on the rich cultural heritage that this region has always had throughout the centuries, and try to go some way to remind the world of the positive cultural work being done on the ground every day.”
For more information on Bethlehem Cultural Festival, please visit the festival website here.