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Belfast to host NI's first ever Arab Arts and Culture Festival

The event will showcase and celebrate the best of Arab arts and culture.

South Belfast will play host to Northern Ireland's first ever Arab Arts and Culture Festival this weekend.

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

It will feature an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary Arab dance, music, storytelling, henna and calligraphy workshops, as well as offering a chance to sample delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.

This event is hosted by Yallaa, a non-profit organisation based in Northern Ireland in collaboration with The Crescent Arts Centre.

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

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

"I am so excited to bring the first ever Arab Arts and Culture Festival to Belfast and to share some of the rich Arab culture with people here.

"We are especially excited to welcome the Hawiyya Dabke Dance Company and are looking forward to an unmissable performance of traditional Dabke and contemporary dance.

"Delicious Middle Eastern dishes will be provided on the night by chefs from our 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 neighbours here in NI."

The first ever Arab Arts and Culture Festival to take place in Belfast will be held this coming Friday, May 6 from 7-9pm.

Tickets are available from the Crescent Arts Centre here.

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