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Al Zaytouna

Al Zaytouna was formed in 2005 to promote Palestinian culture throughout the West and challenge perceptions of a nation so often associated with conflict in Western media. The UK-based troupe works tirelessly to achieve this mission through a variety of dance theatre performances and workshops. With members from Palestinian and other Arab diasporas, as well as from the West, Al Zaytouna fuses traditional dabke with Western influences, resulting in a unique and exciting contemporary style.

For more information on Al Zaytouna visit their website at
  Al Zeytouna


DAM, the first Palestinian hip hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic, began working together in the late 1990s. Struck by the uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video to the streets in their own neighbourhood of Lyd, Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, Mahmoud Jreri were inspired to tell their stories through hip hop. Their music is a unique fusion of east and west, combining Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies, and urban hip hop.

Their work has been influenced by artists as varied as Ghassan Kanafani, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Mahmoud Darwish, Naji al Ali, Tupac, Biggie, Public Enemy, MBS, K'naan, and Pharoahe Monch. DAM are working to provide the youth of Lyd and neighbouring communities with programs and opportunities that have otherwise been denied to Palestinian citizens of Israel. In addition, they have conducted workshops for young people from the West Bank to the US, Canada, and Europe.

For more information visit their website

Gazateam is a hip hop collective originally from Gaza and now based in France. Mixing cultures, languages and influences, ranging from classic hip hop to Arabic traditional music, they travel all over Europe and beyond (Algeria, Morocco) to play their tunes of hope and struggle, hitting us hard with beats of festive resistance!

For more information on Gazateam, visit their myspace page:


Habib Shehadeh Hana
Habib Shehadeh Hana is a composer and an Oud and Bozouq player.
He previously filled the position of director of the National Conservatory of Palestine (NCM) where he also taught Oud and music theory, and trained student ensembles and choirs. He was also a director in Ramlah where he established a music school. As a composer and performer, Hana has worked with various music ensembles among which is the Oriental Music Ensemble (OME) with whom he has recorded an album. In 2002, Hana established "Saied Darwish Music Project” and wrote new arrangements for Saied Darwish's' songs, and he was guest artist with "Aka Moon". In 2007 Hana raised a new concert called "Crossing Point" with trio "Akton" and the famous Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran. He performs concerts using his compositions with a lot of Palestinian singers such as Rana Khoury with whom he will be performing at the festival.

Hana also composes music for documentaries, films and theatrical productions such as "Mural": Mahmoud Darwish’s masterpiece.  He composed music for "The Band's Visit" feature film, which participated in the Cannes Film Festival 2007, and was nominated for Best Film Award. For this film he won the award for best composer of 2007, and nominated for the best composer for his music for “Lemon Tree” in 2008. Hana wrote a curriculum for theoretical music at the NCM, and has released "Baladna" album in cooperation with "Baladna Taarab" Zanzibari music ensemble, in this project Hana re-arranged and recorded traditional Zanzibari music. Besides he composed two albums for children. Currently, Hana is engaged in finalizing a new CD release that will include his most recent works and compositions based on the master piece of Mahmoud Darwish “Mural”, and he is the general director of ‘The Factory- Arab Centre for Arts and Culture’ in Haifa.
Rafeef Ziadah

Acclaimed Palestinian spoken word artist and activist. In her work, she reflects on her homeland today, to which is not allowed to return. Rafeef’s debut album Hadeel is dedicated to the Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names of their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel over Gaza.

For more information on Rafeef Ziadah visit her website at:

Stormtrap   Stormtrap

Stormtrap is a music producer/composer/MC from Palestine. Experimenting with old samples, instruments, and field recordings the sound results in a fusion of ambient atmospheres combined with various noises and hip hop beats. Stormtrap played a fundamental role in forming the band Ramallah Underground, with which he has performed worldwide the past few years. He has also collaborated with artists such as Kronos Quartet, Gilad atzmon, 2/5bz, Spiritchild, and Lethal Skillz, among many others.


Circus 2 Iraq

Circus 2 Iraq started out in 2003/4 as a direct and active response to the illegal Iraqi war. One of their clowns, Jo Wilding had spent time in Iraq before the invasion, was kicked out during it and returned with a random bunch of clowns in spring 2004. Since then they have traveled to other regions of the Middle East affected by our war warmongering leaders these include Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Kurdistan.

During the festival, they ran a humanitarian theatre based workshop with elements of clowning. They also screened a short film about their work and sharing their stories about Palestine.

For more information on Circus 2 Iraq visit their website on:

  Circus to Iraq



Acclaimed hip hop artist, political activist, poet and playwright, Lowkey, of Iraqi and British descent, has long stood in solidarity with the people of Palestine. His single Long Live Palestine became the anthem of the solidarity movement with Palestine in the UK during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Lowkey has also traveled to Gaza and the West Bank performing alongside Shadia Mansour and M1 from Dead Prez as well as participating in workshops. His powerful tracks denounce oppression throughout the world, and he has undoubtedly become the voice of anti-war and solidarity struggles in the UK.

For information on who Lowkey is please visit his myspace page:

Mohammed Yahya

Mohammed Yahya is a Mozambique-born rapper and spoken-word artist who fled the violence of the civil war. He moved first to Portugal where his interest in music grew. Yahya then moved to London and became involved in various hip-hop groups before pursuing his solo career. Yahya delivers soulful street poetry with brutal honesty in both Portuguese and English. He is also involved in interfaith work, and alongside Daniel Silverstein started the first ever Muslim/Jewish hip-hop collective UK.

For more information on Mohammed Yahya please visit his myspace page:

Poetic Pilgrimage  

Poetic Pilgrimage

Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor founded Poetic Pilgrimage in 2002. They express themselves through spoken word, rhyme and hip hop, covering a complex range of social issues and themes.

For information on who Poetic Pilgrimage are please visit their myspace page:

Hosted by SOAS Palestine Society

SOAS Palestine Society
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