I was at the launch of this year’s Nour Festival the other night and thumbing through the brochure I was pleased and impressed by the sheer depth and variety of the programme and by the range of partners we have found who are enthusiastic to participate, sponsor or to put on special events.
The census tells us that ten per cent of the borough’s population is of North African or Arabic origin and one of the challenges for the Council is to encourage them to feel part of the local community. Many of the events take part at Leighton House which owes its unique character to Lord Leighton’s fascination with Arabic art and culture.
Inevitably, contemporary culture reflects the historic tensions of the area, but however large these might loom on our evening news, the Middle East and North Africa aren’t defined by them, and neither is the Nour Festival.
To give you just a flavour, there’s a Sudanese poet, a Tunisian singer of protest songs, a renowned lutist and singer from Lebanon, an Iranian film festival, an exhibition about Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender people in the Middle-East and much, much more besides. Oh yes, and for you foodies out there, we also have lectures on Qatari and Jerusalemite cuisine.
But why not take a look for yourselves, you can check out the brochure at http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/nour.aspx