June 7
12:30 AM 2014

Bold Street's LEAF Café played host to the official launch of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) 2014 where guests were offered a sneak preview into one of Liverpool's most exciting and unique festivals which returns to the city next month from today, 7-15 June.

Now in its thirteenth consecutive year, the highly anticipated Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) is renowned for bringing a culturally rich collection of talented artists from across the Arab world and has become a fixture of Liverpool's cultural calendar, with attractions and events that will appeal to everyone.

Suitably taking place on the street which embodies the spirit of Liverpool and its many cultures, guests at Bold Street's Leaf Café were treated to a preview of the festival, delicious canapés and a preview performance by Alia Alzougbi and DJ Funky Pharaoh.

The main nine day festival events run from 7-15 June 2014 at various venues across Liverpool, boasting a huge range of events taking place at various high profile venues across the city including the Bluecoat, FACT, Unity Theatre, St George's Hall and Sefton Park Palm House.

The Festival launches on Sat 7 June at The Bluecoat with The Big Saturday, a free event with a programme of music, food, culture and entertainment and music from DJ Funky Pharaoh who performs a mix of Arabic and house rhythms and Amira Kheir with an enchanting blend of jazz and soul and will be a hugely enjoyable experience for the whole family. The Festival will climax on Sun 15 June with Family Day at Sefton Park Palm House where a huge variety of stalls will take over the site with delicious selection of food and exciting goodies to purchase complete with a thrilling array of music and live performances throughout the day

This year LAAF will coincide with Liverpool's International Festival for Business and will cover a plethora of cultural mediums and genres, with family activities, visual arts, film, performance, music, dance, food, two book launches and interactive workshops. People of all ages and cultures will find something to interest them.

For more information and complete festival listings please visit

The full list of festival events follows:

Choose Your Own Adventure
10am - 6pm, 6th - 29th June
the Bluecoat | FREE

Al Noor- Fragile Vision
10am - 6pm, 7-17 June
the Bluecoat | FREE

The Big Saturday
12pm-5pm, Sat 7 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

El Gusto
Director Safinez Bousbia
6pm, Sat 7 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Hassan Abdulrazzak: A Fire Blazing Brightly
5pm, Sun 8 June
The Bluecoat | £5/£3
Tickets from or in person at the venue

Farah Siraj
7.30pm, Fri 8 June
St George's Hall I £15/£10
Tickets from St. George's Hall 0151 225 6909

Freedom Hour
5pm, 9th - 12th June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Double Bill: Crop & Winter of Discontent (U) (15)
7pm, Mon 9 June
FACT | £6/£5
Tickets from or in person at the venue

Funoon Wa Alwane
8pm, Tue 10 June
Unity Theatre | £10/£8
Tickets available from, on 0844 873 2888 or in person at the box office

Book of Gaza
6pm, Wed 11 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Omar (15)
Director Hany Abu-Assad
7pm, Wed 11 June
FACT | £6/£5
Tickets from or in person at the venue

Waiting For Summer
Unity Theatre
11 &12 June, 8pm
Tickets £8 & £10 available from, on 0844 873 2888 or in person at the box office

When I Saw You (12)
Director Annemarie Jacir
7:30pm, Fri 13 June
The Bluecoat | £6/£5
Tickets from or in person at the venue

A Land without Jasmine
6pm, Fri 13 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Simona Abdullah Drumming Workshop
1:30pm, Sat 14 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Wadjda (PG)
Director Haifaa Al-Mansour
3pm, Sat 14 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

Syria Speaks
5pm, Sat 14 June
The Bluecoat | FREE

7.30pm, Sat 14 June
The Bluecoat | £7/£5
Tickets from or in person at the venue

Family Day
12pm, Sun 15 June
Sefton Park Palm House | FREE

Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (renamed Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in 2013) was founded in 1998 by Liverpool Arabic Centre and the Bluecoat to provide Arabic arts and culture in Liverpool. Over the years this partnership has grown to include most of the major arts institutions in the city including Picturehouse at FACT, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall as well as artists and community organisations. The first festival took place in 2002 and it has run annually since that date as a celebratory event raising awareness and promoting an understanding and appreciation of Arabic culture for both Arab and non-Arab audiences in Liverpool and beyond.

The festival has grown rapidly over the years in size, confidence, expectation and ambition and remains the only annual festival of its kind in the UK. Key funding for the festival has been secured from Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England.

Having been shortlisted in 2009, in 2010 LAAF was awarded the Arab British Centre's Culture & Society Award 2010 for an outstanding contribution to the British public's knowledge and understanding of the life, society and culture of the Arab people.

Photo Credit: Dave Evans

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