6 March 2017
The London Middle East Institute (LMEI) hosted 'Celebrating Palestinian Culture & Community in London' on Saturday 25 February 2017.
The special day of events on Palestine, which marked SOAS’s centenary, was notable for two firsts: it hosted the London premiere of Rough Stage (2015), with the Frontline Club, and a special Palestine Day 'mini market' in the Brunei Suite. The latter was a new undertaking by the LMEI that featured stalls from booksellers and several small independent businesses exhibiting and selling various Palestinian products such as oils, fabrics, jewellery and art.
The day began with the screening of Speed Sisters (2015), a documentary following the first all-women motor racing team in the Middle East. Dr Hassan Hakimian, Director of the LMEI, formally welcomed visitors to SOAS before Professor Gilbert Achcar, Chair of the Centre for Palestine Studies at SOAS, chaired a panel discussion on "Where is Palestine Going?" Panellists were Adam Hanieh (SOAS), Karma Nabulsi (University of Oxford) and Sir Vincent Fean (former UK Consul-General in Jerusalem).
Later in the afternoon, LMEI was delighted to co-host the London premiere of Rough Stage (2015) with the Frontline Club. The Rough Stage film screening was followed by a Q&A with the film's director, Toomas Järvet (from Estonia), which was chaired by Julianne Rooney of the Frontline Club. Following the film screening, British-Palestinian comedian Jenan Younis entertained visitors with a short stand-up comedy routine
The special SOAS Centenary event on Palestine was then concluded with an energetic and lively concert by internationally acclaimed singer, musician and musicologist, Reem Kelani, who was accompanied by Bruno Heinen on the keyboard. This was a resounding finale to a day which drew large numbers of the public to SOAS to celebrate SOAS’s Centenary.