Afaf Arafat and Nisreen Barghouti
The Arafat Soap Factory will this week be hosting an exhibition of works by Afaf Arafat and Nisreen Barghouti.
Nasreen Barghouti is a local sculptor who recreates monuments and buildings from around Nablus in amazing detail. Her sculptures brilliantly capture minute details and in doing so create beautiful works of art.
Afaf Arafat is a local artist who specialises in painting and collage. Her obvious talent has been recognised internationally and she has received accolades in Jordan, Kuwait and here in Palestine. Proceeds from her paintings will support further cultural activities in Nablus’ Old City.
The exhibition is fantastic and combined with the Arafat Soap Factory as the location it is definitely worth a visit.
Last night Khan Al Wakala hosted the Nablus Municipality Choir in what was the opening night of the Nablus Festival for Culture and Arts.
The choir consists of 35 members, whose ages range from 12 to 22, all of whom come from Nablus and the surrounding camps. The set included songs about Palestinian and Arabic concerns and hoped to put out a patriotic, cultural and humane message. The choir has experience performing internationally, having contributed to concerts in both Norway and France, and this was evident last night in this confident recital back in Nablus. The performance was hugely entertaining and, even for non-Arabic speakers, it was clear that this was an immensely talented group.
All in all, a fantastic opening night to the festival!
Today is the first day of the inaugural Nablus Festival for Culture and Arts. Hopefully this will be the start of a wonderful tradition of sharing culture and arts between the people of Palestine and the rest of the world.
The festival kicked off with a press conference by Sameeh Tbeileh, Mayor of Nablus, and Hakim Sabbah, Head of Project Hope. In the beautiful Multipurpose Community Resource Center (MCRC), Mr. Tbeileh explained how the festival aims to let everyone have a taste of the old culture of Nablus – people from Nablus themselves as well as those from the rest of Palestine and abroad. The festival hopes to bring together locals and internationals for 8 days of concerts, art exhibitions, film screenings and other cultural events. Taking place in Balata Camp, Old Askar Camp, New Askar Camp and the old city of Nablus, the festival will celebrate talent from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, UK, France, USA, Switzerland, South Africa, Algeria and Palestine.
This morning, two photography exhibitions were launched at the MCRC. Abdullah Hawash – architect, photographer and social activist – wishes to empower Palestinian society and youth in a creative way. Through his art he shows his engagement with the future of Palestine and creative Palestinian youths. The other photographer, Tawfiq Abdalrahim, lives in Nablus now and attempts to present an alternative perspective on Palestine in his photography: beauty, not grief; hope, not despair.
Khan al Wakala (where this week’s concerts will take place) showcases from today the Qais Assali Exhibition. This exhibition focuses on 1948 by means of “One Day After”. An installation composed of paper sheets that represent newspapers published on the day after ‘Al-Nakba’, as well as an installation made up of miscellaneous video clips from 1948. Qais Assali has used a variety of artistic mediums in his work, has exhibited internationally, and has recently been awarded with the 1st Prize for Plastic Arts at Palest’In & Out 2016 festival.
The third exhibition to be launched this morning was at the Child Cultural Centre (CCC). Here, artworks made my the children of Nablus sit alongside photographs, paintings, mosaics and sculptures of university students.