Socialist Worker

Salaam Festival: peace is on the agenda at 17-day event with Muslim artists

by Adeola Johnson
Issue No. 2006

The best of the world’s Muslim artists are in London this summer for the 21st Salaam Music Village festival. This London-wide festival’s aim is to challenge the Islamophobic onslaught of the government and media and celebrate the stunning artistic forms of Muslim communities globally.

The festival is organised by Cultural Co-operation, an independent London based arts charity that promotes cross-cultural contact dialogue and understanding.

“Salaam” means peace in Arabic and the festival draws attention to the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and followers of other faiths.

The 17-day programme, spread across the city, includes performers, storytellers, speakers and workshops. All events are free. Highlights of the festival include a concert in Kew Gardens on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July.

You can bring a picnic, enjoy the concert and children can play in the educational tree-houses.

Angram al-Rafidain brings his five-piece ensemble from Baghdad, Iraq.

Zein L’Abdin from Mombasa, Kenya, is an important figure in the taraab scene. Taraab is loved by all faith and secular communities in east Africa who appreciate the myriad influences of this music brought by Arabic seafaring traders.

Fanun al-Yemen from Sana’a in Yemen are such fine exponents of the centuries-old gina’sa’ani music that Unesco have awarded them the status of Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Sufi musicians like the Sultan Mehmed Fatih Ensemble, hailing from the battle-torn Sarajevo, Bosnia, provide a palette of sounds from Western to Balkan.

They will share the bill with the old masters of this art form. The newly reopened Union Chapel in north London will host an evening concert on Friday 30 June – well worth checking out.

Salaam Music Village Festival

Various artists, London
28 June-14 July

For the full programme and free vouchers go to

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Article information

Sat 24 Jun 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2006
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