Mayor joins Londoners for Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Squar

23 June 2018

Eid in Trafalgar Square

news release
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Saturday 23 June 2018
Mayor joins Londoners for Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Square
• The best of Muslim culture celebrated at the Mayor’s annual festival
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today join with Londoners from all backgrounds, faiths and communities for the annual Eid Festival celebration.
The 13th Eid Festival on Trafalgar Square will once again unite Londoners and visitors to the capital to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
This year’s event will celebrate London’s diverse Muslim communities through displays of Muslim art, cultural exhibits, poetry, story-telling and food.
As part of the Mayor’s #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, the vital contribution of women to Muslim culture will be a focus of the festival, with speeches and presentations from an exciting line-up of Muslim women and girls including performances from Maya Youssef’s Ornina Ensemble and the Al-Sadiq Al-Zahra School Choir.
The international programme, hosted by Sameena Ali-Khan and Remona Aly, has been designed for all ages with Danish-Palestinian Darbuka drummer Simona Abdallah and British-Eritrean rapper and social commentator Awate reflecting the diversity of the Muslim creative community.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Eid al-Fitr is a time for celebration. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed breaking my fast with Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds across our city, and now, after the fasts of Ramadan, I can’t wait to bring together families and neighbours to share our cultural traditions. I know this year’s festival will present the vibrancy, breadth and depth of Muslim culture to Londoners and will once again show the world that London is open. Enjoy the celebrations, Eid Mubarak.”
Graeme Oxby, CEO Lebara Group,  said: “Lebara is proud to support the Mayor’s EID festival at Trafalgar Square. As the leading brand for the world’s global citizens, we understand the importance of bringing families and friends together to celebrate cultural events. The Lebara team look forward to seeing you at Trafalgar Square to enjoy the celebration, entertainment and fun activities.

Aamer Naeem, CEO Penny Appeal, said: “We are honoured to be involved in the Mayor’s brilliant celebration of faith and community this Eid. As a diverse team of individuals from all over the world, we at Penny Appeal can’t stress enough the importance of people of all faiths and backgrounds coming together to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. We can’t wait to see you all there for a day of celebration.”

There will be an exhilarating mix of traditional and contemporary performances throughout the day.  There will also be a special guest appearance from Mariah Idrissi - the first hijab-wearing model to be featured in an international fashion campaign for H&M.

The stage programme will include performances from:
• Simona Abdallah
A Palestinian musician born in Germany and raised in Denmark, Simona taught herself to play the Darbuka and became the first female musician from an Arabic background to play the instrument.
• Pearls of Islam
The Pearls are pioneers of the Muslim arts scene and have encouraged women to seek outlets of creativity and spirituality. They have toured the world including trips to Spain and Guyana.
• Voice of Peace Children's Choir
Voice of Peace is a Muslim children's choir founded to empower young people through the medium of song in order to deliver a positive message of peace.
• Native Sun
London-based Native Sun are rapper Mohammed Yahya and singer/songwriter Sarina Leah. Fusing hip-hop and African rhythms with a message of equality and social justice, they will lift the spirits of all who see them.
• Isam Bachiri (Isam B)
Isam B has been performing for 20 years with his band Outlandish, and is now on a solo-mission releasing songs searching for deeper love, peace and harmony.
There will also be workshops and performances in support of Refugee Week including:
• Maya Youssef – Ornina Ensemble: the Damascus born Syrian exile is hailed as “queen of the qanun”, the 78 stringed Middle Eastern plucked zither.
• Afghan Camera Box: a photography project by Farhad Berahman using his hand-made wooden camera to take portraits of people and visitors, referencing traditional methods of street photographers from Afghanistan and Iran.
• Simple Acts workshop: to celebrate Refugee Week’s 20th anniversary (18-24 June 2018), everyone is invited to take part in one of 20 Simple Acts.
• Spoken Word: Laila Sumpton hosts a day of spoken word poetry and theatre.

A global food festival will showcase a wide selection of halal fare from vendors including:
• Bamboo House
• Bliss Street
• Bombay Street Food
• Cordial Mixologist
• EMA Catering
• Exotic Tagine
• Nusa Dua
• Shocka Coconuts
• The Cane Press
• Village Gujju's Recipe
The Eid Festival is presented by the Mayor of London, with Lebara Mobile and Penny Appeal as this year’s supporting partners.

Notes to editors:
Refugee Week (18-24 June) is the UK's largest festival celebrating the contributions, resilience and creativity of refugees. It is a partnership project coordinated by Counterpoints Arts - a national organisation leading in the field of arts, migration and social change. For more information please visit: /

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