MACFest is an annual celebration of the many aspects of culture within the Muslim diaspora. It’s open to everyone – regardless of denomination – and aims to bring communities together to promote social inclusion. Starting at the end of this month and continuing until June, the festival has over 70 events, most of which are digital. There will be a diverse range of presentations, performances, and workshops. The full calendar can be found on the official website, but below are just five of the best events…

Learn about famous Muslim writers of the past | Sun 31 Jan | 1pm–2.30pm | FREE

A perennially popular talk, it’s a literary journey around the world and through the centuries. This year, it will celebrate the work of several poets and authors, including Gai Eaton, Averroes, and Yunus Emre. Joining from Lahore will be Moneeza Hashmi, who will discuss her father, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and read some of his poems.

Enjoy an evening of stand up comedy with Jeff Mirza | Sun 31 Jan | 6pm | £6

The headlining act of the festival’s opening weekend is this ground-breaking comedian. Since starting out in the 1990s, Jeff has performed live in theatres and comedy clubs all over the world. He has appeared in films such as Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light, and in the TV shows Fleabag and People Just Do Nothing. Don’t miss his appearance at MACFest 2021.

Tune into a digital musical extravaganza | Sun 28 Feb | 2pm–4pm | £10

Another major fixture in MACFest’s calendar is its annual concert. The afternoon event will be performed live and broadcast online. Appearing will be singers and musicians from many Muslim countries, including the Yemen, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Somalia. Please note – this event is free for unwaged people and students.

Celebrate International Women's Day with The Black Queens of Islam | Wed 10 Mar | 6pm–7.30pm | FREE

Supporting International Women’s Day and Black Lives Matter, this presentation focuses on African and Afro-Caribbean Muslim pioneers. You’ll hear the untold stories of trailblazing female scholars, academics, activists, artists, and entrepreneurs. The host, Ismael Lea South, is a cultural researcher who aims to challenge the misconceptions and negative perceptions about Muslim women in society.

Embark on a journey to Central Asia with Azerbaijan Festival | Sun 4 Apr | 1pm–4pm | Free

Get taken on a journey to central Asia with a live broadcast from Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. Presenting will be artists, architects and fashion designers. You’ll learn about the country’s rich heritage, including its cuisine, dance, and national dress. Other topics include the country’s conversion to Islam and its links to the Silk Road.

Sat 30 Jan - Sat 3 Jul
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 22 Feb 2021