Returning to Manchester for a second outing is the Muslim Arts and Culture Festival or MACFest, a wide-ranging celebration of the richness of Muslim culture in Britain. It is open to everyone, regardless of denomination, and aims to bring communities together to promote social inclusion. Taking place over 16 days in January 2020, it will feature over 50 events including art exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, presentations and debates. These will be held at the British Muslim Heritage Centre and at cultural venues across Greater Manchester. The full calendar of events can be found on the Festival’s official website, -but below are our top five picks…

Islamophobia and Muslims in the Media | The British Muslim Heritage Centre | Sun 12 Jan | 2pm - 3.30pm | FREE

This panel discussion will consider what life is like for Muslims in the UK and around the world. Are they faced with hatred and discrimination, and if so, what are the solutions? Amongst the panellists, there will be three politicians: Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim appointed to the British cabinet; Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West; and Afzal Khan, an MP and former Lord Mayor of Manchester. The debate will be moderated by the writer and broadcaster Dr Myriam François-Cerrah.

The British Muslim Heritage Centre, 100-106 College Road, Manchester, M16 8BP, Tel: 0161 764 6111
Islamic Artefacts | Manchester Museum | Thu 16 Jan | 6.15pm - 7.15pm | Free

The Manchester Museum is currently prepping the UK’s first permanent gallery to explore the stories, histories, experiences and contributions of South Asian diaspora communities in the UK. It isn’t set to open for a while, but this event will hopefully whet your appetite for it. Stephen Welsh, Curator and Project Lead for the new gallery, will be joined by Museum Marketing Officer Alia Ullah to share their exciting findings from visiting Karachi and Lahore. They will be focussing on ecology, urbanisation, art and community.

Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, Tel: 0161 275 2648
Women in Science, Medicine and Management | Science and Industry Museum | Mon 20 Jan | 6.30pm - 8pm | Free

Professor Salim Al-Hassani, a Fellow in Humanities at the University of Manchester, will host this presentation which centres on pioneering women in ancient Islamic cultures. Among the people discussed will be Fatima al-Fehriya, who project managed the construction of Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque in Morocco, which became the first university in the world. Also examined will be Zubaida, who managed a gigantic project constructing Iraqi roadside inns; Sutaita Al-Mahamli, a jurist and mathematician; and Dhaifa Khatoon, who had multiple roles in government.

Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP, Tel: 0161 832 2244
Reflective Views - Library Insights | The Portico Library | Fri 24 Jan | 6.30pm - 7.30pm | Free

Over their long cultural relationship, Eastern and Western countries have (mis)represented each other when imagining ‘Orient’ countries in the East and ‘Occident’ countries in the West. This presentation – hosted by Zahia Smail Salhi, Professor of Modern Arabic Studies at Manchester University – centres on this topic. Using books from The Portico Library’s ‘Voyages and Travels’ collection, she will explore some of the relational dynamics between these cultures and how they perceived each other, from very early encounters from the 18th century all the way to the present day.

The Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HY , Tel: 0161 236 6785
Celebrating Multi-lingual Poetry | Longsight Library and Learning Centre | Sat 25 Jan | 2pm - 4pm | FREE

This afternoon event will be a feast of verse and performance. It is set to feature several local poets of Pakistani, Bengali, Arabic, and Iranian heritage reciting poems, both in their native tongues and in English. Those taking part include educational researcher Dr Shahireh Sharif and poet Luhaib Abood. It will conclude with a Mushaira – a traditional poetic symposium in Punjabi and Urdu. This will be presented by four members of the Circle of Literary Friends, a long-established group of North West-based poets.

Longsight Library and Learning Centre, 519 Stockport Road, Longsight, Manchester, M12 4NE , Tel: 0161 227 3706
A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Sat 11 Jan - Fri 31 Jan, Various Locations, Prices Vary
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Sat 14 Dec 2019