Returning this month is MACFest, a large-scale celebration which aims to bring the Muslim community and the wider public closer together. Running until June 2021, the festival has many varied events, which are now open for booking. There are talks, presentations, concerts, and workshops – all of which will be taking place online. Below, you’ll find five of the best that you can enjoy without cost.

Explore the history of medicine in the Middle East | Sat 30 Jan | 1pm – 2pm

Dr Peter Pormann, Professor of Classics at Manchester University, explores medicine in the Islamic world and how it unfolded against the background of ancient Greece. As Arabic became the language of scientific discourse from the River Ganges to the Iberian Peninsula, it became an integral part both Eastern and Western medical traditions.

Learn how the Silk Road shaped Muslim Cuisine | Sat 30 Jan | 5.30pm – 6.30pm

This talk centres on the trade routes that brought foods such as almonds, figs, grapes and apricots to Europe over the last two millennia. It will explore how these goods passed over inhospitable mountains and through long stretches of Central Asian desert. The host is Haleh Moravej, Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Discover the extraordinary origins of chess | Fri 19 Feb | 6pm – 7pm

The Portico Library co-hosts this talk that’s all about the Indian, Persian, and Arab roots of the world’s most enduring strategy game. The presenter, Dr Sushma Jansari, is Curator of the South Asia Collection at the British Museum. The event is part of the Portico’s Fun & Games: Playtime, Past & Present exhibition.

Celebrate International Women's Day with MACFest 2021 | Sun 14 Mar | 2pm – 4pm

The event honours the lives and cultural heritage of Muslim women in and around Manchester. Over a dozen contributors will share their personal stories, poetry, paintings, and recipes. There will also be music, performance, and tributes to female pioneers. You’ll learn about the Bakhoor incense ceremony and women’s crafts in Egypt.

Learn a new skill at the Islamic Calligraphy Workshop | Tue 23 Mar | 6pm – 7pm

The internationally renowned calligrapher Samir Malik will introduce you to this ornate Arabic art style. You’ll learn the basics of lettering and begin a journey exploring a side of Islam that transcends boundaries and faiths. The workshop is introduced by Ed Watts, Head of Learning and Engagement at the Whitworth.

Sat 30 Jan - Sat 3 Jul
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 25 Jan 2021