Sunday 4 April 2021 saw attendees of this year’s Muslim Arts and Culture Festival (or MACFEST for short) come together for a vibrant and insightful celebration of Azerbaijan’s culture and rich historical heritage. An annual event, MACFEST is designed to showcase art, culture, literature, music, history cuisine and photography alongside the heritage of the Muslim diaspora – and this year included a journey to for the Azerbaijan Festival, streamed live from its capital city, Baku, on Easter Sunday.

Gathering a host of esteemed guests and speakers from both Azerbaijan and Great Britain, alongside local artists, architects, performers, dancers chefs and musicians, this day-long event brought together Muslim and non-Muslim communities in a unified celebration of peace, unity and tolerance. BBC Radio Manchester broadcaster Mike Shaft took part as chief guest alongside American Professor Akbar Ahmed and Jonathan Davidson, Director of Birmingham Literature Festival. The event was organised by Leyla Gasimova and her team of contributors from Baku as well as MACFEST Director, Qaisra Shahraz MBE.

Other notable guests included Sajjad Karim, former Member of the European Parliament, and distinguished guest speakers and contributors from Azerbaijan including Dr. Ravan Hasanov, Rufat Hasanov, Farid Mirzoyev, Kerim Sultanov, Prof. Tahir Amiraslanov, Dr. Patrick Walsh, Hokuma Mammadzadeh, Yashar Guluzadeh, Gulnara Khalilova, Firakhnaz Musayeva, Khidir Kazimov, Baba Abbasov, Janel Nacafli, Ayaz Karimov.

“We are delighted to launch our first international MACFEST in Azerbaijan, where we continue with our mission of promoting global harmony through the celebration of arts and cultural heritage,” said festival director Shahraz. Gasimova also hit-home the importance of promoting peace: “Our common values bring us together and the differences make us to respect each other.”

Miss out? Don’t worry. Further MACFEST events, panel discussions and online workshop are due to take place in the lead up to the festival’s conclusion in early June 2021 – and many of these are free to attend. For more information and to book tickets simply visit the festival website.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Tue 6 Apr, MACFest 2021
Simon Bland
Published on:
Tue 6 Apr 2021