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Artists are architects of change. How does the influence of the Nakba on Palestinian art affect Palestinian communities today. How does the Nakba reveal itself in the art of the people it displaced? To commemorate its 70th anniversary, MFest looks at the narratives that have emerged from Palestinian artists and their work. Featuring singer Reem Kalani, writer Selma Dabbagh and poet Mustafa Abu Sneineh.

Reem Kelani
Reem Kelani, the Palestinian singer and musicologist was born in Manchester, brought up in Kuwait and lives in London. Reem has pioneered the introduction of Arabic music in schools across the UK and has lectured at Istanbul’s Bosphorus University, Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, Shanghai’s Conservatory of Music and Damascus’ Higher Institute of Music. She wrote and presented “Songs for Tahrir” on the music of the Egyptian revolution for BBC Radio 4. Reem’s two albums “Sprinting Gazelle” and “Live at the Tabernacle” have gained wide acclaim across the world.

Mustafa Abu Sneineh
Mustafa is a writer and journalist. His first poetry collection A Black Cloud at the End of the Line was published in Arabic in 2016. Abu Sneineh holds a degree in Law from Birzeit University, Palestine, and an MA in Postcolonial Studies from Goldsmiths College, London. He regularly appears on Al-Hiwar and Al-Araby TVs to comment on political issues in Palestine and the Arab world. He currently works for the Middle East Eye news site.

Selma Dabbagh
Selma is a British Palestinian writer of fiction. Based in London she has also lived and worked in Cairo, Jerusalem and Bahrain. Her first novel, ‘Out of It,’ (Bloomsbury), set between Gaza, London and the Gulf, was a Guardian Book of the Year in 2011 and 2012. It has been translated into Italian, French and Arabic. The Publications that have anthologised her short stories include Granta, the British Council, Wasafiri and Al Saqi. In 2014, her play, ‘The Brick,’ was produced by BBC Radio 4 and nominated for an Imison Award. She regularly writes for The Electronic Intifada on Palestinian culture and has written for The Guardian, The London Review of Books, GQ and other publications. She is currently working on a film script, short stories and a second novel.

Dina Matar
Dina is Chair of the Centre for Global Media and Communication, and Senior Lecturer in political communication and Arab media at SOAS. She works on the relationship between communication, politics and culture with a special focus on the Arab World, particularly Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Before turning to academia, she was as a foreign correspondent and editor covering the Middle East, Europe and Africa. She has published widely and is the author of “What it Means to be Palestinian: Stories of Palestinian Peoplehood” (Tauris, 2010); Co-editor of “Narrating Conflict in the Middle East: Discourse, Image and Communication Practices in Palestine and Lebanon” (Taruis, 2013); Co-editor of Gaza as Metaphor (Hurst and Oxford University Press 2016) and co-author of “The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication” (Hurst, 2014). Matar is co-founding editor of the “The Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication,” which is entering its 11th year in 2018.