In 2017 and 2019 over 25,000 people came together to celebrate Palestinian art, history and culture at Palestine Expo. Both events were held at prestigious and world renowned venues, Queen Elizabeth II Centre and Olympia London.
Palestine Expo continues to be the leading event in Europe to engage, educate and empower the public on Palestine.
Our next step is to take the content of Palestine Expo outside London to help build a greater awareness on Palestine.
review of palestine expo 2019
Culture and Heritage
The exciting and rich culture of Palestine was showcased with a colourful display of pre 1900 dresses, a coffee corner, Palestinian spices work shop and date picking. There was also an energetic Dabke performance from Palestinian groups Fatafeet and Hakaya. As part of the Palestinian reality of being refugees, artefacts within a camp such as weighing scales, cooking pots and a kerosene burner were on display. A colourful mock wedding ceremony, with couplesdressed in traditional Palestinian wedding outfits,was also conducted.
“Absolutely loved the intricately decorated wedding dresses display and the Dabke dances” – Pam
Palestine Expo had a dedicated conference floorthat hosted over 50 speakers on 40 thought provoking panels. Attendees listened to talks ranging from The Great Return March, Nation Law and Jerusalem to topics on Cultural Boycott and Faith & Activism. Renowned speakers included Palestinians Majd Masharawi, Issa Amro and Dr Ramzy Baroud as well as inspiring talks from Chief Zwelivelile Mandela MP and Gideon Levy.
“Palestine Expo is one of the most spectacular events on Palestine I have ever seen”
– Zwelivelile Mandela MP (Nelson Mandela’s Grandson)
The children received a special treat at Palestine Expo from a wide range of activities. This included the bustling Arts & Crafts area, face painting, a ‘boycott Puma’ mini football pitch. As well as colouring in a hand carved wooden Palestine map, thumb painting on an oversized Palestinian ceramic and dramatic storytelling based on the ‘Prophets in Palestine’ children’s book.
“I loved learning about the Prophets, it was fun!” – Omar, 7
Visitors at Palestine Expo were impressed with the specially commissioned high tech area. They had
a go at virtual graffiti on the apartheid wall wherethey could leave messages of hope and they went on a breath-taking realistic tour of al Aqsa sanctuary with VR headsets. The tech hub was part of the educational project where the visitor, from two 60 inch interactive touch-screens, came to understand occupation. Visitors eagerly awaited their turn for this memorable virtual reality experience.
“I’ve never learnt about Palestine like this. Writing my message of hope for the Palestinians on a virtual Apartheid Wall was crazy!”
There was a dedicated staged area where 22 talented artists performed about Palestine. Some of the Palestinian artists included the 16 year old qunoon sensation, Abdelazia Abushark. Attendees were enchanted by Hakaya, the amazing Dabke group from Bethlehem and Simona Abdullah who left the crowd speechless with her durbekkeh drums performance.
“This was a buzzing space, heard so many talented acts performing with passion about Palestine.”
Palestine Expo saw the work of a variety of Palestinian artists. Hiba Yassine, a Palestinian refugee, uses graphic design to show the beauty of Palestine. Malah Mattar, a teenager from Gaza’spaintings focus on hope. Live graffiti artist
painted a stunning bird in flight to representfreedom. A monumental section of the gallery was over 70 metres of tapestry stitched by Palestinianwomen. This was the first time all 94 panels of theintricate and beautiful tapestry was displayed in its original form.
“I took my time on the tapestry, a beautiful way to learn about the Palestinian history. I also took my time on the artwork.”– Alaana
Visitors at Palestine Expo had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the daily life of Palestinians. There were the eleven exclusively built interactive installations emphasising daily life under occupation.
“The installations were very engaging and unique.I learnt about how families are directly affected bythe Wall, I walked through a checkpoint to see its impact on vulnerable Palestinians and even went to an A&E in Gaza.”