To round off our day celebrating Palestinian culture, we are really excited to have a couple of
live performances from Yomn Al-Kaisi and Rihab Azar.
Poet & Spoken Word Artist
Yomn is an Iraqi-Palestinian poet. She started writing to process grief, and over the past 7 years has performed at Shubbak Festival, Arab Women Artists Now, Mela Festival, PalArt Collective Festival, and other events across London. In 2021, her poem Hummus and Breadsticks was competitively selected and published in the Black in White Poetry Community Collection.
Her poems explore love, melancholy, absurdity, and humour. In her day job, she works as a human rights researcher at an NGO focussed on violations against civilians in the Middle East and North Africa.
She is currently a PhD candidate.
Yomn is also a co-founder of the The Tatreez Collective. (Instagram: @thetatreezollective) who are committed to documenting the cultural heritage of Palestine through the art of Palestinian embroidery. The word ‘tatreez’ is Arabic for embroidery, and while the term is used to refer to embroider more broadly, in the Palestinian context it is understood to refer to cross-stitch. “We view our practice as a way to document and promote Palestinian heritage, as well as an act of resistance.”
London based Syrian Oud player
The Oud is the oldest string instrument in history; the ancestor of both the lute and the guitar. And is the most popular instrument in Arabic music.
Rihab was born in the Syrian city, Homs to a musical family. Her father, luthier Samir Azar made her first oud and started teaching her when she was 7 years old.
She continued her musical quest later at the Conservatoire of Damascus and was taught by masters of the oud in Syria including Prof. Askar Ali Akbar, Issam Rafea, Mohamad Osman and Ayman Aljesry.