Past eventMembers

Identity, Outreach and Community: Arabic Music in the Diaspora

20 March 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Leah Zakss, Music Programme Manager, British Council
Jo Frost, Editor, Songlines
Raghad Haddad, Syrian Musician
Chair: Dr Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House



The arts have long been a forum for personal expression, political engagement and communicating cultural traditions. Music, in particular, is a medium that allows artists the opportunity to connect with people worldwide and it plays a unique role in diasporas in fostering links to the history and traditions of a community’s cultural roots. In what ways does music help in binding communities, building trust and navigating questions of identity?

This panel discussion will focus on the role of Arabic music in the UK diaspora and how musicians from the Arab world can reach audiences in the UK and abroad. What difficulties do they face in gaining access to the UK market? What opportunities and challenges does being an Arab artist in the diaspora bring? And what avenues exist to bring the voices of these diverse musicians from around the world to the UK?

This event is being organized in association with Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN).