Bethlehem Cultural Festival Night 1

Thu 2 December, 17:00

Thursday 2 December & Friday 3 December

Bethlehem Cultural Festival is an annual, independent Festival that shines a light on the arts, culture and heritage of Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean and forges partnerships and collaborations with cultural organisations across the world. Each day will offer a diverse programme of discussions, films, theatre, art, dance, heritage, music and food. We will be welcoming the participation of Palestinian performers, artists, writers, directors, filmmakers and cultural leaders, both virtually and in person.

Please join us at Grand Junction to celebrate the richness, diversity and value of Palestinian and Arab arts and culture.


5pm Olive oil – its heritage and health benefits. Dr Simon Poole, Heather Masoud (Zaytoun) and Karim Fitouri. With a tasting session.

6.40pm Palestinian and eastern Mediterranean food, beyond hummus. Fadi Kattan, Xanthe Clay and Sam Clark.

7.40pm Shrinking Space and the construction of borders. Christiane Dabdoub Nasser, Leila Sansour and Jacob Norris.

8.40pm Writing of Palestinian fiction. Ahmed Masoud, Selma Dabbagh, Nayrouz Qarmout and Naema Aldaqsha.

9.45pm Faris Ishaq performs a commissioned piece on the nay, based on the poem The End of the Night by Mahmoud Darwish.

10.15pm: End

For the full programme each day visit 


Bethlehem Cultural Festival

Bethlehem Cultural Festival was launched digitally in December 2020. A virtual celebration of Bethlehem and Palestine’s rich and diverse cultural scene through music, film, dance, cookery and panel discussions. At the end of an extraordinary year, this famous town in Palestine presented events to an audience across the world through pre-recorded performances, short films and live panel discussions.

In 2021 festival will run from 2nd to 5th December 2021, with live events in London (2nd and 3rd December) and in Glasgow (4th and 5th December alongside events online.

People across the world for centuries, have come together to sing carols and present Nativity plays at Christmas. The Bethlehem Cultural Festival brings us together to remind everyone of the importance of this town and its people – not just historically and geographically but through its arts and cultural scene too.

Renowned theatres, arts and cultural centres and individuals from Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean, along with up and coming young artists and film makers, have a platform to showcase their work. We will be welcoming them in person and online for the 2021 Festival – a hybrid of digital and physical events in Palestine and the UK.

Bethlehem – a shining star in Palestine

Ahlan wa sahlan – welcome


Festival co-directors: Melissa Scott; Michele Cantoni; Abdelfattah AbusrourHuda al-ImamNadeen BabounJonathan Brown

Palestine festival: Michele Cantoni; Huda al-Imam; Abdelfattah Abusrour; Fadi Kattan; Nadeen Baboun; Nadya Hazboun; Mahmoud MunaAngela FeeneyLeila Sansour

Festival producers: Ben Pugh and Kieran Enticknap

UK festival: Gizelia Barosso Rossi; Lucy Lyon; Angela FeeneyMandy Turner

UK education outreach: Ingrid Van Loo; Niul Dillon Hatcher

Bethlehem film crew: Mohamed Abu Haniyeh; Wisam Aljafari

Branding: Caroline Hagen (Reach)

Website design: Andy Webb (Dreamabstract)

UK registered charity number 1185770: Friends of Bethlehem UK

Date: 2 & 3 December 2021

Start Time: 17:00

Doors: 16.30

Length: TBC

Tickets: £22.50 (£40 for 2 nights)/£17.50 Student in full time education

Personal Assistant Tickets

Bethlehem Cultural Festival offers a free ticket to Personal Assistants or Companions attending with a customer. To book your Personal Assistant or Companion ticket please contact us on or 020 7266 8258.

Venue: Grand Junction is a new venue for the community, arts and culture based at St Mary Magdalene Church. Our mission is to create and present an eclectic, collaborative programme of music, arts and performance for young people, families and adults. We also have a café serving delicious food overlooking the canal.


In line with guidance from the UK Government, this performance is on sale at full capacity.

For the safety and enjoyment of our audiences and staff, Grand Junction will follow a number of Covid safety measures:

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or are feeling unwell, and experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (in particular high temperature, cough, or sore throat), we ask you to stay at home and not travel to the event. Please contact us at to discuss a refund at the earliest opportunity.

We are asking all audience members over the age of 12 to wear face masks whilst in the building, unless exempt. This includes during the performance, unless you are eating or drinking. Staff and volunteers will wear face masks during events and when interacting with visitors.

We invite all visitors to check in using the NHS Test and Trace app. Although no longer compulsory this will help keep everyone safe.

We encourage all visitors to take a lateral flow test on the day of their visit. Staff are also testing regularly.

Where possible, please observe social distancing while moving around the building.

Hand sanitiser stations are positioned around the building.

Careful consideration of entry and exit points to avoid crowding. We will check your ticket at the entrance to the venue to avoid queuing and crowds forming indoors.

Regular cleaning and regular ventilation of the space, to ensure a flow of clean air.

We are not currently asking visitors to show a negative test or proof of vaccination as a condition of entry. If this becomes a mandatory requirement, or government guidance changes, we will update the information on this page accordingly.

Click here to view Grand Junction’s full Covid-safety information. Please feel free to contact us at if you have any further questions.