Introducing the Arab British Centre

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The Arab British Centre is an award-winning, non-political, non-religious, independent, UK registered charity which works to improve the British public’s understanding of the Arab world.

We organise and promote cultural and artistic events relating to the Arab world, and host a regular programme of activities including Oud, Arabic calligraphy and Arabic language classes.

We also house permanent and temporary collections of contemporary art, have a specialised library open to the public, hold talks on a variety of topics, and recognise individuals working in similar fields through our biennale Award for Culture.

In addition to our regular on-site activities, we work in partnership with other institutions including the Mayor of London Shubbak Festival, Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea Nour Festival. In 2012, we produced ‘Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema’, a week-long series of popular Arab cinema which took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.

In April 2013, The Arab British Centre was named co-winner of the prestigious UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture 2012. The prize rewards significant contributions to the development, knowledge and spread of Arab culture by means of artistic, intellectual or promotional outreach aimed at enhancing intercultural dialogue and understanding. According to the Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Francesco Bandarin, the Centre has been recognised for “the various activities and events organised, within and outside the Centre, to promote a better understanding of Arab culture and foster intercultural dialogue”.

Since the Centre was founded in 1977, we have housed and subsidised other like-minded organisations involved in Arab-British relations in our premises in Gough Square. The Arab British Centre currently supports Banipal, the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu), the Centre for Transnational Development and Cooperation (CTDC), IbraazThe Friends of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (Palmusic) and Zaytoun.

We are always happy to welcome visitors to the Centre, and/or to add people to our mailing list through which we advertise all sorts of Arab-related cultural and artistic events. We are also open to events suggestions and ideas and do our best to answer any questions you might have relating to Arab world affairs in the UK. If you would like to arrange an appointment, or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.