Our Statement on Palestine

20 October '23

We at The Arab British Centre have been deeply distressed at the appalling events of the past two weeks.

Our hearts now are with the people of Gaza – civilians who are suffering a brutal siege, aerial bombardment and displacement, many of them now without shelter, without medical support or access to the basic essentials of life. We grieve for the thousands who have already died.

Justice for Palestinians and respect for their rights have always been a central theme of the Centre’s work. They were when it opened in 1977 and are even more so today. The Centre hosts like-minded organisations dedicated to Palestinian causes and we seek through our cultural programmes and messaging to broaden the space in the UK for Palestinian and other Arab artists’ voices to be heard. The fact that one of our founding issues is as relevant today as it was nearly half a century ago is a stark reminder of how necessary this work remains. We will continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom, safety and dignity.

Never has it been more important for people to come together and listen to Palestinian and Arab voices. We want to do something practical, consistent with our charitable purpose, to help. We have reached out to cultural partners, residents and others, and with them hope shortly to be issuing invitations to our cultural event to raise funds for those providing medical support on the ground in Gaza.