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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 15 October 2007

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Middle-eastern bazaar sets up stall in Liverpool

ARTS and crafts from across the globe will be on display at a traditional bazaar – or ‘souq’ – in Liverpool next week.   The souq, which is the Arabic term for a traditional market place, will include a colourful display of goods reflecting a range of different cultures including Turkish, Yemeni, Syrian and Latin American. It takes place at Liverpool Hope University’s Gateway building on October 17.

The timing of the souq is particularly important, as it comes immediately after the fasting month of Ramadan and falls within the festivities period of the Muslim celebration of Eid. This period (the month of Dhol-Q'ada) is 1 of 4 months considered to be the most revered in both the Islamic and pre-Islamic calendars. 

A host of artistic wares and performance will be presented as part of the souq, including oil and watercolour paintings, drawings, music and dance. Although visitors will have the opportunity to buy items they are also invited along just to browse and learn more about the goods on show.

Dr Nabil Sultan, chairman of the Muslim Cultural Festival of Liverpool, said:- “While the souq is partly a market place, it is much more than simply an opportunity to trade. Traditionally, souqs were also places to display poetic and oratorical talents, socialise and even find a partner!  Coming so soon after the Eid celebrations, the souq promises to be especially popular and we hope that people will take the opportunity to find out more about other cultures.”

Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool city council and deputy chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- “Liverpool has always been home to people of many different cultures, and it is important that we celebrate our diverse communities.  Events like this give people a chance to learn about some of the influences that have contributed to making the city such a vibrant and exciting place to live.”

The souq has been organised by the Muslim Cultural Festival of Liverpool (, with support from the Liverpool Culture Company, Arts Council (England) and Liverpool Hope University's Global Cultures Centre. It takes place on October 17 between 9am and 5pm at Liverpool Hope University’s Gateway Building on Taggart Avenue, Liverpool 16.

Red carpet screening for race hate film

A hard-hitting educational film about race hate receives its premiere in Liverpool this week.  Senselessis the latest instalment of the Liverpool Culture Company’s It’s Not OK!’ programme, and the third in a series of films tackling violence within our communities. It was written by local TV writer Maurice Bessman and produced by Liverpool film company LA productions, and features a cast of young people from Liverpool and Knowsley.

Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool city council and deputy chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- “The It’s Not OK programme has gained a reputation for tackling sensitive issues head-on, and this latest film is a great example of how young people can use creative outlets to make their voices heard.  The Senseless launch comes at a particularly fitting time, given that October is Black History Month and 2007 marks the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.”

A DVD of the film will form part of a special pack for teachers and youth workers that will be rolled out to schools in early 2008.

The pack is being developed in partnership with Liverpool Action Group for Racial Attacks & Harassment (LAGRAH), Knowsley Equal Opportunities Forum, Healthy Schools, Government Office North West (GONW) and the Home Office.

The It’s Not OK! programme was introduced in 2005, with the aim of harnessing creativity as a vehicle for young people to stand together and speak out against aggression and violence. It is led by the Liverpool Culture Company in partnership with Liverpool Children’s Services, City Safe, Merseyside Police, Healthy Schools, Primary Care Trust, Connexions and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. It’s Not OK was one of several cultural projects that contributed to Liverpool being one of just 13 local authorities awarded ‘Cultural Pathfinder’ status by the government in 2005. The two previous Its Not OK! films – ‘Plastered’ (exploring issues of binge drinking and alcohol related violence) and ‘Street Heat’ (focusing on fire-related anti-social behaviour) – have both been rolled out nationally as models of best practice.

During Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, It’s Not OK! will work with Liverpool’s Homotopia festival and the Armistead gay health project to focus on the theme of homophobic bullying, which will culminate in a 4th film, scheduled for completion in early spring.

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