March special: from Anatolia to the Middle East, Arts Canteen’s eclectic line-up of music and spoken word

Led by Essex Arab funny girl Esther Manito as MC, and with performances from Palestinian hip hop star El Far3i (47Soul), Turkey’s Olcay Bayir, and Alia Al Zougbi, and with DJ Nooriyah spinning some tunes throughout, the evening promises to be an arts extravaganza of Middle Eastern-inspired music and storytelling.

The setting is London’s Grand Junction, with the audience able to watch online from anywhere to enjoy this eclectic evening of live performance arts.

Event promoter Arts Canteen is also donating 20% of all ticket sales to charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

The Line-Up

Alia Al Zougbi

The award-winning radical storyteller of Lebanese-Syrian background brings an elegant charisma to her performances of tales from around the world.

Olcay Bayir

The classically-trained soprano fuses her time-honoured Anatolian heritage with the vibrant, eclectic sounds of her current home, London, for a rhythmically powerful, soulful and contemporary live set.


Hailing from Saudi Arabia, as a DJ, Nooriyah is known for playing popular tunes mixed with Middle Eastern and North African sounds.

El Far3i

One quarter of Shamstep global sensation 47Soul, the Jordanian / Palestinian singer-songwriter based in London blends hip hop, Arabic folk, acoustic rap and Arabic poetry to produce extraordinary live performances.

Esther Manito

MC duties for the night are in the capable hands of Arab Essex female comedian Esther Manito. She’s toured the world with Arabs Are Not Funny, was a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny (2017) and is one of 34 contributors to best-selling book Don’t Panic I’m Islamic (named Sunday Times ‘Best Humour Book of the Year’).

Event Details

Title: Voices Of The Middle East

Date: Friday 26 March 2021

Time:  7.30 pm

Where: This event is performed live at Grand Junction to an online audience. Details of how to watch will be emailed to paid digital audience members shortly before the show commences, and available on-demand for 14 days after the live event.

Admission: £8.00, with 20% of every streaming ticket sale going towards Medical Aid for Palestinians. Chosen by Arts Canteen, this charity is close to the organisation’s heart.

Tickets: Available via Grand Junction’s website, click here to buy your tickets now.


Main image, top, of 3 featured artists (l-r): Olcay Bayir, El Far31 (2019, Shams Theatre in Amman, Jordan, photo by Zaid Khaled Wikipedia/CC by SA 4.0), and DJ Nooriyah