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Islington plays host to Kurdish literature festival for the first time

PUBLISHED: 17:25 25 October 2017

The festival included a traditional Kurdish meal and a recital of Kurdish folk music. Picture: Ari Murad

The festival included a traditional Kurdish meal and a recital of Kurdish folk music. Picture: Ari Murad

Colin Morton

Islington’s Gracepoint venue played host to the Kurdistan Students’ Union annual literature festival on Saturday – the first time the event has been held in the UK.

The 25th Huseyin Celebi Festival brought together more than 600 people to celebrate the best of Kurdish literature and poetry. A number of attendees travelled from Germany, where the event had previously always been held, to join in the festivities which included a traditional Kurdish meal and a recital of Kurdish folk music.

Atiha Sen Gupta, one of the organisers, told the Gazette that the 1920s art deco building in Essex Road had proved a “great” setting for the event.

“It was uplifting. Gracepoint is so large and spacious, it really is majestic,” she said.

This year’s festival was dedicated to the British Kurdish activist Mehmet Aksoy, who was killed by ISIS in Syria on September 26.

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