MACFEST Published: Wednesday, 02nd June 2021

Muslim Arts and Culture, an award-winning, international Festival is coming to Oldham for the first time on Saturday 5 June.

The festival aims to bring Muslim and non-Muslim communities together and promote social inclusion.

This year Oldham Heritage, Libraries and Arts are getting involved and have programmed a number of online events which will take place throughout the day on Saturday 5 June.

A diverse range of local Oldham Muslim artists will be joining those from other faiths and backgrounds to showcase their crafts and passions.

The day will be streamed live on Oldham Libraries Facebook page (@OldhamLibraries) and via Zoom. Other posts and videos will also be shared on social media.

This great initiative is led by prize-winning author, educationist and peace activist Qaisra Shahraz MBE FRSA, who features in the prestigious Power 100 List of the most influential Muslims in the UK.

The festival celebrates art, literature, music, history, culture, photography, cuisine, children, youth and women and the heritage of the Muslim diaspora.

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I’m really looking forward to participating in MACFEST as it makes its Oldham debut.

“Oldham is a brilliantly diverse town and it’s great that we can all come together to celebrate and experience different cultures through the Arts.

“Oldham Libraries and Gallery Oldham have worked incredibly hard to pull such a brilliant programme of events together and I hope people enjoy it as much as I will.”

The events planned are as follows:

Launch and conversation with Christina Longden, 11.30am

Celebrate the launch of Oldham MACFEST 2021 with Christina Longden. Christina

wrote the historical biography of her great, great, great grandfather, Robert Reschid Stanley, Mayor of Stalybridge and the UK’s ‘Hidden Victorian Muslim’ – and then turned the facts into a work of creative historical fiction.

To book your place, visit

Henna draw-along, 12noon

Join us on Facebook (@OldhamLibraries) for a draw-along Henna video. Learn how to make your own fun designs and what you will need to make them. Plus, find out all about henna, why it’s used and what it means.

Bengali singing performance (pre-recorded), 1pm

Watch Ahad Ullah Shah, a Musician, Actor, singer and writer from Oldham, perform music in his mother tongue.

Children’s Storytime, 2pm

Join in with a reading of ‘Anisha’s Adventures’, which is all about an inquisitive, brave, intelligent girl who is always eager to learn about new places, people, cultures and… well, anything else she finds. Written by local author, Moinul Islam, you are sure to enjoy this Storytime specially put together for MACFEST.

Author talk with local writer, Muzahid Khan, 3pm

An entrepreneur who swapped life in a Bangladeshi village for a daily dose of division and bricks through the windows in 1980s Oldham, has now seen Britain become a place where he is able to thrive – and “give back”. In his first book, ‘The Gift of Giving’, Muzahid Khan charts a life filled with the strife of civil war in Asia, a huge readjustment in living conditions when his family came to Oldham and settled on Mars Street, a year-long fight against depression and now the joy of working in a diverse community.

Geometric Paper Craft with Gallery Oldham, 4pm

Get your creative fingers wiggling and make some traditional paper craft with Gallery Oldham.

Book lists, throughout the day

If you need some new bedtime reading material, keep an eye out for book recommendations throughout the day on Oldham Libraries Facebook page (@OldhamLibraries).

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