Member Spotlight: YallaPunk

We're freaking out. Twice!

First: Tonight is the official kick-off for YallaPunk's inaugural festival and conference. YallaPunkwas born out of the need for a space for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) individuals to celebrate creative accomplishments and intersectionalities.

As they embark on their first ever event, YellaPunk invites MENA individuals and the public are invited to experience music, comedy, poetry, film and interactive workshops. Music genres will be widely represented with bands like Al-Thawra, Bidet, PuzzleheadLime Rickey International and many more gather in Philly to play with locals like Night Raids and Barakka between Johnny Brenda’s and The Barbary. Additionally, Aron Kader, founding member of Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil Tour and recent pick for Huffington Posts top 10 inspiring Arab-American leaders will be performing during the comedy event, which will be emceed by local comedian Alyssa Al-Dookhi.

But it’s not just about entertainment, it’s about education as well. YallaPunk is hosting a day conference on Saturday at the Icebox Project Space at the Crane Arts Building with panel discussions and workshops surrounding topics such as kinship and memory, intro to Maqam (traditional methods of composing music), MENA feminism and being queer and MENA.

There's still time to get your tickets for the weekend long event that wraps up with Solidarity Sunday on September 3rd.  Tickets for the festival start at $15. For more information about the event including schedules and a full performance line-up, check them out here

Second: We're still pinching ourselves at the amount of coverage YallaPunk has received for the MENA festival. Read the latest articles by Broad Street ReviewGenerocityBilly Penn andGeekadelphia. Festivals centered around MENA culture are virtually nonexistent. During a time of public melee where our country is in such a fragile state YallaPunk is unapologetically reflecting a narrative that deserves to be heard. 

You can stay-up-to-date by following them on all social media @YallaPunk! 

Elizabeth Sytsma