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Our workshop will aim to teach the basic steps of the Tayara Dabke, which is the traditional folk dance from Palestine. 

Dabke is a native Levantine folk dance performed by the Palestinians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians, and Iraqis (and, of course, on the Island of Crete, think Zorba the Greek!)

Dabke combines circle and line dancing and is widely performed at weddings and other joyous occasions, or even when we meet with friends!

So, don’t just dip your toe in the water! Jump right in, step forward, and find your feet in this hour of fun and excitement.

Fares Farraj is a Palestinian dabke dancer currently completing his undergraduate degree in Manchester, and volunteering as an intern at Rethink Rebuild Society.

Fares was a member and dancer of El-Funoun Palestinian Dabke Troupe, the number one dabke troupe in Palestine and beyond and have performed many shows locally and internationally.

A man stads in a green room wearing wide legged red pants, a wide red belt, cream shirt and a dark neck scarf, hands aloft and smiling, dancing dabkeh for Celebrating Syria


Building on 4 years of success, culminating in an entirely virtual festival in December 2020, Rethink Rebuild Society persists with its creative mission, showcasing the talent and creativity of Syrian artists in the UK and presenting a truly bright image of Syria and its culture and heritage, an image that has long been neglected amidst the war and the refugee crisis.

The 5th Celebrating Syria Festival will take place from 11-26 March 2022 and will be a hybrid of events held online and in person. It will feature, among other activities, an art exhibition, a theatre performance, live music, films, panel discussions and interactive art workshops, and will end with a family fun day. There will be something for everyone.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Distance’, or Masafat مسافات in Arabic, a title that is ‘inspired’ by social distancing measures imposed on us all as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, where isolation and distance became the norm and many people stayed away from loved ones. ‘Distance’ also sums up the experiences of many Syrian and non-Syrian people, forcibly displaced, exiled or refugees around the world as a result of injustice.

With this theme in mind, the festival uses arts and culture to challenge physical, emotional and cultural distance and barriers, bringing people closer to one another, reducing isolation, alienation and marginalisation and reinforcing dialogue and integration in the multicultural society of Manchester and the UK at large.


We are committed to making Celebrating Syria accessible to everyone. For each ticketed event three different prices are available, following the ‘solidarity economy’ approach. The highest price is intended for high waged, the middle price for low and medium waged and the lowest price (always £1) for unwaged. This means you can choose the price that suits you. By choosing a higher price, if you can afford it, you are supporting the festival and enabling lower earners to attend festival events. We base our ticketing structure on trust, so no evidence of income is required. As usual, asylum seekers can attend all events for free. If you require free tickets, please contact or on 0161 222 9779. 


If you have any access needs you want to discuss with us, please call the box office Monday to Friday between 10 – 10pm on 0161 274 0600.

Alternatively, you can email the box office on, or get in touch via direct message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@contactmcr on all three platforms).

This festival has been possible through generous funding from Arts Council England.

  • Price
    £5 high waged / £3 medium waged / £1 low waged - scroll down to learn more
  • Venue

    Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA

  • Ages
  • Running
    90 minutes
Date Time & Place
Saturday 19 March 12:00pm
Sold out