On 22 May 2017 Manchester, and the world, was devastated by the attack on Manchester Arena that killed 23 people. One Manchester resident, Qaisra Shahraz, was quick to respond. Qaisra identified the need to tackle Islamophobia and bring muslim and non muslim communities together.
We have hosted MACFEST for 2 years of with each year hosting over 50 events connecting communities for all around the world! We have partnered several other festival, 18 schools, 3 colleges, 2 universities and 21 venues!
British Muslim Awards, The University of Manchester, The Guardian, Asian Leader, Manchester Evening News and many more!
We want to keep spreading MACFEST across the country so together we can build cultural bridges and tackle hate!
Qaisra Shahraz is the Founder, Curator and Executive Director of MACFEST, Muslim Arts and Culture Festival. She is a prize-winning and critically-acclaimed novelist, scriptwriter, peace and gender activist. Qaisra was born in Pakistan and has lived in Manchester since childhood. Qaisra has gained two Masters Degrees in English & European literature and scriptwriting for television.
Mohammed Ali, born in Pakistan, came to live in the UK at the age of 12. He studied at Huddersfield and Bradford Universities. He then worked in a succession of newly created development roles with Glaxo Pharmaceutical, Community Relations Council; Tameside metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council and Fullemply Group, a high profile London based national ethnic minority training and employment charity.
Adrienne Loftus Parkins is a consultant working with literature festivals and awards. She is the founder and former director of the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature, now the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival. She is on the Steering Committee of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and advises M Fest in London, Bangkok Edge in Thailand and other UK based festivals.
Cathy Bolton is a Co-director of Manchester Literature Festival and has been involved in the Festival since its inception in 2006. She previously worked as a Writing Development Officer for Commonword community writing and publishing project. Her poems and short stories have been published in a wide range of literary journals and anthologies, and her collection 'A Fool’s Height Short of Heaven' won the Sheffield Hallam Ictus Prize.
Jonathan Davidson has worked in arts administration for over thirty years. He is Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands and lives in Birmingham.
Aamer Naeem qualified with 1st class honours as a pharmacist in 1992 and gained a Masters in Business Administration with distinction in 2007. He is currently the Director of Innov8 Creative Solutions Ltd, a consultancy providing strategic and operational support to a range of organisations as well as delivers Leadership Development Programmes across public, private and voluntary sectors.
Andrew Taylor, Madisons Accountants
Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester
Deputy Lieutenant & former High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
MP for Gorton and Shadow Minister for Immigration
Executive Director of Foundation For Ethnic Understanding
Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester
Manchester Evening News
Whitworth Art Gallery, Head of Learning and Engagement
Director of Manchester Museum
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police
Executive Head of Levenshulme High School
Media department, University of Salford
Chair of British Muslim Heritage Centre
Principal of Manchester Health Academy
Vice- President of Social Responsibility- University of Manchester
Manager of Elizabeth Gaskell House
The Manchester College
Assistant Head, Manchester Grammar School
Manchester Central Library
Executive Head of Levenshulme High School For Girls