Music spaces in the Arab world – Goethe-Institut and Hamburg kitchen sessions present artists from the region Middle East/North Africa

GI_Logo_Claim_horizontal_green_RGB-green-350pxLiving rooms turn into concert halls, kitchens morph into auditoriums. Popular entertainers jamming on couches, up-and-coming artists showcasing their skills between coffee tables and bookcases. The Goethe-Institutes in the region Middle East/North Africa present live performances in private homes. Inspired by the Hamburg-based project Young musicians as well as seasoned bands offer a wide range of music, from traditional songs to Arabic Alternative Rock, reflecting their environments with contemporary lyrics and modern sounds.

Yet the events are not confined to their tiny venues. Each concert can be experienced by a worldwide audience online, which allows artists to kitschen-session-final-weiss-kleinershowcase their art to a large audience and connect with one another. In a region, where concerts in public spaces are often socially restricted, music becomes alive in private spaces and the internet.

The live concerts are organized as small, local events in a private setting, which means that the select audience can get up close and personal with the musicians. The concerts are held all over the Arabic world, in Alexandria, Beirut, Bethlehem, Erbil, Gaza, Cairo, Khartoum, Ramallah and Tunis.

Supporting exchange and networking

logoThe objective of both the Goethe Institut and the Hamburg kitchen sessions is to connect musicians with one another and make their music accessible to audiences in the Arab world as well as in Germany.

The “Hamburg Küchensessions” project is a video blog, a concert series and a CD project offering both up-and-coming singer-songwriters as well as popular artists a platform to publicize their work. Through the cooperation with the Goethe-Institut now also musicians from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Sudan get involved.
The individual gigs of the music room are freely available online, for instance on their own YouTube channel as well as on this Website. The cooperation began in April 2016 and will continued at least until the end of 2017.

Hamburg kitchen sessions are going out!

Public concerts with Arabic and German musicians are also held in Hamburg. Since 2014, trendy venues in the northern German metropolis have been hosting summer concerts in the series “Hamburg kitchen sessions are going out!” For more information, go to:

Project Website:

Hamburg kitchen sessions –
In Cooperation with:
Indiepush –
Indiepush is a website that provides independent artists from the arab world with an online platform where they can distribute and market their music directly to their fans without the need of record labels.

Laura Hartz
Director, Goethe-Institut Ramallah

Ahmed Qatamesh
Project Coordinator, Goethe-Institut Ramallah

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