NGO ARAFBEST is a voluntary-based organisation. Currently there are 28
members of our team; most of them are students or graduates of the
Department of Middle Eastern Studies of the University of West Bohemia
in Pilsen. Our main project is the annual Festival of Arab Culture.
Our budget is very modest (it is around 12, 000 Euro per year). The main
sponsor and partner of our activities is the University of West Bohemia
in Pilsen (80% of the whole budget); in addition, we regularly receive
financial support from some Arab embassies based in Prague and from some
private firms. We have a strong network of local partners (e.g. Insaan,
Czech-Arab Association, Oriental publishing house Dar Ibn Rushd). We
have great relations with the Lebanese festival Beirut Animated, too.
NGO ARABFEST promotes the culture of The Middle East, the culture of the
Arab world. By organising different cultural events, we want to
emphasise the fact that Arab culture has a lot to offer. We want to give
a chance to everyone who comes to the events organised by us to form his
or her own opinion on the Arab world with more detailed information,
with (at least a bit) of personal experience. To show that the media
picture is sometimes just one-sided view. The main aim is to develop
intercultural dialogue not only among different academic fields, but
also among the wider public.
The main activity of NGO ARABFEST is organising the annual Festival of
Arab Culture. The festival takes place in Spring in the cities of Pilsen
and Prague. Our team has been preparing the festival every year for
eight years and made it one of the most important cultural events in the
region and the biggest Arab culture-related event in the Czech Republic.
The festival program offers concerts, lectures by Czech and foreign
experts, debates, dance performances, exhibitions, workshops,
competitions, food tastings and much more – all tied to the culture of
the Middle East.
We also organise smaller-scale events, e.g. movie screenings and
discussions, and we take part in organising various exhibition projects
during the year.
We do our work very well. Well, as it is not an occupation for any member of our NGO, it is clear that we fulfill the goals of our organisation just with passion. But the outcomes of the activities, the feedback from experts and from the general public, as well, show that we do it well. Over the past eight years we have learned how to organise the event, how to promote it, how to cooperate; we know our field of study, we know the Arab world from different perspectives. We can contribure to the ALF Network in the Czech Republic with our experience, we can share our practices and we definitely can broaden the range of activities and kinds of events the Network promotes. We gladly will. Last, but not least, we are definitely a reliable partner.
All our team share the opinion that being a member of the ALF Network
can bring us only advantages. We could meet new partners, start new
cooperations and new projects. We can get feedback "from outside", from
much more experienced organisations. We would like to be more active
also abroad, to promote our activities in an international context.
Although we do have contacts all around the Arab world with different
organisations, galleries and individuals, we would like to strengthen
our international network. And definitely we have to and want to get
better at what we are doing. By joining the ALF Network, without any
doubts we can do so.