The Hamburg Kitchen Sessions meet the Arabic Music Sessions ©

Music spaces in the Arab World

Living 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 showcase 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, Baghdad, Gaza, Cairo, Khartoum, Ramallah and Tunis.

A regional curatorial jury was formed by experts from the Arab World and Germany: Laura Hartz (Director of the Goethe-Institut Ramallah til June 2017), Ahmed Qatamesh (Musician and Cultural Manager), Angie Balata (Cultural Manager and expert in the Arab music scene) and Jens Pfeifer (Producer and Sound Engineer) have been responsible for the selection of the Bands and the implementation of the project.

For more Information:
Mona Kriegler
Goethe-Institut Palestinian Territories

Thomas Scheele
Programme Coordinator
Goethe-Institut Palestinian Territories
The 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.
Current press information:
  • WDR: New platform for Arab music. Kitchen Sessions goes Cairo.
  • dotmsr: From inside the kitchen "Music Connection".
  • WDR: A concert between Stove and refrigerator. 
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur: Fleeing the censorship. 
  • Goethe-Institut: Concerts between pots and pans.
  • Tibe96.0: Hamburger Küchensessions gehen raus! Arabia Special.
  • Siegerland Kurier: Live-Performance reminds us of the Situation in der Arab World.
  • Gymnasium Stift Keppel: East meets West in the Stiftsküche.
  • DW: A platform for independent sing- and songwriters.
  • DANDIN: Music spaces in the Arab World.
  • Goethe-Institut: The Voices of the City Khartoum.
  • Goethe-Institut: Podcast.



Hamburger Küchensessions gehen raus! © Hamburger Küchensessions