PalFest Ireland is an arts festival organized by the Irish Artists in Support of Palestine, to show solidarity between the Irish artist community and the people of Palestine. The arts festival included music, films, theatre, spoken word and visual arts events to promote a cultural connection between the two countries. The festival took place from Friday 8th until Saturday 16th July 2016. This year the festival mainly focused on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Muhanad Al-Qaisy from the Joint Advocacy Initiative and Ayman Abu Zuluf from the Alternative Tourism Group were invited to participate in the arts festival, which took place in Dublin, and represented the two organizations. The festival offered plenty of activities and events where Muhanad and Ayman gave lectures about their work, presenting the olive planting and picking programs and explaining the daily life under occupation.
One of the main lectures given by Muhanad was titled "Heritage Uprooted". The lecture and discussion were held after the performance of "The Olive Tree" play, written and performed by Katie O'Kelly. Katie is an Irish actor and one of the festival organizers. She participated in the olive planting program 2016, and as a result of what she experienced in Palestine, she wrote play "The Olive Tree". Katie performs the play regularly on different stages, both in Ireland and abroad to inform her audience about the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Also the film "The Wanted 18" was screened as part of the festival program. Ayman led the discussion and Q&A session after the film, gave an overview of life under occupation and talked about his own role in the film. Throughout the festival Ayman and Muhanad promoted the programs of the olive tree campaign and inform the Irish public about the work of theJAI and ATG.