This is now the archive site for

MESP 2004 - 2006.

For news of the 2007 Festival, please go to:


The 2006 Festival is now complete.

Many thanks to everyone who attended and participated!

Download the feedback and evaluation form for Festival 2006.   Tell us how we did and how we can do better next year.

Download complete report for Festival 2006.

The 2007 Festival will  run from

February 7- March 11, 2007:

Planning Timeline & Invitation to Participate

Guidelines for Event Submission 2007

Proposal Submission Form 2007

This year:
Professor Tariq Ramadan and Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware led a field of speakers, artists, writers and scholars in presenting the Third Edinburgh International Festival on Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, from 8 February to 12 March 2006.

Professor Tariq Ramadan gave the 2006 Middle East Festival Lecture on 'Islam and the West in a Quest for a Just and Peaceful World,' and Bishop Kallistos Ware participated  in the conference, Pathways of the Heart, and gave the 2006 Middle East Festival Conference Lecture, ‘Acquiring Inner Peace.’ These followed on from the 2005 Middle East Festival Lecture which was given by the three times Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Abuna Elias Chacour, on ‘Spiritual Approaches to Middle East Peace.’

Internationally distinguished musicians and artists participating in MESP 2006 included Yair Dalal, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Davod Azad, Latif Bolat, Beth Bahia Cohen and Yasmin Levy. Yair Dalal, composer, violinist and oud player is probably the most prolific Israeli ethnic musician today. Omar Faruk Tekbilek is honoured as a peacemaker and virtuoso who brilliantly interprets the Sufi, Folk, and Contemporary music of the Middle East. Davod Azad is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist mastering in the Iranian Classical music, the Azeri folk music, the Ancient Persian music, and the Persian Sufi music. One of the most distinguished Turkish musicians in the United States, Latif Bolat plays the folk and spiritual music of Turkey on a traditional instrument called a baglama (saz). Beth Bahia Cohen is a master of the violin and various bowed instruments from the Middle East and the Balkans. In her deep, spiritual and moving style of singing, Yasmin Levy preserves and revives the most beautiful and romantic songs from the Ladino/Judeo-Spanish heritage, mixing it with Andalusian Flamenco. News! Waterboys founder and frontman Mike Scott was added to the line-up for the OneWorld concert on 18 February.

The conference and Festival are non-political in nature taking no fixed position on any political, ethical or cultural question. It intends rather to create a forum in which we can listen to each other more deeply and learn with more open minds and hearts.

Read more >