Sinead El Sibai with Jim Sheridan and Festival Director Zahra Moufid  Sinead El Sibai with Jim Sheridan and Festival Director Zahra Moufid

The fourth Dublin Arabic Film Festival, presented by Dubai Duty Free (DAFF) opened at the Irish Film Institute on Friday (6th October) with a sold-out screening of Sophie Boutros’ black comedy, ‘Solitaire’.  The opening red-carpet night was a glitzy affair and was hosted by Oscar nominated film maker, Jim Sheridan together with DAFF Festival Director, Zahara Moufid.  Several ambassadors from the Arab world were in attendance as well as representatives from the worlds of business, film, and entertainment including singer song writer, Damian Dempsey.  Sinead El Sibai, Vice President of Marketing of Dubai Duty Free flew in from Dubai to support the festival, as well as journalists from Abu Dhabi and Dubai who came over specially to review the films.


Speaking on the red carpet Zahara Moufid said, “We wanted to show people in Ireland a whole variety of different Arabic countries, issues and culture so they know about all the different cultures in the Arab world. Sometimes you say Arab and they don’t really know where it’s from. The UAE and Morocco are very different, for example, we even speak differently.” She added: “People don’t realise that ‘Arab’ can mean anything – Christian, Muslim, Jew or Druze and they can all live together happily.”



Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing of Dubai Duty Free, the presenting sponsor of the festival said, “It’s our fourth year to be involved with DAFF and I have to say it just gets better each year, the opening film was great and the whole weekend was a real success. Huge congratulations to Zahara Moufid and Jim Sheridan, the choice of films was really excellent.”


President and curator of the festival, Jim Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated director of films including My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father, agreed that the festival has an important cultural and political purpose. “It’s really fabulous for Irish audiences to get a chance to see these films, we got great reactions to the films and they really entertained and engaged people.  The whole weekend and festival was really successful, we’re delighted.”


The opening night party continued later in the Shelbourne Hotel where the VIP guests enjoyed Arabic music, mini burgers, fish and chips in cones and wines by Bacchus Vinos. For more information see

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