Reconnecting with the community through the exhibition “Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Welcome)”

The people who made the exhibition “Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Welcome)”

After almost 3 years of irregular activity due to Covid-19, The Arabic Language and Culture Association of South Australia (ALCASA) is getting back into holding public community events and regular workshops through a six-month exhibition. “Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Welcome): Hospitality in Arabic culture” is a temporary exhibition on display daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm from 04 February to 31 July 2023 at the History Trust of South Australia Migration Museum. A series of workshops inspired by the exhibition will be hosted by ALCASA and the Migration Museum from 26 March to 18 June (Booking at

The “Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Welcome)” exhibition consists of stories about Arabic hospitality presented by twenty-six participants. The stories are accompanied by personal objects, which have been kept in SA homes and sometimes passed on through generations. The objects and stories were curated in 2022 with the guidance and expertise of Dr. Birgit Heilmann, HTSA Senior Curator, via an Expression of Interest online campaign, and a series of planning meetings, community workshops and events.

The exhibition “Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Welcome)” was launched on 11 February 2022 in a vibrant community event that delighted the audience with traditional Arabic dance, music, and food. The launch was attended by over 200 guests including the Honourable Irene Pnevmatikos, representing the Honourable Zoe Bettison MP, the Minister of Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, Helena Kyriazopoulos OAM (CEO of the Multicultural Communities Council of SA), Greg Mackie OAM (HTSA CEO), Elisabeth Ho OAM (HTSA Chairperson), HTSA team leaders and staff, team leaders and members of five SA Arabic speaking community groups (the Ahwazian community in Australia, the Australian Lebanese Association, the Palestinian Glimmer of Hope, The Sudanese Cultural and Social Society of South Australia, and the Torath Arts Group), and last but not least the exhibitors and the valued members of the ALCASA team.

The exhibition project was initiated by ALCASA in early 2022 to reconnect with South Australians who share an interest in the Arabic language and culture. ALCASA is a not-for-profit organisation based in Adelaide and is not affiliated with any religious or political groups. It was founded in late 2012 to promote and celebrate the Arabic language, arts, and culture. Through its activities, ALCASA aims to build bridges between Arabic-speaking communities and the wider South Australian community, and also to enhance intercultural understanding and respect.

Exhibition project supported by the Government of South Australia through the History Trust of SA Migration Museum and the MCCSA Community Connections Program.

Fayrouz Ajaka
ALCASA Chairperson and Co-Founder