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Yallaa Cookery and Culture Programme, Portstewart

23 Sep 2021

Press Release 21st September 2021

Radius Housing are partnering with Yallaa to bring a highly anticipated programme to Portstewart.

This programme is part of the Housing for All Cappagh Green Good Relations Plan which is designed and delivered in partnership with our Portstewart Advisory Group.  The Good Relations Plan seeks to build good relationships and a sustainable community alongside the development of Shared Housing at Cappagh Green.

Yallaa are an exciting social enterprise project promoting learning and experiencing Arab culture in NI.

Yallaa means “let’s do or let’s go” in Arabic. The organisation provides workshops and experiences which promote Arabic language and culture through experiences like their pop-up café and cookery classes. Their aim is to break down cultural barriers and build an understanding and appreciation of Arab civilisation through art, music, and food.

Yallaa offer an important multi-tiered service engaging with the whole community, they work with people on the ground to provide skills and an opportunity to work alongside them going forward.  They also provide important educational workshops for schools and the community promoting curiosity and giving access to cultural exchange and learning between diverse cultures.

We start our journey together during Good Relations Week 2021 when we will be hosting Yallaa Kitchen Cookery classes in Agherton Parish Centre. Participants will learn about, cook and sample delicious and diverse Arabian Cuisine from across the World. Classes will run from 22nd Sept, each Wednesday evening for 4 weeks. All places are booked but if you would like to be placed on the waiting list please contact

Rym Akhonzada, director of Yallaa, tells us; “Yallaa is established with the vision of facilitating the promotion of Arab culture, intercultural engagement and social inclusion of Arabs in Northern Ireland and we are excited to bring our latest project, Yallaa Kitchen, to Portstewart and to partner with Radius Housing in this important cultural community project. Yallaa kitchen is an opportunity to bring communities together through food while exploring what we have in common. We look forward to welcome everyone on 22nd September as part of the Good Relations Week and to continue our important work with Radius Housing as we explore other projects together”

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, who will be taking part in one of the cookery classes, said: “These events are an example of ‘good relations’ in action, bringing people together and allowing us to learn from each other. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Arabian cooking and hopefully improving my skills in the kitchen as well.

“Good Relations Week promotes a peaceful, shared society and this event is a wonderful way to experience the different cultures that exist within our Borough.

“I would like to encourage our residents to find out more about the range of activities planned by Yallaa and the wider Good Relations Week programme of events as we celebrate diversity.”

Radius are reaching out to schools and the community to offer them free Cultural Awareness workshops in October and are delighted to bring a vibrant and beautiful pop-up Cultural Café to Portstewart on Friday 5th November. 

Lisa Mooney, Communities Officer for Radius Housing states;

“We are excited to bring the Yallaa pop up Cultural café to Portstewart. It will be a truly unique and immersive experience providing attendees with a fun and engaging insight into Arab culture through food, music, dance, and art.

The event will allow an opportunity for the whole community to come together to develop an understanding of other cultures. Northern Ireland is home to many diverse communities with rich cultural identities and these events will allow for diverse Arabian cultural heritage to be shared and enjoyed by all. We will be reaching out to the whole community to experience this in manner that will be in line with current covid government guidelines including inviting schools to attend in the morning and the wider community including our residents at Cappagh Green, in the afternoon.”

This programme is supported through the Department for Communities ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme, which has its origins in the NI Executive Together Building a United Community Strategy. The Department for Communities has invested £6,535,399 in the Cappagh Green Shared Housing development. 

Radius has shared housing developments across Northern Ireland. Inclusive Bridging events in the wider community encourage a range of good relations outcomes which involve Health & Wellbeing and Education & Training.




Further Information can be sought from

You can find more information on Shared Housing at Department for Communities - Shared Housing Programme