About ACAN

Arab Culture and Arts Network - ACAN

An independent, non-profit organization established in 2020 during the Corona pandemic crisis on the initiative of cultural activists with the aim of networking individuals and cultural and artistic institutions, for cultural solidarity and opening a link and channels for the exchange of events, festivals, and experiences in art and culture in the Arab region and opening cultural bridges in the Middle East, and between the Middle East and the West.

Our vision

Due to the Corona pandemic, which greatly affected the cultural scene in the region, it made us re-read the scene and the transformations in order to create a network for culture and arts, to enable cultural communities among themselves for networking and cooperation, support creativity, encourage exchange and grants for creative works, and improve policies supporting culture and arts in the Arab region activating the role of art and culture in changing societies through free expression in the field of theater, cinema, music, literature, research, studies, exhibitions and performing arts.

Our Team

The Arab Culture and Arts Network includes a working team with different expertise and artistic skills within a system headed by a general assembly that includes a number of active cultural activists in the Arab region, an administrative body composed of 9 members, and four basic committees that include volunteers from young artists

Our programs

  • Weekly organization of online sessions and seminars
  • Publishing works, events, and artistic and cultural grants through its website and social media platforms
  • Preparing artistic programs through the website and an online radio (electronic platform open to all)
  • Organizing various artistic training workshops (online)
  • Annual organization of meetings, seminars, conferences and regional meetings
  • Partnership in organizing and supporting newly emerging festivals
  • Establishing training programs for institutions and volunteers to organize festivals, cultural events and training workshops
  • Providing grants to institutions and individuals and supporting emerging experiences
  • Issuing a monthly electronic newspaper to highlight the cultural scene in the Arab region


The Arab Culture and Arts Network project from Lebanon won in the category of cultural diversity, identity, linguistic diversity and local content with projects from Rwanda, Bangladesh, India and Australia as the best five projects in the world, out of 1270 projects submitted from different countries of the world, 360 projects were nominated; 20 in each of the 18 WSIS Action Line categories, the five projects in the online voting won 1.3 million votes, and Ronda ranked first.

The Arab Culture and Arts Network (ACAN) received the Intercultural Achievement Award (IAA) in the category “Recent Events” given by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. The Network won the award among 1,300 competing projects from 87 countries.

Radio programs
Beneficiary of training workshops
Online meeting


Ana Cendrero Alvarez

Lawyer, born in 1964, studied law at Universidad Complutense in Madrid and holds an MBA. She has also been a legal affairs officer for European Space Agency projects for 12 years, and an elected member of the Pula local government for 5 years. Served as a jury in international festivals for theater and cinema. She has many theatrical and cinematic works

Omar Mikati

Born in 1944, Professor of Radio Drama at Beirut Arab University and Head of the Radio Direction Department for twelve years at the official radio of Lebanon. He wrote and directed dozens of radio programs for Radio Lebanon and some Arab radio stations and books for children on television. He was tutored by his father, the playwright Nizar Mikati

May Nasr

Singer and composer, holding a BA in literature and founder of “We Partners” in Lebanon, serving as a Director of “PartnersYemen”, May is a strong advocate for building peace through music and the arts.

Kassem Istanbouli

A Lebanese actor and director, a graduate of the Lebanese University, Faculty of Fine Arts, he presented many theatrical works, participated in starring films and television series, he is a member in Tiro Association for Arts and founder of the Lebanese National Theater in Tyre, which is considered the first free theater and cinema in Lebanon.

Rana Ghaddar

A handicrafts trainer, born in 1983. She holds a BA in Educational Psychology from the Lebanese University. She taught drawing and fine arts in many schools and institutions, and founded “Yasmina” group for storytelling and games for children.

Maha Amin

Actress and specialist at the Mosan Center for People with Special Needs. She participated in many theatrical works and training workshops in Lebanon and Libya.

Bahia Zayat

A handicrafts artist, born in 1950, she studied at the Jaafariya School and graduated from the Lebanese University in Sociology, and then graduated from the Art Department at the American University, specializing in the art of painting on glass, mirrors, pottery and porcelain. She has also participated in many artistic and cultural exhibitions and festivals, and is currently conducting training workshops for children and youth in the field of crafts and handicrafts

Salah Atwi

A playwright and director who studied directing in Egypt. He founded the Southern Theater Troupe, which presented many theatrical works, most notably “the issues in mirrors”, “we lived and we healed”. He also wrote many songs and has a poetry collection called “Dead without Burials.”

Zeina Skiki

Professional guitarist, graduate of the Higher Conservatoire of Music, a member of the Syndicate of Professional Music and Singing in Lebanon and music coach at TIS School in Tyre


Jana Al Hasan

Coordinator and technical advisor

Kassem Istanbuli

Executive Director

Andre El Hajj

Coordinator and technical advisor

Anaa Cendrero Alvarez

Program Manager

Kamel Moussa

Finance Officer

Esraa Alayan

Communication Officer

Maryam Mahfouz

E-Newsletter manager

Mohammed Akkawi

Website Manager

Mohammad Saeed

Archive Officer

Mahdi Abdulwahad

Website developer

Mark Mansour

Graphic Designer

Aya Awada

Office Assistant 

Tia Khalaf

Graphic Designer

Radio Station Team

Hayat HobAllah

Radio Announcer

Céline Skayki

Radio Announcer

Rawan Amin

Radio Announcer

Housam Khattab

Radio programs manager