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Your Time: Arab Culture Festival, Smith College

  • Flags of the Middle East<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Front: Lemma, Patrick (last names withheld)<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Briana Parker, Nensi Kostallari<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Soaps for sale<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • From left: Aly Johnson-Kurts, Eden Bonjo, Clarissa Lyons, Raisa Rubin<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Iraqi Children's Art Exchange mural<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Books for sale<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Front row, from left: Hajjwafaa, Alexa Schmidt, Ariana Mirzakashani, Bryn Gingrich.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Atlas Soul Group<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jacqueline Matchett, Siobhan Silver, Jacque Pardo<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Caitlyn Richmond, Emma Yount<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Pistachio bourma<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jacob Carter, Samuel Carter<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Photos and text by Jerrey Roberts

The Arab Cultural Festival at Smith College Saturday attracted hundreds of people of all ages. The outdoor festival that celebrated Arabic culture was organized by Abdelkader Berrahmoun, a professor of Arabic at Smith, and student volunteers. It was sponsored by Sam’s Fund, the Lecture Committee Fund, the Middle East Studies Program and the Global Studies Center.

Atlas Soul Group, Layaali Arabic Ensemble and Cheb Yassin provided a musical backdrop for a variety of activities, food booths, gift booths and displays.

A mural made by the Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange was displayed.

Kefta kebobs, falafel, crepes, Moroccan tea and a vast array of nut-filled pastries were among the food offerings.

Nensi Kostallari painted henna tattoos, while across the grass, Hajjwafaa painted Arabic calligraphy.

Gift booths sold hand-crafted items and books on Arabic arts, food and culture.

Smith College senior Briana Parker, a comparative literature major studying Arabic, with a minor in Middle Eastern studies, organized the student volunteers for the event.

“There’s a lot of negative perspective on the Middle East,” Parker said. “It’s really important to bring out positive association.”

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