Your Time: Arab Culture Festival, Smith College

Last modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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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