The Arabic Culture Student Association is hosting what is to be the first annual Arab Summer Festival. The result of collaboration with the Arabic Culture Student Association and the Arab Center of Washington, the festival will include food and activities earlier in the day and end with a screening of “Days and Nights,” a classic musical of Egyptian cinema. The festivities will take place in Marymoor Park in Redmond on Friday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
BC’s Arabic Culture Student Association was first chartered this past spring quarter, created by Orchideh Raisdanai. According to Anna Brosius, another member, the club was primarily created to provide more opportunities for students taking Arabic language courses to learn about Middle Eastern culture. To immerse themselves in things that generally are not touched on by the typical language classes. Raisdanai explained the club was meant as an extension of the Arabic language course. The club meetings begin immediately after the class and are advised by Hakim Chakour, BC’s only Arabic instructor.
Outside of the classroom and their typical meetings, the club has been active since its creation, engaging in field trips and organizing events. Last quarter they were awarded “Event of the Year” by Student Programs for Arab Heritage Week. Amongst the field trips that the club has gone on are such things as touring Byblos, a major Middle Eastern deli. They received special treatment from the owner, learning how to cook traditional meals with the various ingredients available in that establishment. Other events attended by the club included a screening of a film on Arabic and Islamic Art at South Seattle Community College and learning to brew traditional Arabic coffee.
During summer quarter, the club suspended regular meetings and has been busy planning and preparing for the upcoming festival, which will serve to raise additional money for the club to utilize in the upcoming fall quarter.
The festival will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a variety of food and activites. For diners, Lebanese meals will be provided by one sponsor, Byblos Deli. Later, Karnak Egyptian Cuisine will provide traditional desserts. The festival will include a marketplace, various fair games, a kid’s craft booth, henna and a calligrapher.
The movie will start at 8:30 and will include English subtitles. Songbooks with transliterated lyrics will be provided so that those without knowledge of the Arabic language may sing along phonetically.
All expenses were paid for by the sponsors, who were recruited by Raisdanai. The price of admission will be $10 per person, with children under 12 entering for free. The event will be run by volunteers from the college, and all profits will go to benefit the ACSA.