Posted by on May 03, 2012 in Blog

By Dalal Hillou

On April 28 and 29, the Alif Institute in Atlanta, Georgia hosted the 7th Annual Atlanta Arab Festival. The weekend of festivities paid homage to the diverse heritage of the state’s more than 27,000 Arabs. There were many outdoor performances that ranged from traditional songs to dabka routines to the classic oud. The festival also featured a souk, or marketplace area, with tents that housed a variety of businesses and organizations, with items such as paintings, books, jewelry, embroidery, traditional clothes, and more. In addition, there were arts, crafts, and games for children of all ages. A cultural and educational exhibit within the Alif Institute featured items from all over the Arab World as well as informational displays about Arab Americans and the Arab culture.

Dana Haddad, one of the festival’s co-chairs, says that the planning committee met every two weeks at first, and as the date of the festival got closer, the meetings became weekly. Certain tasks were planned to be completed each month, and each committee member was in charge of certain aspects of the festival. Dana says that the estimate of people who turned out this year was 3,300, an improvement from last year’s 2,700. One of the main goals this year was to reach the maximum amount of people.  She also states that “it’s a great way to meet people, to learn about the culture, to see different faces from the Middle East. There’s so much in those 22 Arab nations - it’s a very good community to be part of.”

For more information about the Alif Institute, visit its website

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